Grellet, Stephen

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Stephen Grellet (grĕlĕt´), 1773–1855, Quaker missionary, b. France; son of well-to-do Roman Catholic parents. His name originally was Étienne de Grellet du Mabillier. He fled France at the time of the Revolution and eventually immigrated (1795) to the United States, where at Newtown (now part of Queens, New York City) he was converted to the beliefs of the Quakers. In 1796 he joined the Society of Friends; in 1798 he was recorded a minister of that body. He engaged in trade in New York City; his profits financed his extraordinary missionary tours. In the United States they extended through all the settled parts W to Illinois, N into Canada, and S to New Orleans. Four extended tours were made in Europe, where every major country was visited; interviews were granted to Grellet by many of the reigning sovereigns. He was deeply interested in education, in prison and hospital conditions, in provision for the poor, and in other social problems. He inquired into conditions and made recommendations in every country that he visited. His memoirs (1860) were edited by Benjamin Seebohm.