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Robert Davidson Edit Profile

Minister , university professor

Robert Davidson, DD was an American educator.


Davidson, Robert was born in 1750 in Elkton, Maryland, United States.


He graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1771, was appointed instructor there in 1773, and in 1774 was given the chair of history and belles-lettres.


In 1774 Davidson was also licensed to preach, and a year later was ordained by the second Philadelphia presbytery, becoming Dr. Ewing's assistant in the first church. In 1775 he composed a metrical dialogue, which was recited at commencement before the Continental congress, and in July of the same year, one month after the battle of Bunker Hill, delivered before several military companies a sermon from the text “For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God.”\r\nIn 1777 the occupation of Philadelphia by the British compelled Davidson to retire to Delaware. He held this last office for the rest of his life, and succeeded in harmonizing a discordant congregation.

In 1794 he preached twice before troops on their way to suppress the whiskey insurrection, and in 1799 delivered a eulogy of Washington. After Dr. Nisbet's death in 1804, Davidson discharged the duties of president of the college till 1809, when he resigned. Davidson had a reputation as a scholar, but was especially interested astronomy, and invented a cosmosphere or compound globe.

He was also a skilful draughtsman, and was a composer of sacred music. Besides sermons, he published an “Epitome of Geography, in Verse,” for the use of schools (1784). “The Christian's A, B, C,” or the 119th psalm in metre, each stanza beginning with a different letter (1811).

And a “New Metrical Version of the Psalms,” with an- notations (1812). Davidson died 13 December 1812. After his resignation in 1842 he held pastorates in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1843-1859, New York City in 1860-64, and Huntington, Long Island, in 1864-68, moving again to Philadelphia in the latter year.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Geography Epitomized, 1784. The Christian’s A.B.C…., 1809. New Version of the Psalms, 1812.


Married Margaret Montgomery. Married second, Jane Harris, April.

Jane Harris

Margaret Montgomery