Peacemaking Heritage 18
The story of an early Adventist antislavery activist, excerpted and adapted from Mrs. A.E. Gurnsey’s profile of her 103-year-old father, William Gifford, published in the Review and Herald (“Brief Sketch of a Review and Herald Centenarian,” 14 January 1902, 3-4).
William Gifford, the subject of this sketch, was born in Rochester, Plymouth Co., Mass., Sept. 22, 1798….
At the age of fourteen it was decided that he should go to live with his uncle, Captain John Atfsalt, and learn the pump- and block-making trade….[In 1831 he] went to Fair Haven, about six miles distant, built a shop, and started business for himself.
In 1820 William Gifford was married to Miss Mary Bowlin, daughter of Captain Josiah Bowlin. At this date he was financially prosperous, and business was thriving. My father still is, and always was, one of those outspoken men who dare to state what they think is right, and who will sacrifice much for a principle….