Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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McWHORTER, Alexander, clergyman, born in Newcastle, Delaware, 26 July, 1734 ; died in Newark, New Jersey, 20 July, 1807. His parents, who were of Scotch descent, removed to this country from Ireland in 1730, and settled in Newcastle, where his father, formerly a linen-merchant, became a farmer and an active member of the Presbyterian church. The son was graduated at Princeton in 1757, studied theology with William Tennent, was licensed to preach in 1758, and in the following year became pastor of a church in Newark, New Jersey In 1764 he was appointed by the synod of New York and Philadelphia to a mission in North Carolina, where his friends were settled, returning to Newark in 1766 after a visit to Boston. In 1775 he was sent by congress to western North Carolina to persuade the royalists to unite with the patriot cause, and in 1776 he visited the American army in its camp opposite Trenton, to confer with regard to measures for protecting the state, and was present at the passage of the Delaware and the surprise of the Hessians. In 1778, at the solicitation of General Henry Knox, he acted as chaplain of Knox's artillery brigade. In 1779 he accepted a pastorate and the presidency of Charlotte academy in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, from which place he was compelled to flee before the approach of Cornwallis's army, losing his library and other possessions. He was recalled to Newark in 1781, where he remained until his death. In 1788 he aided in forming the constitution of the Presbyterian church of the United States, and was a trustee of the general assembly. He was also a trustee of Princeton college for thirty-five years, and took an active part in soliciting funds in New England for rebuilding the college after the fire of 1802. Yale gave him the degree of D. D. in 1776. He published a "Century Sermon " describing the settlement and progress of Newark (1800), and a collection of sermons (2 vols., Newark, 1803).--His grandson, Alexander, clergyman, born in Newark, New Jersey, 1 January, 1822; died in New Haven, Connecticut, 28 June. 1880, was graduated at Yale in 1842, studied three years in the theological department there, and was licensed to preach in 1844. In 1859-'60 he was professor of metaphysics and English literature in Troy university. He received deacon's orders in the" Protestant Episcopal church in 1863. He was a profound Hebrew scholar, and, in addition to magazine articles upon metaphysics and theology, was the author of "Yahveh Christ, or the Memorial Name," with an introductory letter by Nathaniel W. Taylor, D.D. (Boston, 1857). The object of this work is to prove that the Hebrew word Jehovah should be Yahveh, denoting Christ.
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