Guide to the Papers of Alexander Macwhorter Pastor, Patriot 1795-1807 MG 128
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Inventory prepared by Bob Golon as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. March 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
The Reverend Alexander Macwhorter was born in Newcastle County, Delaware, on July 15, 1734. He entered the College of New Jersey in 1756 while the college was still located in Newark, New Jersey. In the autumn of 1756, the college relocated to Princeton. While there, Macwhorter studied under the college’s President, Aaron Burr. Upon graduation, Macwhorter continued his divinity studies in Freehold, New Jersey under the Reverend William Tennant, and was licensed to preach in 1758. He was assigned to go to North Carolina and Virginia to serve destitute congregations, but after a preaching engagement in Newark, New Jersey, the Newark Presbyterians prevailed upon the church hierarchy to assign Macwhorter to the First Presbyterian Church in Newark as Pastor. He would serve the church in Newark from 1759 until his death in 1807.
Macwhorter combined his ecclesiastical role with patriotic fervor during the Revolution. He traveled with George Washington to Trenton and was a spiritual advisor for Washington’s troops during the Christmas attack on the Hessians. After the Battle of Trenton, Macwhorter served as Chaplain to the Brigade of General Henry Knox.
Rev. Macwhorter returned to Newark in 1783 and resumed his role of Pastor. There he helped formulate the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church of the United States. Macwhorter served as a trustee for the College of New Jersey for 35 years, and in 1800, published his “Century Sermon,” describing the settlement and religious growth of the City of Newark. He was married to the Mary Cumming, whose father, Robert Cumming, was a respected merchant from Freehold, New Jersey. Alexander Macwhorter died on July 20, 1807, in Newark.
This collection consists of one bound volume, containing financial records from Alexander Macwhorter from 1795-1807. Included in these financial records are a chart of accounts, and chronological journal entries, detailing both incoming and outgoing transactions. Items mentioned in the transactions include supplies, food, rental income, wages, repairs, magazines and books. There are also journal entries listing the fees attained from the performance of weddings and funerals.
The collection also consists of one incoming letter to Macwhorter, from the Rev. Asa Hillyer, requesting a meeting of the Presbytery concerning an assignment of Rev. Israel Ward to a church in Danbury, Connecticut.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
For materials related to individuals and topics documented in this collection, see:
This collection should be cited as:Manuscript Group 128, Alexander Macwhorter Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Gift of Henry Congar, 1903.
Cyclopedia of New Jersey Biography Memorial and Biographical. Volume 1. New York City: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1923.
Ricord, Frederick W. Biographical and Genealogical history of the City of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey. New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1898.