- Gideon Blackburn
Gideon Blackburn (
August 27, 1772– August 23, 1838) was an American Presbyterian clergyman, missionary, and college president.
Blackburn was born in
Augusta County, Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. He was orphaned at the age of eleven, he moved to eastern Tennessee in 1787 to live with relatives. He worked at a sawmilland as a surveyor in order to obtain an education. As a youth he studied at Martin Academy in Washington County, Tennessee, was ordained and received his preacher's license from the Abingdon Presbytery, Virginia, in 1792. [http://www.centre.edu/web/library/digital/presidents/blackburn.html Gideon Blackburn, Centre College President, 1827 - 1830] , Centre Collegewebsite]
In the 1790s he began his ministerial career as pastor at
Maryville, Tennessee. His first notable project (1803-1809) was as a cultural missionary to the Cherokee, opening two schools for Cherokeechildren in southeast Tennessee-- one on the Hiwassee Rivernear Charleston, Bradley County, in 1804 (where future Chief John Ross attended), and one at the mouth of Sale Creek, Hamilton County in August 1806. Both schools were terminated in 1809 or 1810 after Blackburn's reputation was damaged when some Creeks accused Blackburn, his brother Samuel, and the Cherokee chiefs John McIntosh and The Ridgeof scheming to illegally ship whiskeythrough Creek territory. [http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=B048 Gideon Blackburn] in the "Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture"]
Blackburn served as pastor at
Franklin, Tennessee, in 1811-13, and at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1823-27, and as president of Centre College, Kentucky, from 1827-30. He moved his family to Carlinville, Illinoisin 1833, and died there, in the process of founding a new seminary, four days short of his 66th birthday.
Blackburn Theological Seminary, now
Blackburn College, in Carlinville, Illinoiswas named after him in 1859. Blackburn was a great-uncle to Kentucky Governor Luke P. Blackburn.cite book |last=Baird |first=Nancy Disher |title=Luke Pryor Blackburn: Physician, Governor, Reformer |year=1979 |publisher=The University Press of Kentucky |location= Lexington, Kentucky|isbn=0813102480]
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