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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 435 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PETER CARTWRIGHT (1785–1872), American Methodist Episcopal preacher, was born on the 1st of September 1785 in Amherst county, Virginia. His father, a veteran of the War of Independence, took his family to Kentucky in 1790, and lived near Lancaster until 1793, and then until 18o2 in Logan county near the Tennessee line. Peter received little education, and was a gambler at cards and horse-racing until 18or, when he heard John Page preach. In June he was received into the church; in May 18o2 was licensed as a regular exhorter, becoming known as the " Kentucky Boy "; in the autumn of 18o2 was licensed to form the Livingston circuit around the mouth of the Cumberland river; in 18o6 was ordained deacon by Bishop Asbury, and in ,8o8 presiding elder by Bishop McKendree, under whose direction he had studied theology. He was presiding elder of the Wabash district in 1812, and of Green river district in 1813-1816, and, after four years on circuit in Kentucky and two as presiding elder of the Cumberland district, was transferred in 1823 to the Illinois .conference, in which he was presiding elder of various districts until 1869. Up to 1856 he preached some 14,600 times, received some Io,000 persons into the church, and baptized some 12,000 persons. He died near Pleasant Plains, Sangamon county, Illinois, on the 25th of September 1872. He was a typical back-woods preacher, an able, vigorous speaker, and a racy writer. See the Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, the Backwoods Preacher, edited by W. P. Strickland (New York, 1856).
End of Article: PETER CARTWRIGHT (1785–1872)

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