Rev. George Gilfillan (1813-1878) invited Frederick Douglass to speak at his church, George's Chapel. He was minister of School Wynd United Associate Secession Church, which became part of the United Presbyterian Church in 1847. After his death in 1878 a majority of the congregation, in an effort to continue his commitment to religious progress, broke away to set up an independent Gilfillan Memorial Church, which is still in Dundee today. School Wynd Church continued to 1926. Gilfillan was connected to anti-slavery networks through his association with Glasgow friends prominent in the radical Glasgow Emancipation Society. One author states, "Gilfillan invited Frederick Douglass to give a lecture at his church in Dundee, at which Douglass outdid himself in the boldness of his charges against those whom he held faithless to the cause of liberty." Gilfillan had a huge literary output of pamphlets, essays, criticism and editions of poets. His edition of Robert Burns is famous and still very readable as is his Gallery of Literary Portraits. In spite of the fame which came to him from his writings, Gilfillan did not neglect his church and his people. He was always willing to
help needy churches by giving one of his famous lectures on some literary theme. On Gilfillan's death the procession to the grave on the slope of Balgay cemetery was over two miles long.
-- George Gilfillan: Anecdotes and Reminiscences by David Macrae. First Edition, Morison Brothers Glasgow 1891
-- Bards of the Bible by George Gilfillan. 1869, Harper and Brothers edition. This probably is the first American edition -- the true first was published in Britain in 1851. The book is about the poetic quality of the Bible with an emphasis on Old Testament prophets.
-- 1863 edition of "Martyrs and Heroes of the Scottish Covenant" by Rev. George Gilfillan. Published by Gall & Inglis, London. 288 pages. It offers a succinct and impartial account of the history of the Scottish Covenant with an unbiased estimate of the character of its principal actors. Some of the key points include the policies of James I and Charles I, commencement of the Civil War, character and execution of Charles I, murder of Archbishop Sharp, skirmish at Drumclog, murder of John Brown, expedition of the Earl of Argyle, massacre of Glencoe, women of the Covenant, critical estimate of Ramsay, Ferguson & Burns, erastianism and priestly domination, etc.
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