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Scottish American Ministers

Francis Makemie (c. 1658-1708), the organizer of the first American Presbytery, was born in Ulster of Scots parentage. In 1676 he went to Glasgow to attend the classes in the University there, and his name still stands in the matriculation register of the University: "Franciscus Makemius ... Scoto-Hibernus," i.e. Francis Makemie, a Scot of Ireland. In 1683 he was ordained by the Presbytery of Laggan and sent over to the American colonies, where he immediately began the organization of churches and presbyteries. William Traill, another Scot, Moderator of the Presbytery of Laggan, was sent over shortly before Makemie but he confined his work to preaching. George Gillespie (1683-1760), born in Glasgow, was one of the earliest ordained ministers in New Jersey and Delaware. Alexander Garden (1685-1756), an Episcopalian, born in Edinburgh, settled in Charleston, South Carolina, as Rector of St. Philip's Episcopal Church. Samuel Auchmuty (1722-77), son of the eminent Scottish lawyer of Boston, was Rector of Trinity Church, New York city, and had charge of all the churches there. Thomas Gordon, the "fighting parson" of Bacon's Rebellion (1676) was a Scot. Henry Barclay (1712-64), Rector of Trinity Church, New York, Trustee of the New York Society Library, and a Governor of Columbia University, was the son of John Barclay, a Scot, Surveyor General of East New Jersey. Robert Sandeman (1718-71), born in Perth, and died in Danbury, Connecticut, was principal founder of the Sandemanians or Glassites. John Mason, a native of Linlithgow, "one of the most accomplished preachers and pastors of his day," was appointed Minister of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, New York, in 1761. James Caldwell (1734-81), soldier parson of the Revolution, was of Scots parentage or descent. Finding the Revolutionary soldiers short of wadding he distributed the church hymn books among them, with the exhortation, "Now, boys, put Watts into them." His son, John E. Caldwell, was one of the founders of the American Bible Society. Alexander McWhorter (1734-1807), of Scottish parentage, took an active part in Revolutionary matters and was a Trustee of Princeton College. McWhorter Street in Newark, New Jersey, is named in his honor. James Waddell (1739-1805), famous in Virginia as "The Blind Preacher," was probably a grandson or great-grandson of William Waddell of Monkland parish, Scotland, one of the prisoners captured at Bothwell Brig in 1679. Samuel McClintock (1732-1804), minister of Greenland, New Hampshire, of Scottish origin, was present at Bunker Hill and appears in Trumbull's painting of the battle. Four of his sons served in the Revolutionary war. Alexander McLeod (1774-1833), born in the island of Mull, died in New York as Pastor of the First Reformed Church. Described as "a powerful preacher, a man of learning and wisdom, and a devout Christian." George Buist (1770-1808), born in Fifeshire, Scotland, educated in Edinburgh, "one of the most eloquent and distinguished divines of his day," was Pastor of the Scots Church in Charleston and President of the College of Charleston. Alexander Campbell (1786-1866), founder of the Campbellites, was born in Antrim of Scots ancestry. Walter Scott, another of the founders, was born in Moffat, Dumfriesshire. John Dempster (1794-1843), founder of Boston Theological Seminary, which afterwards became the Theological School of Boston University, was of Scots parentage. Peter Douglas Gorrie (1813-84), clergyman, and historian of the Methodist Church in the United States, was born in Glasgow. John McClintock (1814-70), of Drew Theological Seminary and leading editor of McClintock and Strong's "Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature," was of Scottish descent. Robert Stuart MacArthur, born in Canada, in 1841, of Scots parentage, Minister of Calvary Baptist Church, New York, has published many volumes of sermons, essays, and narratives of travel. Robert Mackenzie (b. 1845), President of San Francisco Theological Seminary, was born in Cromarty. Robert McIntyre (b. 1851), Methodist Episcopal Bishop of California, was born in Selkirk. Joseph Plumb Cochran, Medical Missionary to Persia, the "Hakim Sahib" of the natives, was grandson of a Scot. John Alexander Dowie (1848-1907), founder of the so-called "Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion," was born in Edinburgh. Mary M. Baker Glover Eddy (1821-1910), claimed partly Scots descent (from MacNeils of Barra).

Charles Pettigrew (1743-1807), Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, was of Scottish descent. James Kemp (1764-1827), second Bishop of Maryland, was born at Keithhall in Aberdeenshire. Charles Pettit McIlvaine (1799-1873), Bishop of Ohio (1832-73), author of "Evidences of Christianity," 1832, was also of Scottish origin, from the MacIlvaines of Ayrshire. William Edward McLaren (1831-1905), third Bishop of Chicago, was grandson of a Scot. The first missionary Bishop of Duluth, James Dow Morrison (b. 1844), was son of Rev. John Morrison and his wife who emigrated from Glasgow in 1837. Abram Newkirk Littlejohn (1824-91), first Bishop of Long Island, was a descendant of Hugh Littlejohn of Perthshire. James Steptoe Johnston (b. 1843), second Bishop of western Texas, was of Scottish descent; and Hugh Miller Thompson (1830-1902), second Bishop of Mississippi, was an Ulster Scot, born in Londonderry.

Richard Gilmour (1824-91), second Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland (1872-91), born in Glasgow, Scotland, of Presbyterian parents, was noted for his zeal in behalf of Catholic education. Robert Seton (b. 1839), a descendent of the Setons of Winton, was created Archbishop of Heliopolis in 1903. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (1774-1821), of the same family, was founder of the Roman Catholic Order of Sisters of Charity (1809), of which she was the first Mother Superior.

John McLean (1759-1823), merchant and philanthropist, was founder of McLean Asylum for Insane at Somerville, Massachusetts. Robert Rantoul (1778-1848), of Scottish parentage, worked hard to ameliorate the criminal legislation of the country, and took part in establishing a charity school at Beverly, Massachusetts, which was said to be the first Sunday School in America. Mrs. Graham, a Scotswoman, celebrated in New York city for her benevolence and charity, founded a Sunday School in New York for young women in 1792. The movement however languished for some years until her daughter, Mrs. Bethune, also born in Scotland, organized the Female Sabbath School Union of New York in 1816. By her work in this connection Mrs. Bethune earned her title of "Mother of Sabbath Schools in America." Fanny Wright (1795-1852), Madame Frances D'Arusmont, born in Dundee, Scotland, lectured extensively in the United States on social, religious, and political questions, and was the author of "Views on Society and Manners in America," etc. Robert Dale Owen (1801-77), born in Glasgow, social reformer, spiritualist, author, and Member of Congress from Indiana (1843-47), was a strong advocate of negro emancipation. James Miller McKim (1810-1874), of Ulster Scot descent, was one of the organizers of the National Anti-Slavery Society (1835), later publishing agent of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, and in 1865 one of the founders of the New York "Nation." Albert Brisbane (1809-90), of Scottish and English descent, was the "Father of American Fourierism." Albert Keith Smiley (1828-1912), educator and reformer, was born in Maine of Scottish ancestry; and Thomas Kirby Cree, of Ulster Scot origin, was Secretary for twenty-five years of the International Committee of the Young Mens' Christian Association. John MacVicar born in Canada in 1859 of Scottish parents, was one of the originators of the Commission form of government, developing what became known as the "Des Moines Plan." James Duncan, born in Kincardine in 1857, is the well-known Labor Leader.

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