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George Patterson was a journalist, Presbyterian minister, author and antiquarian. He was born in 1824 in Pictou, Nova Scotia, the son of Abraham Patterson and Christiana Ann MacGregor. He married Margaret McDonald in 1851, with whom he had eight children. Patterson was educated at Pictou Academy, Dalhousie College and Edinburgh University. He was licensed to preach in 1848 and became minister of Salem Presbyterian Church in Greenhill, Pictou County, from 1849-1876.
Patterson is best remembered for his biographies of pioneer ministers in the Maritimes and early missionaries to the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), which did much to strengthen the church’s missionary program. After he left the Salem church, he published articles on scholarly and antiquarian subjects. He was a member of the Nova Scotian Institute of Natural Science, the Nova Scotia Historical Society, the American Folk-Lore Society, and the American Institute of Christian Philosophy. His best known-work is History of the County of Pictou, Nova Scotia (1877). He died in 1897 in New Glasgow.