(1688–1776), born in Scotland, came to America (1710), and after a long political career became lieutenant-governor of New York (1761–76). His History of the Five Indian Nations (1727) was the first careful and well-documented study of the Iroquois Confederacy. Among his many treatises on medicine, moral philosophy, and natural science is the Plantae Coldenghamiae (1749, 1751). He attracted much attention by his implied criticism of Newton in the Explication of the First Causes of Action in Matter, and, of the Causes of Gravitation (1745, frequently revised).
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.