Boardman. I. George Dana, an American missionary, born in Livermore, Me., Feb. 8, 1801, died in Burmah, Feb. 11, 1831. In 1819 he entered the Waterville academy, which was organized as a college in 1820, and graduated in 1822. He was immediately elected tutor, and his friends hoped that he would remain as a professor; but after about a year he determined to devote himself to the work of Christian missions. For a time he thought of laboring among the American Indians; but intelligence of the death of James Coleman of the Aracan mission induced him to offer himself to the Baptist board of foreign missions in 1823, and the same year he entered Andover theological seminary. He was ordained at W. Yarmouth, Me., Feb. 16,1825, was married to Miss Sarah Hall July 4, and on July 16 sailed for Calcutta. Arriving there Dec. 2, he found several missionaries who had been driven from Burmah, and learned that Mr. and Mrs. Judson were in a Burman prison. It being necessary to wait until Burmah should be reopened to missionary labor, he spent the interval in acquiring the language, and in April, 1827, joined Mr. Judson at Amherst. Maulmain, the new S3at of the English government, was chosen for the location of a mission, and Mr. Board-man was selected to superintend it.
This mission was planted the same year, and became ultimately the radiating point of influence for the Baptist missions in Burmah. To his prudence, piety, and organizing force is largely due this success. In a few months the station at Amherst was abandoned, and the whole missionary force concentrated at Maulmain. It was then decided to establish another station at Tavoy, about 150 miles down the coast, and Mr. Boardman was unanimously chosen for this difficult work. He was accompanied by Ko Tha-byoo, a Karen convert and candidate for baptism, a Siamese lately baptized, and a few boys from his school at Maulmain. He reached Tavoy early in April, 1828, and baptized Ko Tha-byoo - a man whose labors and success among his countrymen have become historic. Through his influence a few persons were brought under the instructions of Mr. Boardman. These carried into the jungles the news that a white teacher had brought from beyond the sea the knowledge of the true God, and companies began to come from a distance to see and hear for themselves. Mr. Boardman now matured plans for the systematic instruction of the Burman population of Tavoy, by means of schools and other instrumentalities; and having been urgently invited, he set out Feb. 5, 1828, on a first missionary tour among the Karen villages.
He was absent ten days, meeting with such success that he entered upon a systematic course of itinerary labors. Usually accompanied by Ko Tha-byoo or some other convert, and some of the boys from the school, he would visit three or four villages in a week, preaching in zayats, going from house to house, and conversing with those whom he met by the wayside. Some-limes he made boat trips on the river. During three years he maintained an almost incredible activity, in spite of interruptions occasioned by frequent sickness and repeated deaths in his family, and while he was sinking under consumption. The only cessation of his labors was on the occasion of his wife's visit to Maulmain after her recovery from a dangerous illness. He remained with her about seven months, but this seeming respite was only a change in the form of his work, as he preached twice a week in English and once in Burmese, attended catechetical exercises three evenings in a week, and daily corrected proofs for the press. Before leaving Tavoy for Maulmain he promised the Karens that he would visit them again in the jungle on his return. On Jan. 31, 1831, he left Tavoy in a litter to fulfil that promise, and reached his destination, but was too ill to accomplish more than part of the task.
He set out to return to Tavoy, but died before reaching there. Though only 30 years of age when he died, he had accomplished what few men attain in a long life. He left 70 members of the mission church at Tavoy, and within a few years thousands of Karens were converted through the agencies which he had organized and set in motion. See "Memoir of George Dana Boardman," by the Rev. A. King (new ed., Boston, 1856). II. George Dana, D. D., a Baptist clergyman and scholar, son of the preceding, born at Tavoy, Burmah, Aug. 18, 1828. He graduated at Brown university in 1852, and at Newton theological institution in 1855, and was ordained the same year at Barnwell, S. C. The state of public sentiment on the slavery question led him to remove in 1856 to Rochester, N. Y., where he remained pastor of the second Baptist church till 1864. He was then called to the first Baptist church in Philadelphia, his present charge (1873). His publications have been numerous but fragmentary, comprising sermons, addresses, and articles in quarterly reviews.
He has travelled extensively in Europe and the East.