John Newland Maffitt, an American clergyman, born in Dublin, Ireland, Dec. 28, 1794, died in Mobile, Ala., May 28, 1850. He became a preacher in the Wesleyan connection in Ireland, and early gave promise of those remarkable powers as an orator that characterized him in after life. He came to the United States in 1819, and was admitted into the New England Methodist Episcopal conference. He spent 12 years as pastor of several prominent churches, published "Pulpit Sketches" (Boston, 1828), and in 1831 removed to New York, whence he travelled, preaching and lecturing at his own discretion. In 1833, with the Rev. L. Garrett, he founded in Nashville, Tenn., the " Western Methodist," a weekly journal, afterward continued under various names. He also preached at numerous places in the west and south as a revivalist. Wherever he went immense crowds were attracted to his ministry. In 1837 he was elected professor of elocution and belles-lettres in the La Grange college, Ala., which post he held until he was elected chaplain to congress in 1841. In 1845-'6 he edited "Calvary Token," a literary and religious monthly, established by himself at Auburn, N. Y., which was chiefly made up of his own contributions.
In 1847, by misfortune growing out of a second marriage, he was obliged to leave for the south, and took up his residence in Arkansas, where he labored with some success for two years, at the expiration of which time he went to some of the chief cities of the south. But his popularity declined rapidly, and he soon died of heart disease. He left an autobiography and an " Oratorical Dictionary."