Biographies are developed by PHC volunteers and staff from original research and from various published sources, such as 1884 "Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America," by Alfred Nevin. This list is constantly being updated. Corrections and additional materials, such as photos or drawings will be made from time to time. There also is a missionary biographical listing being prepared for this web site. During 2010, there will be a master index of ministers and missionaries to aid in searches. Thanks for your patience. Please email additional information or pictures to the PHC.
Biographical Index of Ministers A
The Rev. Jeremiah Abel
(d. after 1802)
The Rev. Jer. Abel was marked absent at the first meeting of the Synod of Kentucky at Lexington, Ky., in 1802 and was designated a member of the Presbytery of Transylvania.
The Rev. Willliam Aikman, D.D.
(Aug. 12, 1824 - 1909)
From The West Jersey Presbyterian: the Rev. Dr. William Aikman was born in New York City, August 12, 1824, of Scotch, Huguenot and Dutch ancestry. Dr. Aikman was baptized in the Pearl Street Presbyterian Church of New York, and became a member there by profession of faith in his fifteenth year. Dr. Aikman was prepared for college at an academy in New York and entered New York University in the fall of 1842. He was graduated with honor the English salutatory in 1846. He entered Union Theological Seminary the same year and was graduated in 1849. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Fourth Presbytery of New York, and was ordained by the Presbytery of Newark at his installation as pastor of the Sixth Presbyterian Church of Newark, N. J., December 1849. He was called to the Hanover Church, Wilmington, Del., in the spring of 1857. In 1869, he was called to the Spring Street Presbyterian Church, N. Y. In 1872, he was called to the Westminster Church, Detroit, Mich. In 1877, he was called to Aurora, N. Y. In 1881, a nearly fatal illness compelled his resignation. In making his recovery, he came to Atlantic City and in the summer of 1883 was called to the First Presbyterian Church. He accepted it and was installed pastor in April 1884. He continued pastor until his resignation in 1894. He received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from his alma mater, New York University, in 1869. He was moderator of the Synod of Pennsylvania at its meeting in Washington, D. C., in 1863. Dr. Aikman was the author of the Personal letter which was addressed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (N. S.), in 1861, expressing in a more personal manner to President Lincoln the sentiments of the church in reference to himself and the great issues with which he was called to deal. Dr. Aikman had been many times a delegate (commissioner) to the General Assembly.
In 1864 Dr. Aikman, in conjunction with Mr. Binghart, a prominent citizen of Wilmington, was appointed by the Governor of Delaware to go to the front and look after the welfare of the Delaware soldiers.
By his 81st year, Dr. Aikman had been president of a local branch of the N. J. Society for Homeless Children for six or eight years; had been for over five years probation officer for Atlantic County, N.J.; had charge for over a year of the mid-week prayer meeting of the First Presbyterian Church of Atlantic City; preached and lectured more than an average of once every week.
Dr. Aikman married July 25, 1849, Anna Matilda Burns. They had four sons and three daughters.
A list of Dr. Aikman’s more prominent publications is given as follows: Our Country Strong in its Isolation, 1851; Seductive Power of the Romish Ritual; Government and Administration; The Moral Power of the Sea, Phila., 1864, 12 mo.; Life at Home, or the Family and its Members, N. Y., 1870, 12 mo.; The Altar in the House, N. Y.; Talks on Married Life and things Adjacent, N. Y., 1884.
The Rev. Timothy Alden
(Aug. 28, 1771 - July 5, 1839)
The Rev. Timothy Alden was of Puritan ancestry. He was born at Yarmouth, Mass., August 28, 1771. He entered Harvard in 1790 and was graduated in 1794. While teaching at Marblehead, Mass., he was licensed to preach the gospel. On November 20, 1799, he was ordained, as co-pastor with Dr. Haven, of the church of Portsmouth, N. H. He resigned his charge July 31, 1805, but continued his labors there until 1808, when he opened a ladies' school in Boston. In 1810, he took charge of the young ladies' department in the Academy at Newark, N. Y., and after a few years opened a school for young ladies in the city of New York. On July 28, 1817, he was inaugurated President and Professor in the Faculty of Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa. He became a member of the Presbytery of Erie, April 2, 1816. He labored for many successive years among the Seneca and Munsee Indians, who had reservations in northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York. Mr. Alden's connection with Allegheny College terminated in November 1831. He opened a boarding school in Cincinnati in 1832, and in 1834 took charge of the Academy at East Liberty, Pa., becoming also stated supply to the congregation of Pine Creek, in that region. He died on July 5, 1839.
