Sketch of Rev. Philip Gatch.



John McLean (1785–1861).


Sketch of Rev. Philip Gatch.


Cincinnati: Swormstedt & Poe, for the Methodist Episcopal Church,




Philip Gatch (1751–1834), my great-great-great grandfather, was one of the first American-born Methodist circuit riders. Converted in 1772, he preached in Maryland and, during the Revolution, in Virginia. An abolitionist, he freed his slaves and moved in 1798 to the Northwest Territory, where he belonged to the first Methodist class in the territory. A member of the Ohio constitutional convention, he later served as a judge in Clermont County while continuing to farm and preach.

John McLean based his Sketch on Philip Gatch’s manuscript autobiography and recollections of family and friends. A justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, McLean had practiced early in his career in Gatch’s courtroom. The volume is open to an account of persecution endured by young Gatch, when he was tarred by an anti-Methodist mob.


Milton McC. Gatch