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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IRWIN, Nathaniel, clergyman, born in Fagg's Manor, Chester County, Pennsylvania, 17 October, 1756; died in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, 3 March, 1812. He was graduated at Princeton in 1770, was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1774, and was pastor of the Neshaminy church, Bucks county, Pennsylvania, front that year until his death. He was clerk of the "old synod" in 1781-'5, and moderator of the general assembly in 1801. Mr. Irwin was the first to encourage John Fitch, the steamboat builder, and the inventor's autobiography, which is now in the Philadelphia library in manuscript, is addressed "to the Reverend Nathaniel Irwin." Irwin combined great business shrewdness with devotion to his profession, and was an eloquent orator. He exercised much influence in local polities, and a caricature, printed at the time of the location of the Bucks county court house, represents him without his hat and in his shirt-sleeves, striving with all his might to pull the building in the direction of Doylestown.
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