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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Draper, Rev. Daniel James

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Draper, Rev. Daniel James, was born in the parish of Wickham, Hampshire, England, in August 1810, and apprenticed to a carpenter. At the age of twenty he became a local preacher amongst the Methodists. Becoming a regular minister in 1834, he married Miss Webb, a farmer's daughter, and emigrated to Tasmania in 1836, subsequently devoting himself to missionary work in Sydney. Leaving New South Wales, he settled in Adelaide in 1846, and during his nine years' residence accomplished marvels in the way of chapel building, besides otherwise greatly promoting the extension of the body with which he was associated. In 1855 he became head of the Wesleyan denomination in Victoria, and discharged the onerous duties of the position till March 1865, when he took a trip to England to recruit his health. He secured his return passage in the ill-fated London, which sailed from Plymouth on Jan. 5th, 1866, and foundered on the 11th in the Bay of Biscay, when out of 239 souls on board 220 perished. Mr. and Mrs. Draper were amongst the victims, the former bravely encouraging and exhorting his fellow-passengers to the last. The Draper Memorial Church in Adelaide commemorates the esteem in which he was held by the citizens.