Archibald McPherson was born in 1715 in the Northern part of England. He came
to this country in early manhood and settled in Spotsylvania county. He was certainly a member of the upper class but he had sympathies to the poor and needy
gentleman of education, refinement and wealth, and a friend to the poor and
Mr. McPherson bequeathed his property to the poor of Fredericksburg at death. The funds were used for the benefit of the Episcopal Charity School of Fredericksburg. The male Charity School had its beginnings in 1795, with these gentlemen as subscribers: Benjamin Day, Charles Yates, Elisha Hall, William Lovell, Fontaine Maury, George French and Daniel Henderson.
This fund was to be held in trust by the Mayor and Common Council of the town. Afterwards by an act of the Legislature six trustees were appointed annually. The school was kept in the building on the north side of Hanover street just below the Masonic Hall. Tradition has it that
George Washington visited this school and talked to the children on one of his visits here.
The female charity school was established in 1802 the women of St. Georges parish, assisted financially by Sophia Carter, of Prince William County
Mr. McPherson was a member of St. George’s and interred in the burial ground of St. George’s church and a marble slab erected over his grave, which is now secured to the wall of the Mission House, at the west end of the lot on Princess Ann street. On that slab is the following inscription:
“Here lies the body of Archibald MePherson, born in the county of Murray, in North Britain, who died August 17, 1754, aged 49 years. He was judicious, a lover of learning, open hearted, generous and sincere. Devout, without ostentation; disdaining to cringe to vice in any station. Friend to good men, an affectionate husband.”