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George Keith Edit Profile

Clergyman , educator , Missionary

George Keith, British clergyman, educator, missionary.


Keith, George was born in 1638 in Peterhead, Scotland, circa.


University of Aberdeen.


From the University of Aberdeen. In 1685, three years after Barclay had been made the nonresident governor of the Province of East Jersey (part of the present-day American state of New Jersey), Keith traveled there to take the post of Surveyor-General. In 1686 he ran the first survey to mark out the border between West Jersey and East Jersey.

He moved to Philadelphia in 1688 to serve as headmaster at the Friends School there. For his survey work, the Proprietors gave him large grants of land including seven hundred acres in Monmouth County where he founded the town of Freehold (which broke off and became Marlboro). He established his home in a Quaker settlement near Topanemus where he helped to build a meeting house in which he preached to the people on the Quaker faith.

In 1693, he and his fellow Keithians published An Exhortation & Caution to Friends Concerning Buying or Keeping of Negroes, one of the earliest printed antislavery tracts in British North America. David Brion Davis, a leading scholar of abolition and slavery, argues that Keith's Exhortation foreshadowed "the major religious themes of nineteenth-century abolitionism." After returning to England, he was disowned by London Yearly Meeting in 1694. Keith invigorated Anglican congregations in Perth Amboy and Burlington.

Upon returning to England, Keith served as rector at the parish of Edburton, Sussex until his death on March 27, 1716.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Immediate Revelation Not Ceased, 1668. The Universall Free Grace of The Gospel Asserted, 1671.


Married Elizabeth Johnston.

Elizabeth Johnston.