Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GARDEN, Alexander, clergyman, born in Scotland about 1685 ; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 27 September, 1756. He was educated in his native country, and became a clergyman of the Church of England. He came to America in 1719, and shortly afterward was elected rector of St. Philip's parish in Charleston, South Carolina, and subsequently he was commissary under the bishop of London. Mr. Garden began the so-called " annual meetings of the clergy" which was then necessitated by the rapid increase of the Episcopal Church in the province. The clergy were first convened on 20 October, 1731, when they exhibited to the commissary their letters of orders and license to perform the ministerial functions in the province. Mr. Garden resigned his office in 1748, but the clerical convocations continued. In 1735 he was compelled to take a respite from his labors, and visited the northern provinces. The assembly in 1736 made an appropriation for the support of an assistant to Mr. Garden, and the Reverend William Orr was elected. In 1740 he began a controversial correspondence with Reverend George Whitefield, which attracted much attention. Mt. Garden was interested in the instruction of the colored people. In 1743 he solicited aid from the Society for propagating the gospel, in behalf of the Negro school in Charleston, which then consisted of thirty children. A large contribution of Bibles, prayer-books, and text-books was at once made, and in 1750 Mr. Garden gave to the society a favorable report of the progress of the school. In 1754 he resigned the rectorship of St. Philip's, and was presented by his vestry with a valuable set of plate. Shortly after this Mr. Garden embarked for England, where he intended to remain, but subsequently returned to Charleston and died there. He published "Six Letters to the Reverend Geo. Whitefield," the first, second, and third of which were on the subject of " Justification" (1740), and "Two Sermons" (1742). --His son, Alexander, naturalist, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, about 1730; died in London. England, 15 April, 1791, was graduated at the University of Aberdeen in 1748, and, after studying medicine, settled as a practitioner in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1752. He subsequently rose to eminence as a physician and botanist, and acquired wealth during' his residence there. In 1754 he went to New York, where a professorship in the newly organized King's College (now Columbia) was offered him. On his return he settled in Charleston. Dr. Garden adhered to the royal cause in the Revolution. He was a congratulator of Cornwallis on his success at Camden in 1780, and went to England in 1783. His property was confiscated, but was afterward given to his son by the state of South Carolina. He had been elected a fellow of the Royal society of London, and on his arrival there in 1783 was appointed one of its council, and subsequently was one of its vice-presidents. He was eminent as a botanist and zoologist, and in 1755 began a correspondence with Linnaeus, to whom he furnished information on the natural history of South Carolina, and who named the genus "Gardenia" in honor of him. He introduced into medical use the pink-root as a vermifuge, and published an account of its properties, together with a botanical description (1764). He also published accounts of the Helesia; of the male and female cochineal insects; of the mud iguana, or siren of South Carolina, an amphibious animal : of two new species of tortoises; and of the Gymnotus electricus. To extend his knowledge of natural history, he accompanied Governor Glen into the Indian country, and discovered an earth which was deemed in England equal to the finest porcelain. The knowledge of the spot has been lost.--Dr. Garden's son, Alexander, soldier, born in Charleston, South Carolina, 4 December 1757 ; died there. 29 February, 1829, was educated at Westminster and the University of Glasgow, and traveled on the continent of Europe. He returned to South Carolina in July, 1780, and joined the Revolutionary army. He was at one time aide-de-camp to General Greene, and a lieutenant in Lee's legion in February, 1782. His father's confiscated property was given him after the war. He published "Anecdotes of the Revolutionary War, with Sketches of Character of Persons most Distinguished in the Southern States for Civil and Military Services," containing much original information (Charleston, 1822; new eds., 1828 and 1865).
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