Smith, William (3), Dd

Smith, William (3), D.D., an Episcopalian clergyman, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1727, and was graduated at the college in his native city in 1747. For three years he taught a parochial school, and in 1750 came to the United States. He acted as private tutor in the family of Gov. Martin, on Long Island, for two years, when he was invited to take charge of the Seminary in Philadelphia, which has since become the University of Pennsylvania. He accepted, went to England for holy orders, and being ordained in December, 1753, returned, and in the May following took charge of the institution. In 1759 he returned to England and received his degree of D.D. from the University of Oxford, and about the same time from Aberdeen College. A few years after the same degree was conferred upon him by Trinity College, Dublin. In 1766 the mission in Oxford being vacant, Dr. Smith undertook to supply it twice in three weeks, and was placed by his own request on the list of the society's missionaries the next year. Dr. Smith held a somewhat indecisive attitude in the contest that resulted in the nation's independence. The charter of the College of Philadelphia being taken away in November, 1779, Dr. Smith became rector of Chester Parish, Md. and established a classical seminary, which in June, 1782, was chartered as Washington College, of which he became president. He was president of the convention which organized the Protestant Episcopal Church, and in June following was elected bishop of Maryland; but finding strong opposition to an episcopate in that state, and others elsewhere opposed to his consecration, he gave up the matter altogether. In 1783 he took charge also of St. Paul's Parish, Kent Co., which he held for two years. He was on the committee appointed in 1785 to revise the Prayer book. In 1789, the charter of the College of Philadelphia having been restored, he again became its president. He died at Philadelphia, May 14, 1803. "Dr. Smith was a learned scholar, an eloquent and greatly popular preacher, and distinguished as a teacher of the liberal sciences, and an astronomer." He was the author of many occasional sermons, addresses, letters, pamphlets, etc., of which a selection was published, with a preface by bishop White, under the title of The Works of William Smith, D.D. (Phila. 1803, 2 vols. 8vo). For a complete list of these works, see Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 5, 161; also Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Duyckinck, Cyclop. of Amer. Lit. 1, 388; Rich, Bibl. Amer. Nova, 1, 111, 129, 225, 245, 379.

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