Besides many occasional sermons and addresses, Rev. Alden published, in 1814, "A collection of American Epitaphs," in five volumes, and in 1827, a "History of Sundry Missions," and in 1821, a "Hebrew Catechism."
The Rev. Archibald Alexander, D.D., LL.D.
(April 17, 1772 - Oct. 22, 1851)
The Rev. Dr. Archibald Alexander was born near Lexington, Va., on April 17, 1772. His classical and theological studies were pursued under the direction of the Rev. William Graham, of Liberty Hall, afterward Washington College. He was licensed to preach the gospel at the early age of nineteen. After spending a year or more in missionary labor according to the rules of the Synod, he was ordained and installed pastor of Briery Church, November 7, 1794. In 1796 he was chosen President of Hampden-Sydney College at the age of twenty-four. On May 20, 1807, he was installed pastor of the Pine Street Church, Philadelphia. In the same year, being thirty-five, he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly, and in his sermon made the suggestion of a Theological Seminary. In 1812 he was appointed Professor in the Theological Seminary just established at Princeton. Here he remained for the rest of his life.
Dr. Alexander was seized with his final illness in the summer of 1851. He died on October 22, 1851.
Dr. Alexander's published writings are too numerous to recite here. We may only mention "History of the Colonization Society," "Evidences of the Christian Religion," "Thoughts on Religion," "Counsels to the Aged," "Practical Sermons." He also published numerous tracts and was a frequent contributor to the Princeton Review.
The Rev. Caleb Alexander
(July 22, 1755 - April 12, 1828)
The Rev. Caleb Alexander was born in Northfield, Mass., July 22, 1755. He graduated at Yale in 1777 and took his second degree at Brown University in 1789. On October 14, 1778, he was licensed to preach the gospel by the Eastern Association of New London County. On February 28, 1781, he became pastor of the church in New Marlborough and on April 12, 1786, was installed as pastor of the church in Mendon, Mass. In 1801, he was appointed by the Massachusetts Missionary Society to visit the churches and Indians in the western part of New York. He resigned as pastor of his church on December 7, 1802, to go west. On his return to the State of New York, he divided his ministerial labors among the three churches of Salisbury, Norway and Fairfield. In 1812 he became Principal of an academy at Onondaga Hollow. After resigning the academy, he engaged in the founding of the Theological Seminary at Auburn. He died on April 12, 1828.
The Rev. David Alexander
The Rev. David Alexander was a native of Ireland. He may have been educated at the Log College and licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Newcastle. He was ordained and installed pastor of Pequea Church, in the Presbytery of Donegal, October 18, 1738. The West End (Leacock) petitioned that a portion of his time be given to them. In 1741 Leacock was declared by the Synod entitled to all the privileges of any vacant congregation. Mr. Alexander was suspended by his Presbytery until satisfaction was given for his refusal to submit to the government of the church. The conjunct Presbyteries of New Brunswick and Newcastle appointed him, on account of "the necessity in the Great Valley," to supply there. From that time his history cannot be traced.
The Rev. Joseph Alexander, D.D.
(d. July 30, 1809)
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Alexander was graduated at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) in 1760 and was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of New Castle in 1767. The same year he was installed pastor of the Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church, in North Carolina, where he established a classical school. In a few years he became pastor of Union Church, S. C., where he remained until 1773, when he was installed pastor of Bullock's Creek Church and continued as pastor until 1801. He died, July 30, 1809.
The Rev. Francis Alison, D.D.
