Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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CALDWELL, David, clergyman, born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 22 March, 1725; died in North Carolina, 25 August, 1824. He was the son of a farmer, and after receiving the rudiments of an English education, was apprenticed to a house-carpenter, and afterward worked at his trade for four years. He then determined to become a minister, and was graduated at Princeton in 1761. After teaching school in Cape May for a year, and also studying theology, he completed his studies in the Princeton seminary, acting at the same time as an instructor in the College. He was licensed to preach by the New Brunswick presbytery, 8 June, 1763, and, after spending a year in North Carolina in mission-work, was ordained in Trenton, New Jersey, 6 July, 1765. He was installed on 3 March, 1768, pastor of the churches at Buffalo and Alamance, North Carolina, and continued there till within a few years of his death. As his salary was only $200, he cultivated a small farm, and also carried on a classical school at his house. Many of his pupils became noted men. Mr. Caldwell also directed his attention to the study and practice of medicine, and was an intimate friend of Dr. Rush, with whom he had become acquainted at College. Mr. Caldwell was an earnest patriot in the revolutionary war. His house was plundered by the British, his library burned, and everything but the buildings on his plantation destroyed. Cornwallis offered 81.000 to any one, who should bring him into camp ; but all efforts to take him were unsuccessful. He was a member, in 1776, of the State constitutional convention, and, although clergymen were prohibited by law from entering the legislature, he had much influence in public affairs, and earnestly opposed the federal constitution in the convention called for its ratification. In 1791, when the University of North Carolina was founded, he was offered the presidency, but declined on account of his advanced age. The trustees gave him the degree of D.D. in 1810. A biography of Dr. Caldwell, by E. W. Caruthers, D.D., was published in 1842.
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