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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McNISH, George, clergyman, born about 1660; died in Newton, New Jersey, 10 March, 1722. Authorities disagree as to whether he was a native of Ireland or of Scotland. He came to this country in 1705 as an ordained clergyman of the Presbyterian church, labored for a short time in Somerset county, Maryland, and was one of the original members of the presbytery of Philadelphia, the first of that church that was formed in the colonies, he became pastor in Jamaica, New York, in 1711, was styled the " father of Presbyterianism in the state of New York," and instituted the first presbytery therein. He was moderator of the presbytery of Philadelphia in 1710 and 1717, preached the synodical sermon of the latter year, and was deputed by that body to act as its representative abroad for the promotion of the gospel in the United States, but subsequently declined. Throughout his ministry in Long Island a violent controversy was waged for the possession of the church building in Jamaica, which, although originally erected for the Presbyterians, was given to the Episcopalians by Lord Cornbury, and Mr. McNish is supposed never to have preached in it.
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