Alexander Archibald D.D., LL.D., an eminent Presbyterian clergyman, was born in Rockbridge Co., Va., April 17, 1772, was licensed to preach in 1791, and labored with great acceptance in his native state till 1796, when he accepted the presidency of Hampden Sidney College. By his wisdom and industry he soon imparted to the institution a more healthful and vigorous tone, as well as greatly increased the number of its students. In 1807 he removed to Philadelphia, taking charge of the Pine Street church. Made D.D. in 1810, Dr. Alexander was chosen in 1812 to the professorship of Didactic and Polemic Theology at the Princeton Seminary, then just organized. He continued in this office till his death, Oct. 22, 1851. As a preacher, he was very effective. As a teacher, "Dr. Alexander was possessed of a combination of qualities admirably fitted to secure both the respect and the affection of his students, and the strongest and most unanimous testimony has been borne by multitudes to the beneficial influence of his instructions and example in forming their religious character, in cultivating their intellectual powers, and in storing their minds with useful knowledge. Above eighteen hundred candidates for the ministry had studied under his superintendence, of whom about sixteen hundred were alive at the time of his death, most of them occupied as pastors in the two leading branches of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, but not a few also as missionaries among the heathen. While his great talents and acquirements, his sound judgment, and his profound piety secured their esteem and confidence, his unaffected simplicity, his cordial kindliness, and his hearty vivacity called forth a very large measure of personal affection. He filled for forty years, with powers that scarcely exhibited any symptom of decay, a situation of great influence; he was able and willing to improve fully his opportunities of usefulness; and thus he became a great benefactor to his Church and country, by exerting a most powerful and wholesome influence on the formation of the character of a large number of men who are now making full proof of their ministry, and are workmen that "need not to be ashamed" (Brit. Qu. Rev. 1854). His principal works are: Brief Compendium of Bible Truth (N. Y. 12mo): — Advice to a young Christian (Phila.): — Annals of the Jewish Nation (N. Y.): — Bible Dict. (18mo, Phila.): — Christian Experience (Phila. 1840, 12mo): —
Evidences of Christianity (12mo, Phila. 1825; often reprinted): Hist. of the Patriarchs (1833, Phila.): — Canon of O. and N.T. (Phila. 1851, 12mo): — History of Colonization (8vo, 1846): — History of the Israelitish Nation (Phila. 1853, 8vo). His "Moral Science" (12mo) was a posthumous publication. He left also many MSS., which will, it is to be hoped, be published hereafter. — Sprague, Annals, 3, 612; Memoir, by Rev. J. W. Alexander (N. Y. 1854, 8vo); Brit. and For. Evang. Review, 1854, p. 584; Meth. Quar. Rev. 1862, p. 250.