Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MEADE, Richard Kidder, soldier, born in Nansemond county, Virginia, 14 July, 1746 ; died in Frederick (now Clarke) county, Virginia, in February, 1805. He was educated at Harrow in England, entered the Revolutionary army in 1775, soon after his return to Virginia, and was one of the twenty-four persons that on 24 June of that year daringly removed the arms from Lord Dunmore's house and placed them in the magazine in Williamsburg. In December, 1775, he commanded a company at the battle of Great Bridge, near Norfolk, Virginia, the first that was fought in that state, he was then received into Gem Washington's military family as one of his aides, in which capacity, with the rank of colonel, he served throughout the war. He was with the commander-in-chief in all of his great battles, and used to say that Alexander Hamilton did the headwork of Washington's staff and he the riding, his black mare being well known to both armies. He superintended the execution of Major Andre. When Washington took leave of his aides at the close of the war he said to Colonel Meade: " Friend Dick, you must go to your plantation; you will make a good farmer, and an honest foreman of the grand jury." The latter part of his life was spent on a farm that he had bought in the valley of Virginia, which he called " Lucky Hill," since it had proved a profitable investment. About 1765 he married Elizabeth Randolph, aunt of John Randolph, of Roanoke. In 1780 he married for his second wife the widow of William Randolph, of Chatsworth.--His son, William, P. E. bishop, born near Millwood, Frederick (now Clarke) County, Virginia, 11 November, 1789; died in Rich-mend, Virginia, 14 March, 1862, was graduated at Princeton in 1808, studied theology, was made deacon, 24 February, 1811, and ordained priest, 10 January, 1814 He began his ministry in his native parish as assistant to Roy Alexander Balmaine, but in the autumn of 1811 he became rector of Christ church, Alexandria, Virginia, where he remained for eighteen months. He then returned to Millwood, succeeding the rector on the death of the latter in 1821. Being independent in his pecuniary circumstances, Mr. Meade officiated gratuitously for many years in his own parish and in the surrounding country. In 1813-'14 he took an active part in procuring the election of Dr. Richard C. Moore, of New York, as the successor of Bishop James Madison in the episcopate of Virgina, and contributed materially to the establishment of a diocesan theological seminary at Alexandria, and various educational and missionary societies connected with his denomination. In 1819 he went to Georgia as a commissioner to negotiate for the release of certain recaptured Africans who were about to be sold, and succeeded in his mission. On his journey he was active in establishing auxiliaries to the American colonization society, and was similarly occupied during a subsequent trip through the middle and eastern states. He emancipated his own slaves, but the experiment proved so disastrous to the negroes that he ceased to advise its repetition by others. In 1826 he was recommended as assistant bishop of Pennsylvania, but, certain complications having arisen, he caused his name to be withdrawn. In 1829, Bishop Moore having asked for an assistant, Dr. Meade was elected to that office, and was consecrated in Philadelphia on 19 Aug In 1834, in addition to his episcopal labors, he undertook the pastoral charge of Christ church, Norfolk, one of the largest congregations in the diocese, here he spent two years, which he afterward characterized as "the happiest and most useful" of his life. Infirm health induced him to spend four months in Europe in 1841, and soon after his return he became bishop of the diocese through the death of Dr. Moore, on 11 November, 1841 The following year Dr. Meade was compelled in his turn to ask for the services of an assistant, and Roy. John Johns, D. D., was elected. Bishop Meade felt called upon to speak out plainly in opposition to the Traetarians of England, and published, at his own expense, an American edition of the works of his friend, Reverend William Goode, afterward dean of Ripen. In 1847 Dr. Meade and other bishops founded the Evangelical knowledge society during the sessions of the General convention in New York city, which enterprise he earnestly sustained with his pen, his purse, and his influence during the last fifteen years of his life. In 1861 Bishop Meade made many earnest efforts to save Virginia from the horrors of civil war. He steadfastly opposed secession to the last, but yielded to the inevitable after his state had taken the step. When Bishop Meade decided to study for the ministry, his church in Virginia had so little vitality that no convention had been held between 1805 and 1811, and in the latter year a General convention at New Haven, Connecticut, reported that "the church in Virginia was so depressed that there was danger of her total ruin." When young Meade asked Chief-Justice Marshall to subscribe to a fund for the education of ministers, the latter remarked, after acceding to the request, that he feared it was unkind to tempt young men into a church which could never be revived. The gross worldliness and even open immorality of many of the Virginia clergy of that day, and the introduction of French infidelity during the war of the Revolution, caused Dr. Meade to regard the development o, f the subjective in religion as of paramount importance Beginning with a crusade against horse-racing, card-playing, and theatre-going by professing Christians, he lived to see the church of his choice rise from the dust and become a power in the land. "Raised up by God," said Bishop Elliott, of Georgia, "to leaven the church at a moment when that church was full of coldness and Erastianism, he felt that he must first school himself ere he could perform the work for which he had been anointed Fearless by nature, frank by temperament, straightforward because he always aimed at noble ends, commanding through character, he turned all the qualities which would have made him a hero, or a warrior, into the channels of the church." Dr. Meade received the degree of D. D. from William and Mary in 1827. Besides many occasional sermons, reports, tracts, pastoral letters and addresses, he published "Family Prayers" (Alexandria and Richmond, 1834, and other editions); " Pastoral Letters on the Duty of affording Religious Instruction to those in Bondage" (Alexandria, 1834 ; Richmond, 1854 ; New
York, 1858);" Life of Reverend Devereux Jarratt, by Himself, abridged by Bishop Meade" (Washington, 1840); "Companion to the Font and the Pulpit" (1846); "Lectures on the Pastoral Office" (New York, 1849); "Reasons for loving the Episcopal Church" (Philadelphia, 1852; New York, 1858) ; " Old Churches. Ministers, and Families of Virginia" (2 vols., Philadelphia, 1857) ; and " The Bible and the Classics" (New York, 1861). See "Memorial of Bishop Meade" (Baltimore, 1857), by Reverend John Johns, D. D.--Another son, Richard Kidder. politician, born in Frederick county, Virginia, about 1795; died in Virginia, 20 April, 1862, was well educated, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice in Petersburg. He was elected to congress as a Democrat, serving from 6 December, 1847, till 3 March, 1853, and in the. latter year declined the appointment of charge d'affaires in Sardinia. He was afterward appointed minister to Brazil, and held this office from 27 July, 1857, till 9 July, 1861, when he returned to Virginia and supported the Confederacy.
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