SIMPSON, MATTHEW (1811-1884), American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Cadiz, Ohio, on the 21st of June 1811. He studied medicine in 1830-1833 and began to practise, and in 1833 was licensed as a preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was pastor of the Liberty Street Church of Pittsburg in 1835, and of a church at Williamsport (now Monongahela) in 1836. In 1837 he was ordained elder and was appointed professor of natural science in Allegheny College, Meadville, in which Madison College had been merged in 1833; and in 1838 he was elected professor and immediately afterwards president of the newly established Indiana Asbury (now De Pauw) University, Greencastle, Indiana, to which he went in 1839; this position he held until 1848. He was editor of the Western Christian Advocate, which he made a strong temperance and anti-slavery organ, from 1848 to 1852. He was elected a bishop in May 1852, and in 1857, with Dr McClintock, visited Great Britain as a delegate to the British Wesleyan Conference, and travelled in the Holy Land. He was an intimate and trusted friend of President Lincoln, who considered his advice of great value, and at whose grave in Springfield he spoke the last words. He addressed the Garfield Memorial Meeting at Exeter Hall, London, on the 24th of September 1881. He died on the 18th of June 1884 in Philadelphia.
He published A Hundred Years of Methodism (1876); a Cyclopedia of Methodism (1878); Lectures on Preashing (1879), delivered before the Theological Department of Yale College; and a volume of his Sermons (1885) was edited by George R. Crooks, whose Life of Bishop Matthew Simpson (New York, 1890) should be consulted.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)