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John Breckinridge. A Memoir of Mrs. Margaret Breckinridge (Philadelphia, 1839), frontispiece.



Margaret Breckinridge was born in New York, but later lived in New Jersey while her father, Samuel Miller, was a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 1823, she married the Rev. John Breckinridge, a Presbyterian clergyman and a graduate of the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University). While he served as an agent for the Presbyterian Church’s Board of Education to congregations across the United States, she aided him by teaching Sunday school.

The year following her death, the Rev. Breckinridge's memoir of his wife appeared. In it, he writes that when they married she was fully prepared to accompany him abroad for missionary work:

“At this time the friend whom she so much honoured by her affection, was devoted to the work of Foreign Missions; and he had solicited her hand with the distinct expression, both to herself and her venerable parents, of such a purpose. This necessarily called her to consider the question of a personal engagement in this work. She met and decided this question with a promptitude and nobleness of Christian resolution which surprised even those who knew her best; and though in the providence of God she was spared the expected trial of separation for life from her family and country, yet the unreserved dedication of herself to the Missionary cause which her Redeemer enabled her to make, gave elevation to her Christian character, and prepared her for the trials scarcely less severe to which she was called in the domestic field.” (p. 46-47)



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