Makemie, Francis (məkĕˈmē), c.1658–1708, American clergyman, considered the founder of Presbyterianism in America. Born in Ireland, he studied in Scotland and c.1682 was ordained a missionary to America. In 1683 he arrived in Maryland. He traveled and preached from the Carolinas to New York. Makemie organized Presbyterian churches at Snow Hill and Rehobeth, Md. In 1704 he went to England for funds and men to strengthen Presbyterianism in America; in 1706, through his efforts, the first presbytery in the country was organized in Philadelphia. Makemie was arrested and imprisoned (1707) by Gov. Cornbury of New York on the charge of preaching there without a license. Though acquitted, he had to pay heavy costs. He died in Virginia.
See biography by I. M. Page (1938); biographical study ed. by B. S. Schlenther (1971); C. A. Briggs, American Presbyterianism (1985).
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Makemie, Francis(c. 1658–1708) Protestant clergyman; born in County Donegal, Ireland. He was ordained about 1682 and sent to America as a missionary. He evangelized in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Barbados before settling down as a successful merchant and pastor at Rehobeth on Maryland's eastern shore; he founded the first presbytery in America in 1706. Regarded as the main founder of the Presbyterian Church in America, he encountered much official opposition in an era of religious intolerance and was arrested for his activities on at least two occasions.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.