Makemie, Francis (məkĕˈmē) [key], c.1658–1708, American clergyman, considered the founder of Presbyterianism in America. Born in Ireland, he studied in Scotland and c.1682 was ordained a missionary to America. In 1683 he arrived in Maryland. He traveled and preached from the Carolinas to New York. Makemie organized Presbyterian churches at Snow Hill and Rehobeth, Md. In 1704 he went to England for funds and men to strengthen Presbyterianism in America; in 1706, through his efforts, the first presbytery in the country was organized in Philadelphia. Makemie was arrested and imprisoned (1707) by Governor Cornbury of New York on the charge of preaching there without a license. Though acquitted, he had to pay heavy costs. He died in Virginia.
See biography by I. M. Page (1938); biographical study ed. by B. S. Schlenther (1971); C. A. Briggs, American Presbyterianism (1985).