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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MILNOR, James, clergyman, born in Philadelphia, 20 June, 1773: died in New York city, 8 April, 1844. His parents were members of the Society of Friends. He entered the University of Pennsylvania, but, owing to family embarrassments, was not graduated. He began the study of law in 1789, in Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar in 1794. He began practice in Norristown, Pennsylvania, but removed to Philadelphia in 1797, where he soon obtained a large practice. In 1805 he entered political life. He was elected a member of the select council of his native city, re-elected for three years in 1807, and became president of the council in 1808. He was then chosen a member of congress, serving from 4 November, 1811, till 3 March, 1813, and, being strongly Federalist in his principles, opposed the second war with Great Britain, in 1812. Soon after returning home he became a candidate for orders in the Protestant Episcopal church. While studying for the ministry he busied himself effectively as catechist and lay reader. He was made deacon, 14 August, 1814, and priest, 27 August, 1815, by Bishop White. He was elected assistant minister in St. Peter's and the United churches, Philadelphia, in 1814, but two years later he accepted the rectorship of St. George's church, New York city, where he remained until his death, lie received the degree of D. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1819. He visited Europe in 1830 as delegate to the British and Foreign Bible society. His remaining years were spent in parochial work and in aiding the various charitable institutions in Philadelphia. Dr. Milnor's publications were "Oration on Masonry," before the Grand lodge of Pennsylvania (1811) ; "Thanksgiving-Day Sermon" (1817) ; "A Plea for the American Colonization Society" (New York, 1826) ; " Sermon on the Death of De Witt Clinton, Governor of New York" (New York, 1828) ; and "A Charitable Judgment of the Opinions and Conduct of Others Recommended," which was delivered on the Sunday before his death (1844). See a "Memoir," by the Reverend John S. Stone, D. D. (New York, 1855).
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