Finding aid for the Alexander Taggart McGill Papers

Alexander Taggart McGill Papers
Ohio University
Phone: 740-593-2710
McGill, Alexander Taggart
0.3 cubic feet
Correspondence to McGill attempting to persuade him to become the President of Ohio University.
The records are in English

Biography of Alexander Taggart McGill

Alexander Taggart McGill was born at Canonsburg, PA on February 24, 1807. He graduated from Jefferson College at Canonsburg and then entered the Associate Presbyterian Seminary. He had to suspend his studies because of his health. He then taught at the Baldwin Academy in Milledgeville, GA and enter the bar in that state in 1830. He also was appointed as Surveyor of the Cherokee Land Reservation by the state legislature. He returned to Canonsburg in 1831 and was ordained in the ministry in 1835 by the Associate Presbyterian Synod at Carlisle, PA, becoming a minister to four small congregations. He left the Associate Synod in 1838 and joined the Old School Presbytery of Carlisle. He was a Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Church Government at the Western Theological Seminary (now the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) in Allegheny from 1842 to 1852 and 1853 to 1854. In between he taught at the Columbia Seminary in South Carolina. In 1854 he became the Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Princeton Seminary in New Jersey and remained there until 1883. He became Moderator of the General Assembly (Old Style) in 1848 and became Stated Clerk from 1850 to 1870. He received honorary degrees from Marshall College and the College of New Jersey. McGill authored many books and pamphlets, including several that dicussed the Church's position on slavery. He married Eleanor A. McCulloch of Lewistown, PA on May 18, 1837 and had three sons and three daughters. Eleanor died on March 6, 1873. He married Catherine Bache Hodge of Princeton nine years later. She died on July 3, 1884. He died in Princeton on January 13, 1889.

Scope and Content

The Collection contains correspondence dating from 1843 - 1848 written to Alexander Taggert McGill by various members of the trustees and faculty of Ohio University in an effort to persuade him to accept the presidency of the University. Most of the letters were published in "The Crisis at Ohio University, 1843 - 1848," Mooresfield Antiquarian, vol. 2, no. 3, November 1938. There are 27 original letters as well as correspondence between C.W. McClellan, editor of Mooresfield Antiquarian and Thomas N. Hoover and others regarding publication of the letters. There are also typewritten transcriptions of each letter, done by McClellan, and a complete set of photocopies of the transcriptions arranged chronologically.

Statement of Arrangement

This collection remains in its original arrangement.

Subject Terms

The following terms have been used to describe this collection.


Ohio University.


McGill, Alexander Taggart.

Preferred Citation

Researchers are requested to cite collection name, collection number, and Ohio University, Athens, Ohio in all footnotes and bibliographical references.