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Rev. John Andrews, D.D., a Colonial/American clergyman, professor, author and provost, was born in Cecil County on Eastern Shore of Maryland, on April 4, 1746, the son of Moses and Letitia Cooke Andrews. He grew up a 75 acre tract of land called "Lesson" (patented to his father March 10th, 1746) in Cecil Co. His great-grandfather (John Andrews) immigrated from the County of Rutland, England to America in Anne Arundel/Calvert Counties of the Province of Maryland under the patronage of Lord Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore about the year 1654. Reverend Andrews is considered "America's First Scholar", for he dedicated his whole life to studying, teaching, writing, lecturing, preaching, creating and administrating colleges.

He graduated from The Academy and College of Philadelphia in 1764 and immediately taught grammar school in Philadelphia. He studied theology under Rev. Thomas Barton(Rector of St James Church, Lancaster Pa) and was ordained to be a minister in the Anglican Church in London in 1767. Reverend Andrews was one of the leaders of the group which separated the American Episcopal Church from the Anglican Church, and later advocated the union of the Episcopal and Methodist churches. He was sent by the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts to Lewes, Delaware, where he ministered at St. Peter's Church from 1767 through 1770. Within the years 1770 to 1775, he transferred to York, Pennsylvania where he took charge of St. John's Church and St. John's Church in Carlisle, Pa., with missionary jurisdiction in Cumberland and York Counties, Pa.

Sometime in 1775 he accepted charge of St. John's Church in Queen Anne's County, Maryland, and remained there until the commencement of the Revolutionary War, when, not considering himself absolved from the oath of allegiance to England at the time of his admission to Holy Orders (although a decided American in politics), he did not think himself at liberty to cancel that obligation, and assume another to the United States. He therefore became disqualified for the public exercise of his profession and removed again to York, Pa. in 1776 and formed classical academy, which he conducted with distinguished reputation and success. It than became incorporated as The York Academy within St. John's Episcopal Church, York, Pa. which evolve to today's York College of Pennsylvania.

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