Susan H. Keller collection on William McWhir
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Susan H. Keller collection on William McWhir

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Keller, Susan H.
Title: Susan H. Keller collection on William McWhir
Dates: circa 1840-1851
Extent: 0.1 cubic feet (2 folders)
Identification: MS 1432

Biographical/Historical Note

William McWhir (1759-1851) was born on September 9 in County Down, Ireland. he attended the College of Belfast where he studied theology. After receiving his license to the ministry from Belfast Presbytery, he moved to the United States, settling in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1783. For the next ten years McWhir served as the headmaster of the Alexandria Academy. In 1793, he moved to Sunbury, Georgia, where he appointed principal of the Sunbury Academy. Under his leadership over the next thirty years, this academy earned a reputation for academic excellence throughout Georgia and the Southeast. In 1815, McWhir married Mary Baker, the widow of Col. John Baker. After returning to Georgia from a trip to Ireland in 1819, Rev. McWhir retired from the Sunbury Academy but continued to tutor privately. During this time he assumed the position of supply minister throughout the Presbytery of Georgia. When not traveling for the church in Georgia and Florida, he lived at his plantation named Springfield, located near Sunbury. Rev. William McWhir died on January 31, 1851, in Sunbury at the home of Roswell King. He is buried in the Old Sunbury Cemetery.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a broadside of William McWhir's obituary and a daguerreotype of McWhir.

The folder containing the daguerreotype is noted as "VM" (visual materials) in the collection inventory.

Index Terms

Broadsides (notices)
Daguerreotypes (photographs)
Keller, Susan H.
McWhir, William, Reverend, 1759-1851.
Presbyterian Church--Clergy--Georgia.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Susan H. Keller collection on William McWhir, MS 1432, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Susan H. Keller, 1982.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Separated Material

Artifacts were separated and cataloged with the Georgia Historical Society Artifacts Collection. View digital images of artifacts at the end of this collection inventory or search the Digital Image Catalog for further information.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Broadside, obituary of Rev. William McWhir, Savannah, 1851 February 7


1Daguerreotype, Rev. William McWhir, circa 1840s
A-1432-001 Reverend William McWhir’s spectacles View online.