Matthias a religious impostor whose real name was Robert Matthew, was born in Washington County, N. Y., about 1790. He kept a country-store, but failed in 1816, and went to New York City. In 1827 he removed to Albany, where he became much excited by the preaching of Messrs. Kirk and Finney; made himself active in the temperance cause; claimed to have received a revelation, and began street-preaching; failing to convert Albany, he prophesied its destruction, and fled secretly to New York City, where he was tried and acquitted on the charge of poisoning a wealthy disciple in wh.ose family he had lived. His impositions exposed, he soon disappeared from public view. See Matthias and his Impostures, by W. L. Stone (New York, 1835); Drake, Dict. Amer. Biog. s.v.