A. T. McCormick

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Andrew Thomas McCormick (1761–April 27, 1841) was an Episcopal clergyman and Chaplain of the United States Senate. Historians sometimes render his name as Alexander Thomas McCormick, likely confusing him with his brother Alexander Hugh McCormick, but his tombstone reads "Andrew Thomas McCormick".

Early years[edit]

McCormick was born in County Donegal in Ireland in 1761.[1] He was brought up as a Presbyterian. He came to the United States and became an Episcopalian. He was made a deacon by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas John Claggett, Bishop of Maryland, on June 15, 1794. When he was ordained as a priest is not on record.[2]


McCormick became assistant rector in Queen Anne Parish, (St. Barnabas Church (Upper Marlboro, Maryland)), Prince George's County, Maryland. In 1796, he took charge of a classical school in the new city of Washington, D.C prior to the creation of a public school system. The Rev. George Ralph, his predecessor in the school, had recently resigned to take charge of the newly organized parish of Washington, known as Christ Church, Washington Parish.[3]

In 1798, Mr. McCormick helped Ralph establish the first Episcopal Church in Washington, Christ Church, and became assistant at it. It was opened in a converted barn. Many notable early residents attended services there, including Presidents Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. On May 4, 1806, he was elected rector, a position he would continue to fill through 1823.[4] In 1807, the church moved to a larger brick structure near the Navy Yard. John Quincy Adams was a Unitarian, not an Episcopalian, but decided while Secretary of State to go to Christ Church. The reason, he wrote in his diary in 1819, was that its rector, Andrew McCormick, was the only preacher in town worth hearing. I have at last given the preference to Mr. McCormick, of the Episcopal Church, Adams noted in the entry for October 24, and spoke to him last week for a pew.[5]

During this period, McCormick served as Chaplain of the Senate (1804–1805 and 1807–1808).

Later years[edit]

McCormick served on the board of trustees of Washington's Eastern Free School, one of only two schools in the city, from 1802 to 1816 and as its president from 1816 to 1841 and was credited with the school's survival. His nephew Hugh was the teacher at the school from 1825 to 1844.[6] McCormick died in 1841 at age of 80.[7]

The McCormick School located on the east side of the 1200 block of 3rd St., SE and opened in 1870 was either named for him or for his nephew Hugh.[8] It was closed in 1909 and torn down around 1915.


  1. ^ "Rev Andrew Thomas McCormick". Find A Grave. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  2. ^ The correspondence of John Henry Hobart, by John Henry Hobart, pages 226-7
  3. ^ A History of the National Capital from Its Foundation, Volume 1, 1914, by Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, page 301
  4. ^ Washington's First Parish, Christ Church, 1956
  5. ^ Christ Church, Washington Parish, A Brief History, by Nan Robertson, 1994, page 3
  6. ^ House Documents (Vol 28 ed.). Washington: Government Printing Office. 1906. pp. 92–97. 
  7. ^ "McCormick, Rev. Andrew T" (PDF). National Intelligencer. 3 May 1841. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  8. ^ "McCormick Scool". Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
Religious titles
Preceded by
Edward Gantt
5th US Senate Chaplain
December 9, 1801 – November 6, 1804
Succeeded by
Edward Gantt
Preceded by
John Johnson Sayrs
8th US Senate Chaplain
November 10, 1807 – November 9, 1808
Succeeded by
Robert Elliott