Cartwright, Peter,1785–1872, American Methodist preacher, b. Virginia. He was a circuit rider in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois for nearly 50 years. In 1846 he was defeated as a candidate for Congress by Abraham Lincoln. An interest in education led Cartwright to aid in founding Illinois Wesleyan Univ. and Illinois Conference Female Academy (now MacMurray College). The methods and experiences of the pioneer preacher are vividly recorded in his autobiography (1857) and other books.
See biographies by H. H. Grant (1931) and S. and M. Greenbie (1955).