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History

Inscription on the base of the Makemie Monument

Erected In Gratitude To God And in grateful, remembrance of His servant and minister.

Francis Makemie who was born in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland, A.D. 1658(7), was educated at Glasgow University, Scotland, and came as an ordained Evangelist to the American Colonies A.D. 1683 at the request of Col. William Stevens of Rehobeth, Maryland. A devoted and able preacher of our Lord's Gospel, he labored faithful¬ly and freely for twenty-five years in Maryland, Virginia, the Barbados and elsewhere. A Christian gentleman, an enterprising man of affairs, a public spirited citizen, a distinguished advocate of Religious Liberty, for which he suffered under the Governor of New York, he is espe¬cially remembered as THE CHIEF FOUNDER OF ORGANIZED PRESBYTERY IN AMERICA, A. D. 1706, AND AS THE FIRST MODERATOR OF THE GENERAL PRESBYTERY. He died at his home, whose site is nearby, in Accomack County, Virginia, in the summer of A.D. 1708, and was buried in his family cemetery, located on this spot, now recovered from a long desecration and dedicated with this monument to his memory.


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Base of the Francis Makemie statue located at Makemie Monument Park just outside of Sanford, VA.
In 1707, Makemie was arrested by Lord Cornbury, the Governor of New York, for preaching without a license from the Crown as required under the Toleration Act. He spent two months in jail before being released on bail. Then at trial he produced his preaching license from Barbados, whereupon he was acquitted and released, but had incurred heavy legal costs.[5] This became a landmark case in favor of religious freedom in America.[6] The controversial Lord Cornbury was also recalled to England the following year.Placeholder Picture Francis Makemie Stamp