Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MAXCY, Jonathan, educator, born in Attleborough, Massachusetts, 2 September, 1768; died in Columbia, South Carolina, 4 June, 1820. He was graduated at Brown in 1787 with the highest honor in his class, and was at once appointed a tutor, remaining in this office for four years. In September, 1791, he was ordained to the ministry after accepting a call from the first Baptist church in Providence. On the same day he was elected both a trustee and professor of divinity in the college. Though his pastoral relation was brief, it was long enough for him to establish a reputation for ability and eloquence as a preacher. Dr. James Manning, president of the college, having died suddenly in 1791, Mr. Maxcy was appointed in 1792 to succeed him. He at once resigned his pastoral charge and accepted the appointment, though but twenty-four years of age. The college under his administration grew rapidly in popular favor. When he was only thirty-three years of age the degree of D. D. was conferred upon him by Harvard. In 1802 he was elected to the presidency of Union college. In 1804 he was chosen first president of South Carolina college, which had been just established at Columbia. In the hope that a southern climate might benefit his health, he accepted, and over this institution he continued to preside until his death, a period of sixteen years. His service in this office was marked by great popularity and success. His brilliant and attractive powers gave him distinction and influence, not only in South Carolina, but throughout the southern states. Many competent witnesses testify that as a pulpit orator he had few equals in his generation. Dr. Maxcy's publications comprised numerous occasional sermons, orations, and baccalaureate addresses. See "The Literary Remains of the Reverend Jonathan Maxcy, D.D.; with a Memoir of his Life," by Romeo Elton, D. D. (New York, 1844).
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