In 1785 when Dugald Stewart succeeded Ferguson in the Edinburgh chair of moral philosophy, Playfair succeeded the former in that of mathematics.
Besides numerous pamphlets Ferguson wrote: History of the Revolution (1706); Qualifications requisite in a Minister of State (1710); and part of the History of all the Mobs, Tumults and Insurrections in Great Britain (London, 1715).
He completed his university successes by winning the TyndallBruce scholarship, the Hamilton fellowship (1872), the Ferguson scholarship (1872) and the Shaw fellowship (1873).
He was educated at home and at Aberdeen University, where he attained the highest academic distinctions, winning among other things the Ferguson mathematical scholarship, which is open to all graduates of Scottish universities under three years' standing.
He continued, however, to carry on his mathematical and physical studies, and in 1782 he resigned his charge in order to become the tutor of Ferguson of Raith.
In 1778 Ferguson was appointed secretary to the commission which endeavoured, but without success, to negotiate an arrangement with the revolted colonies.
He made an excellent clock, which because of a slight improvement introduced by James Ferguson in 1757 was long known as Ferguson's clock.
ADAM FERGUSON (1723-1816), Scottish philosopher and historian, was born on the 20th of June 1723, at Logierait, Perthshire.
At the battle of Fontenoy (1745) Ferguson fought in the ranks throughout the day, and refused to leave the field, though ordered to do so by his colonel.
Among its institutions are the Ferguson Library (1882; with 16,000 volumes in 1909), several private schools, a Y.M.C.A., the Stamford Hospital (private, 1893), two private sanatoria, the Convent of our Lady of Lourdes, St John's Church House, a day nursery (1902), with dispensary and kindergarten, and the Stamford Children's Home (1895).