Neilson, Peter

(1795-1861)
   Born in Glasgow, he was educated at the high school and Glasgow University, then joined his father in exporting cambric and cotton goods to America. From the information gathered during business dealing in America, between 1822 and 1828, he published Six Years' Residence in America (1828). The death of his wife turned his thoughts strongly towards religion and poems on scriptural themes; he published The Millennium and Scripture Gems in 1834. In 1841 Neilson settled in Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire, with his three daughters and one son. The Life and Adventures of Zamba, an African King: And His Experiences of Slavery in South Carolina was published by Smith, Elder (1847), which predates Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852). He also contributed to the Glasgow Herald a series of practical articles on cotton supply for Britain. His invention for iron-plated ships was adapted, although he received no credit for it. He died of heart disease at Kirkintilloch and was buried in the grounds of Glasgow Cathedral. His Poems, edited by Dr. Whitelaw, appeared in 1870, and contains David: A Drama from the Bible.
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Peter Neilson, 1795-1861. The Life and Adventures of Zamba, an African Negro King: And His Experience of Slavery in South Carolina. Written by Himself. Corrected and Arranged by Peter Neilson. London: Smith, Elder, 1847 (http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/neilson/menu.html).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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