(1705 - Nov. 28, 1779)
The Rev. Dr. Francis Alison (shown in a portrait by Frank E. Schoonover, University of Delaware permanent collection) was born in the parish of Lac, County of Donegal, Ireland, in 1705. He came as a probationer to this country in 1734 or '35. On the recommendation of Franklin, he was employed by John Dickinson, of Delaware, the author of the "Farmer's Letters," as the tutor of his son. Leave to take a few other pupils was granted, and he is said to have had an academy at Thunder Hill, Md. He was ordained pastor of New London, by the Presbytery of New Castle, before May 1737. In 1749 he was invited to take charge of the Philadelphia Academy. This institution was incorporated in 1750, endowed in 1753, and became a college in 1755, at which time Mr. Alison was appointed its Vice Provost and Professor of Moral Philosophy. He was also assistant minister of First Presbyterian Church. In 1758, he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University at Glasgow. He was the first of our ministers who received that honor.
On the union of the Synods, on May 24, 1758, Dr. Alison preached the sermon. He went with Colonel Byrd as chaplain to the expedition to Fort Cumberland and remained from August to November. He was the agent in the establishment of the Widows' Fund in our Church and was active in the convention with the Connecticut ministers to withstand the gradual but determined innovations of Churchmen and the Crown on our liberties as citizens and Christians. He died on November 28, 1779.
The Rev. Hector Alison
(b. before 1726)
The Rev. Hector Alison was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Presbytery of New Castle in 1746. In 1750 he was sent for eight Sabbaths to Western Virginia and seems to have labored in that region for some time. He was settled at Drawyers from 1753 to 1758. In 1760 he went as chaplain to the Pennsylvania forces, and in answer to a very pressing application made to the Synod in May of that year, he was directed to act as a supply there until July. He joined the Presbytery of New Castle after the union in 1761 and was released in a little time from his charge at Appoquinimy. A call was received by him from Baltimore, but the proposal was so unsatisfactory that it was not accepted. In December, 1761, he was dismissed from the Presbytery probably with a view to joining the Presbytery of South Carolina, and settled at Williamsburg, S. C.
The Rev. Moses Allen
(d. February 8, 1779)
The Rev. Moses Allen was born in Northampton, Mass. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, February 1, 1774, and on March 10, 1775, was ordained at Charleston, S. C., and installed pastor of an Independent Church at Wappetaw. In 1777 he resigned his charge and moved to Liberty County, Ga., where he became pastor of the Midway Presbyterian Church; but the next year his congregation was dispersed and his church burned. He entered the army as chaplain and was taken prisoner. In attempting to escape, by swimming from the prison ship in which he was confined, he was drowned, February 8, 1779.
The Rev. Patrick Allison, D.D.
(1740 - August 21, 1802)
The Rev. Dr. Patrick Allison was born in Franklin (or what was then known as Lancaster) County, Pa., in 1740. He graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1760. Shortly after he left the University he began his theological studies but in 1761 was appointed Professor in the Academy at Newark, Del., which office he accepted. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Second Presbytery of Philadelphia in March 1763. In August of that year, he was invited to a church in Baltimore and in 1765 was ordained its pastor, in which relation he continued for thirty-five years, until his death on August 21, 1802. He represented the Presbytery of Baltimore at the first meeting of the General Assembly in Philadelphia in 1789.
The Rev. Isaac Anderson
(March 26, 1780 - Jan. 28, 1857)
The Rev. Isaac Anderson was born in Rockbridge County, Va., March 26, 1780. Having prepared himself for the ministry, he was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Union, in May 1802 and in the following Autumn was installed pastor of Washington Church, Knox County, Tenn. Here he labored for about nine years, during which time he also performed missionary service. In the Spring of 1811 he was called to the New Providence Church, Maryville, took charge of it the next autumn, and there performed the principal part of the labors of his life. The Southwest Theological Seminary, at Maryville, was established chiefly through his instrumentality, and he taught there for many years. He died on January 28, 1857.
