Biographies

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Cyrus H. McCormick, 1809-1884

September 10th, 2018, at 1:00 pm

This biography is not about a minister but instead tells the story of a Presbyterian layman who was an inventor and industrialist. His life began on the farm as did so many of the lives of antebellum entrepreneurs. Cyrus’s father, Robert, was born at Walnut Grove, Rockbridge County, Virginia, June 4, 1780, into the household of a […]

The surnames of Alexander, Miller, Hodge, and Warfield represent familiar  faculty from the history of Princeton Theological Seminary, but despite his having taught in the seminary for nearly thirty years, Alexander Taggart McGill is not very well known. He was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1807, to his Scots-Irish parents, John, who was a weaver, […]

James Isaac Vance was born September 25, 1862 in Arcadia, Tennessee to Charles Robertson and Margaret (Newland) Vance. Charles and Margaret had been married in the fall of 1860 by Rev. Daniel Rogan of Kingsport. At the time of his birth, his father was serving in the Confederate Army. His mother lived in Arcadia with […]

The Second General Presbyterian Council of The Presbyterian Alliance convened representatives from all over the world in Philadelphia beginning September 23 and continuing to its adjournment on the Lord’s Day of October 3, 1880. Both the Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor heartily welcomed the convention when it first assembled in the Academy of Fine Arts. […]

Even though the United States did not enter the First World War until 1917, there were several Americans that defied President Wilson’s policy against U.S. involvement and left the country to help in the war effort. One of the many men and women that decided to cross the Atlantic and assist France in its fight against the […]

The cabin pictured is currently in Greenfield Village of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, where it was relocated from its original site. It is a typical small pioneer cabin with simple notched interlocking squared-log construction, an entrance door of simple boards, and a large fireplace for heating and cooking. In this cabin was […]

James was born to James and Elizabeth Blythe in recently established Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, October 28, 1765. According to W. B. Sprague in Annals of the American Pulpit, young James was receiving a classical education in a local school at his father’s behest when he decided he did not care for some of the […]

Scottish Highlanders settled in Robeson and Scotland Counties in North Carolina having journeyed up the Cape Fear River from the coast. They established homes and farms along the upper tributaries and along the meandering river. To the west of the Highlanders were Scots Irish and to their east were English, Huguenot, Welsh, and German settlers. […]

Edward Payson Davis was born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, July 12, 1851. His father, Thomas, was from South Carolina but had moved across the state line to complete his college program in Davidson, and then he travelled further north into Virginia to study for the ministry in Union Theological Seminary in Farmville. Thomas was ordained […]

Samuel James Pierce was born to Anne Walthall Spencer and Sterling C. Anderson in Mt. Hybla, Prince Edward County, Virginia, Dec. 25, 1814 (or Dec. 5). The early years of his life were spent in the country on the family farm where his preparation for college included attendance in a local school and instruction from […]

John Holt was born July 23, 1818 in Petersburg, Virginia, the first son of Martha Alexander and Benjamin Holt Rice. At the time his father was pastor of the recently established Tabb Street Presbyterian Church. His mother was the younger sister of founding professor of Princeton Seminary, Archibald Alexander. Newly born John was named for […]

A special service was held at five o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 5, 1885, on the campus of Union Theological Seminary to dedicate a memorial plaque honoring Rev. John Holt Rice, D.D. At the time, the seminary was located on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College, but it relocated in 1898 to Richmond where […]