North American Scholar

WILSON, Peter

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1746-11-23
  • Born City: Ordiquhill
  • Born State/Country: Scotland
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1825-08-01
  • Death City: Barbadoes
  • Death State/Country: NJ
  • Married: Catherine Duryea.
  • Education:

    A.B. Aberdeen (Scotland); M.A. (hon.) Brown, 1786; LL.D. Union Coll., 1798.

  • Professional Experience:

    Princ. Hackensack (NJ) Acad.; Bergen Co. repr. NJ Assembly, 1777-81, 1787; selected to revise and codify NJ laws, 1783; prof. Gk. & Lat. Columbia, 1789-92; prof. Gk. & Lat., Grecian & Roman antiq., 1797-1820; princ. Erasmus Hall Acad. (Flatbush, Long Island, NY), 1792-7; titular head acad., 1797-1805.

  • Publications:

    Acts of the Council and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey . . . compiled by Wilson (Trenton, 1784); C. Crispi Sallustii Belli Catilinarii et Jugurthini Historiae (New York, 1808); Rules of Prosody for the Use of Schools (New York, 1810); Introduction to Greek Prosody . . . with an Appendix on the Metres of Horace, Adapted to the Use of Beginners (New York, 1811); Dionysii Longini De sublimitate commentarius, ed. Z. Pearce, rev. & corr. Wilson (New York, 1812); Compendium of Greek Prosody (New York, 1817); Alexander Adams, Roman Antiquities, rev. Wilson (New York, 1819); Novum Testamentum Graecum (Hartford, CT, 1822).

  • Notes:

    Peter Wilson was one of the leading classicists of the early national period. Born in Scotland, he was educated at the University of Aberdeen. Emigrating to the colonies, he became teacher-principal of the Hackensack Academy in New Jersey. During the Revolutionary period he was actively engaged in politics. In 1789 he was appointed professor of Greek and Latin at Columbia College, but left in 1792 to become principal of Erasmus Hall Academy in Brooklyn, New York. In 1797 he returned to Columbia to the post of professor of Greek, Latin, and Greek and Roman antiquities, a position he held until his retirement in 1820. Wilson was acting president of Columbia, 1800-1.

  • Sources:

    Nelson Glenn McCrea, DAB: 20:341-2; David Delahanty, BDAE 1412-3; NatCAB 6:350; WhAmHS 659.

  • Author: Meyer Reinhold