The Rev. James Anderson
The Rev. James Anderson was born in Scotland, November 17, 1678. He was ordained to the gospel ministry by the Presbytery of Irvine on November 17, 1708, with a view to his settlement in Virginia. He arrived in the Rappahannock, April 22, 1709, but the state of things not warranting his stay, he came northward and was received by the Presbytery on September 20. He settled at New Castle, Del. In 1717 he accepted a call to a congregation in New York City. On September 24, 1726, he received a call to Donegal, on the Susquehanna, and accepted it. He was installed the last Wednesday in August 1727. In September 1729 he began to give every fifth Sabbath to the people on Swatara and joined the congregation of Derry. In April 1738, at the behest of John Caldwell, the founder of Cub Creek Congregation in Charlotte County, Va., the Presbytery decided to ask the Synod to send a deputation to solicit the Virginia Government’s favor in behalf of Presbyterianism there. The Synod wrote to the Governor and sent Mr. Anderson to bear the letter, providing supplies for his pulpit, and allowing for his expenses. He died, July 16, 1743.
He was a charter member of the Presbytery of Donegal, October 11, 1732, and was Moderator of the Synod of Philadelphia, May 23, 1739. In February 1713 he married Suit Garland, daughter of Sylvester Garland of the head of Apoquiminy, by whom he had eleven children. She died, December 24, 1836, and he married Rebecca Crawford of Donegal, Pa.
The Rev. John Anderson, D.D.
The Rev. Dr. John Anderson was born in Guilford County, N. C., April 10, 1767. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Orange, N. C., in 1791, and shortly afterwards was ordained as an evangelist. After laboring two years in the southern part of North Carolina, and the northern part of South Carolina, from 1793 to 1798 or '99, he itinerated through the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, sometimes crossing the Ohio and preaching to the settlements in what is now Ohio and Indiana. In 1801 he began his labors in Upper Buffalo Church, Washington County, Pa., and was installed as its pastor the next year, a relation which he held until it was dissolved by his own request, on account of declining health, January 15, 1833.
Dr. Anderson conducted the theological education of a large number of young men. Under the direction of the old Board of Trustees of the Western Missionary Society, he made several tours to the Wyandotte Indians, on the Sandusky River. He was also largely instrumental in founding the mission of the Maumee, and visited it once, in company with the Rev. E. Macurdy, with a view to settling some existing difficulties. In forming the present General Assembly's Board of Foreign Missions, at Pittsburg in 1831, he gave it his support until his death, January 5, 1835.
The Rev. John Andrews
(b. pre 1794)
In 1813 the Rev. John Andrews was accepted by the Presbytery of Washington from the Presbytery of West Lexington. He started a Presbyterian newspaper at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1814, which was afterwards merged into the Presbyterian Banner of Pittsburg, Penn. He was dismissed from the Presbytery of Chillicothe, formerly the Presbytery of Washington, to the Presbytery of Redstone in 1822.
The Rev. Jedediah Andrews
The Rev. Jedediah Andrews was born at Hingham, Mass., July 7, 1674. He was graduated at Harvard in 1695. In 1698 he came to Philadelphia and preached in a building which had been used as a storeroom by the "Barbados Company." He was probably ordained in the fall of 1701, for his "Record of Baptisms and Marriages" begins 1701, tenth month, fourteenth day. His congregation was the first, and for many years, the only Presbyterian Church in the city. The church is said to have been in some sense, Congregational, but it was represented by elders in Presbytery from the first.
In September 1733 Mr. Andrews referred a request to the Synod that he should be allowed an assistant in the ministry. The congregation could not agree in the choice of an assistant; the preference of some being for Jonathan Dickinson, and of others for Robert Cross. While the matter was in debate, the friends of the latter asked of the Synod that they might organize a new congregation and be authorized to call a minister for themselves. Their request was granted, with the understanding that they were not obliged to form a distinct society, but might do so, if, upon mature reflection, they thought best. The new congregation had various supplies until 1737, when Robert Cross accepted their call. The two congregations were then united.
Mr. Andrews was recording clerk of the Presbytery and of the Synod until his death in 1747.
