Egede, Hans

, an enterprising Danish missionary, was a native of Denmark, horn Jan. 31, 1686, and was for some time a preacher at Trundheim, in Norway. Having heard that lung before his time some families of Norway had established themselves in Greenland, where the Christian religion was propagated by them, and even churches and convents built, be felt himself interested in the welfare of this colony, and curious to know its actual state; and although he was told that the ice rendered that country intolerable, that the people were savages, and that no traces were now to be found of the religion which they had been taught, he still persisted in his design of reviving an establishment there, and for some years made many unsuccessful attempts to procure the necessary means. At length Frederic IV. king of Denmark seemed disposed to second his efforts, and called together the body of merchants of Bergen, to know what assignee and what privileges they would grant to a company disposed to make the experiment of establishing a colony in Greenland. But these merchants could not be made to comprehend the utility of the plan, and nothing was done by them as a body. Egede, however, was not wholly disheartened, but visited the merchants individually, and by dint of solicitation, obtained a subscription amounting to 10,000 crowns, to which he added 300, which wasthe whole of his own property. He then built vessels fit for the voyage, and provided all necessaries the king appointed him missionary, with a salary of 300 crowns, and in May 1721, Egede Bet sail with his wife and children, full of ardent hopes. After many dangers, he landed on the Baals river, in West Greenland, and built a house. He now endeavoured to gain the confidence of the natives by kind approaches; be learned their language, and took every method to soften their manners, and enlighten their understandings. He also, as a very necessary step towards civilization, endeavoured to form a commercial establishment with them, and, some time after, the king sent other vessels and two more ecclesiastics to assist Egede in his undertaking. The colony then began to prosper; above 150 children were | baptised and taught the principles of the Christian religion, and every thing wore a promising appearance, when, on the accession of Christian VI. to the throne, an order came to discontinue their proceedings. On this the greater part of the colonists returned home; but Egede persisted in remaining on the spot, and having persuaded about a dozen seamen to share his lot, he renewed his endeavours with success, and the following year a vessel arrived from the mother-country with provisions and men, and an order to persevere in the objects of the mission. Every succeeding year a vessel arrived with similar assistance, and Egede received 2000 crowns by each, for the annual expences of the colony, in the promotion of which he continued to labour with great zeal, until old age and infirmities obliged him to desist, when his eldest son, Paul, was appointed his successor. After a residence of fifteen years, the good old man returned to Copenhagen, and employed the remainder of his days in teaching the Greenland language to young missionaries. He died in the island of Falster, Nov. 5, 1758. A short time before this event, he published his “Description and Natural History of Greenland,” of which there has been a French translation by Roches de Parthenay, printed at Geneva, 1763, 8vo, and the same year a German translation by Knrnitz. There is also a German translation of “The Journal of his Mission,” printed at Hamburgh, 1740, 4to. His son Paul, who died in 1789, wrote an “Account of his own Mission,” which appeared in 1789, 8vo. 1