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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Robert McCartee

McCARTEE, Robert, clergyman, born in New York city, 30 September, 1791; died in Yonkers, New York, 12 March, 1865. He was graduated at Columbia in 1808, studied law, and was admitted to the New York bar, but after a few years of practice entered the theological seminary of the Associate Reformed church in the city of New York. He was licensed to preach in April, 1816, and accepted a call from the Old Scots church in Philadelphia. He resigned this charge on 21 April, 1821, and became in 1822 pastor of the Irish Presbyterian church in New York. The church was at that time composed of only about thirty members, mostly emigrants from Ireland. Dr. McCartee built a new edifice and increased the attendance to one thousand communicants. He was not only pastor, but also the adviser, the legal counsellor, and informally the magistrate of his congregation. In 1836 failing health compelled him to abandon this post, and he was successively pastor of churches in Port Carbon, Pennsylvania, and Goshen and Newburg, New York, till 1856, when he became pastor of an Associate Reformed church in New York city. He retired from pastoral duties in 1862, and removed to Yonkers. He received the degree of S. T. D. from Columbia in 1831.--His wife. Jessie Graham, poet, born in New York city in October, 1796 : died in Newburg, New York, 17 February, 1855, was a sister of Reverend George W. Bethune. She was the author of various poems, chiefly of a religious character, some of which were printed in various periodicals during her lifetime. ---Their son, Divie Bethune, missionary, born in New York city, 13 January, 1820, was educated at Columbia and at the University of Pennsylvania, and sailed for China in 1843. Besides mastering the Chinese language and practising as a physician, he acted frequently as United States consul at Ningpo, and sat as judge in the mixed court at Shanghai. In May, 1861, at the request of United States Flag-Officer Stribling, he entered Nanking, through the lines of the Tai-Ping rebels, and obtained from the "Heavenly King" a sealed document granting non-molestation, not only to Americans in China, but to all Chinese in their employ. By this measure large numbers of native Christians and their friends were rescued when the rebels entered Ningpo. In 1872, when the coolies of the Peruvian ship "Maria Luz" were freed by the an ***panese government upon his suggestion, a commission was appointed from Peking to proceed to Tokio to bring home the freedmen, and Dr. McCartee was nominated secretary and interpreter, receiving for his services a gold medal and complimentary letters. Remaining in Japan, he was from October, 1872, until April, 1877, a professor in the Imperial university of Tokio, and he also acted as secretary of the Chinese legation in that city, but returned to the United States in 1880, and in 1882 visited Hawaii on business connected with Chinese immigration. In 1885 he acted as American secretary of the legation of Japan in Washington. In 1887 he returned to China and Japan. Dr. McCartee's writings on Asiatic history, linguistics, natural science, medicine, and politics, in the publications of the American geographical society, the American oriental society, and other associations, have been numerous and valuable. His religious writings in Chinese are still widely circulated and read. "Audi Alteram Partem " (Yokohama, 1879) treats of the conflicting claims of China and Japan concerning the Loochoo islands.

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