Traveled to Italy (1776-79), where he resided with astronomer Joseph Slop von Cadenburg. Taught mathematics in Edinburgh. Immigrated to the United States (1786). Professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Princeton (1787-96). Author of Researches into Some Parts of the Theory of Planets . . . (1783) and An Inaugural Oration, on the Progress and Importance of the Mathematical Sciences (1788). Contributed to the Earl of Buchan’s biography of John Napier (1787). Member of the American Philosophical Society (1789).
Born in Scotland of Spanish parents. Educated at the University of Edinburgh. Married Mary Skelton; no issue.
First letter in correspondence: October 3, 1787; DAB; John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography (24 vols., New York, 1999); Early Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society . . . from 1744 to 1838 (Philadelphia, 1884), p. 168.