James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., “Rankin, John,” Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1900), 5: 180.
RANKIN, John, clergyman, b. near Dandridge, Jefferson со., Tenn., 4 Feb., 1793; d. in Ironton, Ohio, 18 March, 1880. From 1817 till 1821 he was pastor of two Presbyterian churches in Carlisle, Ky., and about 1818 founded an anti-slavery society. Removing to Ripley, Ohio, he was pastor of the 1st and 2d Presbyterian churches for forty-four years. He joined the Garrison anti-slavery movement, and was mobbed for his views more than twenty times. About 1824 he addressed letters to his brother in Middlebrook, Va., dissuading him from slave-holding, which were published in Ripley, in the "Liberator," in 1832, and afterward in book-form in Boston and Newburyport, and ran through many editions. He assisted Eliza and her child, the originals of those characters in "Uncle Tom's Cabin, to escape. He founded the American reform book and tract society of Cincinnati, and was the author of several books, including "The Covenant of Grace" (Pittsburg, 1869). See his life entitled "The Soldier, the Battle, and the Victory," by Rev. Andrew Ritchie (Cincinnati, 1876).