Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Mackey, John

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MACKEY, John, educator, b. in Charleston, S. C., in 1765; d. there, 14 Dec., 1831. He was educated as a physician and practised many years in his native city. In 1812 he established there a morning paper called “The Investigator,” which he edited until 1817, when it changed hands and became “The Southern Patriot and Advertiser.” During the remainder of his life he devoted himself to teaching and published “The American Teacher's Assistant and Self-Instructor's Guide, containing all the Rules of Arithmetic properly Explained, etc.” (Charleston, 1826). This was the most comprehensive work on arithmetic that had then been published in this country. — His son, Albert Gallatin, writer on Freemasonry, b. in Charleston, S. C., 12 March, 1807; d. in Fortress Monroe, Va., 20 June, 1881, obtained by teaching the means of studying medicine, and was graduated at the medical department of the College of South Carolina in 1832. He settled in Charleston, and was in 1838 elected demonstrator of anatomy in that institution, but in 1844 he abandoned the practice of his profession, and divided his time between miscellaneous writing and the study of Freemasonry. After being connected with several Charleston journals, he established in 1849 “The Southern and Western Masonic Miscellany,” a weekly magazine, which he maintained for the following three years almost entirely with his own contributions. In 1858-'60 he conducted a “Quarterly,” which he devoted to the same interests. He acquired the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and continental languages almost unaided, and lectured frequently on the intellectual and moral development of the middle ages. Subsequently he turned his attention exclusively to the investigation of abstruse symbolism, and to cabalistic and Talmudic researches. Besides contributing frequently to periodicals, he published “A Lexicon of Freemasonry” (New York, 1845; 3d ed., enlarged and improved, Philadelphia, 1855); “The Mystic Tie” (Charleston, 1849); “Book of the Chapter” (New York, 1858); “A History of Freemasonry in South Carolina” (1861); “A Manual of the Lodge” (1862); “Cryptic Masonry” and “Masonic Ritualist” (1867); “Symbolism of Freemasonry” and “A Text-Book of Masonic Jurisprudence” (1869); and “Masonic Parliamentary Law” (1875). His largest and most important contribution to masonic literature, however, is the “Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry” (1874), the second edition of which, published after his death, contains an extended biographical sketch of the author. These works are considered authoritative, and the majority of them have passed through many editions both in this country and in England.