Woman of the Century/Annie Sinclair Cunningham
CUNNINGHAM, Mrs. Annie Sinclair, religious worker, born in the West Highlands, Scotland, 29th October, 1832. Her maiden name was Annie Campbell Fraser Sinclair. Her father, Rev. John C. Sinclair, a Presbyterian clergyman, was married in 1822 to Miss Mary Julia McLean, who was by close relationship allied to the noble houses of Duart and Lochbuy. There were nine children, of whom Annie was the fifth. Only five of the number lived to mature age. While the children were young, the parents emigrated to Nova Scotia, and removed a few years later to Prince Edward's Island, where ten happy years were spent by her father in home missionary work. To secure a more liberal education for their children, the family went to New bury port, Mass., in 1852, where Annie was admitted to the girls' high School. Young as Annie was when the family left Scotland, she could read and speak two languages, Gaelic and English, though she had never been to school, except the home school in the manse. At the early age of eleven years she made a public profession of her faith and became a member of the church of which her father was the pastor. When her two brothers, the late Rev. James and Alexander Sinclair, were ready to study theology, choice was made of the Western Theological Seminary, in Allegheny, and the family removed to Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1854. Four years later Annie became the wife of Rev. David Avers Cunningham, who was at the time pastor of the Presbyterian Church, of Bridgewater, Pa. There their only child was born and buried. ANNIE SINCLAIR CUNNINGHAM. In 1864 Dr. Cunningham was called to Philadelphia, where he was for twelve years a successful pastor. During those twelve years there came a period of great activity among the women of the various denominations. When the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church was organized in 1870 she was one of its founders, and is still one of its officers. The Woman's Christian Association of Philadelphia came into existence about the same time. Mrs. Cunningham was the first chairman of its nominating committee, and was thus intimately associated with Christian women of every name in the city. She was for a time an officer in the organization of the women of Philadelphia for the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. From her young womanhood to later years she has been a faithful and successful Bible-class teacher. In 1876 Dr Cunningham accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church of Wheeling. W. Va. New work was found there with capable women ready to be organized for Christian labor. and for fifteen years she has been the president of a missionary society which includes all the women and children of the thirty-nine churches in the Presbytery of Washington. For nearly ten years she has been one of the secretaries of the Chautauqua Missionary Institute, in which women of all denominations meet annually. She is also an enthusiastic admirer of the Chautauqua literary and Scientific Circle, and completed the course of reading in 1888, She was chief officer of the Woman's Christian Association of Wheeling, and is the president of the West Virginia Home for Aged and Friendless Women. There is a great deal of work done which does not come under the public eye. and Mrs. Cunningham invariably insists that much of the activity in which she has had the privilege of engaging could not have been successfully carried on, but for the co-operation of him who has been for more than thirty years her husband and pastor.