Duffield, George

honorific(s): Doctor
Other names: Chaplain
Birth: October 7, 1732 in Lancaster County, PA
Death: February 2, 1790 in Philadelphia, PA

Pine Street (now Third) Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia


Newark Academy, Delaware; College of New Jersey (now Princeton)







  • Philadelphia, PA (from 1771 to 1790)
Marital status

Married Elizabeth Blair on March 8, 1756; she died in 1757. Remarried Margaret Armstrong on March 5, 1759. One of his grandsons, George Duffield, Jr. (born July 4, 1794) was a leading 19th-century New School Presbyterian minister.


George Duffield was a Presbyterian minister who served as pastor to the famous "Church of the Patriots" in Philadelphia, a missionary, and a faithful supporter of Occom and the Brothertown movement. He was born in Lancaster County, PA in 1732, and educated at Newark Academy in Delaware and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), a Presbyterian stronghold. Graduating in 1752, he served as tutor there for two years and was ordained in 1759. Duffield married Elizabeth Blair in 1756, but after her early death in 1757, he remarried Margaret Armstrong in 1759. That same year, Duffield was appointed minister to Presbyterian churches on the Pennsylvania frontier in Carlisle, Big Spring (now Newville) and Monaghan (now Dillsburg). In the summer and fall of 1766, he and Reverend Charles Clinton Beatty conducted a missionary tour through the western valleys of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, establishing churches, converting Indians, and ministering to the scattered settlers. Duffield published an account of this tour in 1766. In 1771, he was offered the pulpit of the Pine Street (now Third) Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which he almost did not take because Old Side (Old Light) members objected to his adherence to New Side (New Light) revivalist ideas. Weathering the controversy, Duffield served at Pine Street until his death in 1790, preaching American independence from the pulpit with fervor and eloquence, and leaving during the War to serve as both Chaplain of the Pennsylvania Militia and co-Chaplain of the Continental Congress. Sixty of his parishoners followed him, and the British put a price on his head. After the war, Pine Street Church became known as "The Church of the Patriots."


"Biography: The Reverend George Duffield." Presbyterian Heritage Center. http://www.phcmontreat.org/bios/Duffield-George.htm "Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church." USHistory.org. http://www.ushistory.org/tour/old-pine-presbyterian.htm.

Further reading

Duffield, George. An Account of a Missionary Tour Through Western Pennsylvania, in 1766; "Thanksgiving Sermon on Peace," December 11, 1783.