The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Ram Mohun Roy
RAM MOHUN ROY, rajah, a Hindoo scholar, born in the district of Burdwan, Bengal, about 1774, died near Bristol, England, Sept. 27, 1833. His family were strict Brahmans, but having studied the Koran he early renounced polytheism. In 1803, after the death of his father, Ram Mohun Roy published several pamphlets in the native and foreign languages, to show that the Brahmans had fallen away from their original faith, for which an attempt was made to deprive him of caste. He translated into Bengalee and Hindostanee the Vedanta, or body of Hindoo theology as contained in the Vedas, afterward prepared an abridgment of it, and in 1816 translated the abridgment into English. In conjunction with two other natives he published the "Bengal Herald," an English newspaper, and in 1820 published in English, Sanskrit, and Bengalee a series of selections from the New Testament, entitled "The Precepts of Jesus the Guide to Peace and Happiness." In this he advanced Unitarian opinions, which involved him for several years in controversy with Dr. Marshman and other missionaries. He believed in the divine mission of Christ, and considered Christianity consistent with Brahmanism. He distinguished himself by his exertions to abolish the practice of suttee, or female immolation. In 1830 he was accredited to the British court by the titular sovereign of Delhi, to make a representation of grievances, and was successful in his mission. He visited England twice, and was buried there.