The Rev. Wells Andrews
The Rev. Wells Andrews was born in Hartland, Conn., on November 21, 1787. He was graduated from Jefferson College in 1812 and attended Princeton Theological Seminary, 1814-16. He was licensed to preach the gospel in 1816 and did missionary work in Bedford County, Pa., and Wilmington, N. C., 1816-17. He was received by the Presbytery of Winchester from the Presbytery of New Brunswick on November 12, 1817, and ordained January 11, 1818, in the Second Presbyterian Church of Alexandria, Va. He was dismissed October 29, 1824, to join the Presbytery of D. C. He was the pastor of the congregation at Hartford Centre, Conn., 1827-37 and was a pastor at Oglethorpe University, 1837-43. He joined the New School branch. He spent time in Prairie and Tremont, Ill., 1843-1855, and Washington, Ill., 1856-67, all in Tazewell County. He died, February 14, 1867.
The Rev. Amzi Armstrong, D.D.
The Rev. Dr. Amzi Armstrong was born in Florida, Orange County, N. Y., on December 1, 1771. He began the study of languages when he was quite young, under the tutelage of the Rev. Amzi Lewis, then pastor of the Church at Florida. Subsequent to this he spent two years as a member of Dr. Dwight's school at Greenfield, Conn. He was never connected as a student with any college. After studying theology under the direction of the Rev. Jedediah Chapman, he was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of New York, October 23, 1795. He was installed pastor of the church in Mendham, N. J., November 29, 1796, and continued in this relationship for twenty years. On October 2, 1816, he took charge of an academy in Bloomfield and remained its Principal until about a year before his death, March 4, 1827.
The Rev. James Francis Armstrong
The Rev. James Francis Armstrong was of Irish extraction and was born at West Nottingham, Md., April 3, 1750. He was graduated at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) in 1773 and was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of New Castle in January 1777. He was ordained by the same Presbytery in January 1778 and on the 17th of July following was appointed by Congress "Chaplain to the second brigade of the Maryland Forces." In June 1782 he began preaching to the Church in Elizabethtown, N. J., and he supplied that pulpit for nearly a year, when he was compelled to resign due to poor health. In April 1787 Mr. Armstrong accepted a call to Trenton. The charge included, besides the church in town, one a few miles distant in the county, known in later years as "Trenton First Church." In April 1787 the former church found a separate supply. He then served the town church alone until September 1790, from which date, until 1806, he was the joint pastor of the Trenton and Lawrenceville congregations. He was a delegate (commissioner) from the Presbytery of New Brunswick for the first meeting of the General Assembly in 1789. Mr. Armstrong died, January 19, 1816.
The Rev. Thomas Arthur
The Rev. Thomas Arthur graduated at Yale in 1743 and was, on being licensed to preach the gospel, employed for a time at Stratfield, Conn. He was ordained and installed by the Presbytery of New York as pastor at New Brunswick in 1746. He was one of the original trustees of New Jersey College. He died, February 2, 1750-1.
The Rev. William Mayo Atkinson, D.D.
The Rev. Dr. William Mayo Atkinson was the son of Robert and Mary Tabb (Mayo) Atkinson, and was born at Powhatan, Chesterfield County, Va., April 22, 1796. He graduated at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) in 1814. He was admitted to the bar and practiced his profession in Petersburg until 1833. He was licensed to preach the gospel by the Presbytery of East Hanover, June 17, 1833, and ordained as an evangelist, April 26, 1834. Shortly after his licensure, he traveled extensively in Virginia as an agent of the Virginia Bible Society, and after a year or two his field was enlarged so as to include several of the other Southern States. On resigning, he supplied vacancies for a few years in Chesterfield County and in the vicinity of Petersburg. He was installed pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Winchester in February 1839. In the spring of 1846 he resigned this charge and accepted an Agency for the Board of Education of the Presbyterian Church. He died, February 24, 1849. He married Rebecca Bassett Marsden of Norfolk on July 10, 1821, and they had twelve children. She died in 1844. He married, secondly, Betty J. White in Winchester, January, 1846, and they had two children. He was the brother of the Rev. John Mayo Pleasants Atkinson and the Rev. Joseph Mayo Atkinson.