Francis Wayland, an American clergyman, born in New York, March 11, 1796, died in Providence, R. I., Sept. 26, 1865. His parents were natives of Great Britain, and his father was a clergyman. He graduated at Union college in 1813, studied medicine, and was licensed to practise. In 1816 he joined the Baptist church in Troy, and soon after entered the Andover theological seminary. He was a tutor in Union college from 1817 to 1S21, when he became pastor of the first Baptist church in Boston. In September, 1826, he was chosen professor of mathematics and natural history in Union college, and in December president of Brown university, Providence, R. I.; and he entered upon the duties of the latter office in February, 1827. In 1842 he published "Thoughts on the Collegiate System of the United States," in which he maintained that the study of the classics should be made optional to those desiring an education for other than professional purposes, and those who chose to take only a practical course should be allowed college honors expressive of their attainments. In 1849 the university was reorganized on the plan thus indicated.
He retired in 1855, and acted for two or three years as pastor of the first Baptist church in Providence. His other works include "Elements of Moral Science" (Boston, 1835; abridged for the use of schools, 1836); "Elements of Political Economy" (1837); "Limitations of Human Reason" (1840); "Life of Rev. Adoniram Judson, D. D. " (2 vols., 1853); " Intellectual Philosophy " (1854); " Notes on the Principles and Practices of Baptists " (New York, 1856); and "Letters on the Ministry" (1863). "Christianity and Slavery" (New York, 1845) is a controversy on slavery between Dr. Wayland and Dr. Richard Fuller, in which the former maintains decided antislavery views.