All Biographies (A to Z)

Abernathy, John

John Abernethy (October 19, 1680-December 1, 1740), called “the father of non-subscription”, was a prominent Irish Presbyterian minister who led many ministers and congregations out

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Adam, William

William Adam (November 1, 1796-February 19, 1881), born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, began his ministry as a Baptist missionary in India. His labors in India

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Adams, Abigail

Abigail Adams (November 11, 1744-October 28, 1818) advocated and modeled an expanded role for women in public affairs during the formative days of the United

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Adams, Hannah

Hannah Adams (Oct. 2, 1755-Dec. 15, 1831) born in Medfield MA, she was the first American, man or woman, known to attempt to support herself

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Adams, Hannah

Hannah Adams (October 2, 1755-December 15, 1831), an early American historian and pioneer in the field of comparative religion, was also the first American author

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Adams, James Luther

James Luther Adams (November 12, 1901-July 26, 1994) was a Unitarian parish minister, social activist, journal editor, distinguished scholar, translator and editor of major German

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Adams, John

John Adams (October 30, 1735-July 4, 1826), first vice-president and second president of the United States, was a leader of the American Revolution, diplomat, and

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Aikenhead, Thomas

Thomas Aikenhead (baptised March 28, 1676-January 8, 1697), a young Edinburgh medical student who allegedly railed against the Holy Trinity, was judicially hanged for his

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Aikin, John

John Aikin (January 15, 1747-December 7, 1822), M.D., epitomized the dissenting spirit that advocated freedom of religious expression in mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century England.

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Alcott, Louisa May

Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832-March 6, 1888), best known as the author of Little Women, was an advocate of abolition, women’s rights, and temperance. Her

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Alger, Horatio

Horatio Alger, Jr. (January 13, 1832-July 18, 1899), briefly a Unitarian minister, was a popular nineteenth-century author of juvenile fiction. His “rags to riches” stories

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Appleton, Nathan

Nathan Appleton (October 6, 1779-July 14, 1861) was a merchant, manufacturer, financier, politician and philanthropist, best known as a pioneer in establishing textile manufacturing in

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Appleton, Thomas Gold

Thomas Gold Appleton (March 31, 1812-April 17, 1884) wrote that in his day, “forms of luxury and self-indulgence displace the severe austerities of our fathers;

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Aspland, Robert

Robert Aspland (January 13, 1782-December 30, 1845), father of organised Unitarianism in Great Britain, was the most widely known Unitarian minister of his day. He

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Aspland, Robert Brook

Robert Brook Aspland (January 19, 1805-June 21, 1869), son of Robert Aspland, succeeded his father’s as editor of the Christian Reformer and as secretary of the British

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Atwood, Isaac Morgan

Isaac Morgan Atwood (March 24, 1838-October 26, 1917) was a Universalist minister, journalist, educator, and denominational leader. During the four decades spanning the end of

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Atwood, John Murray

John Murray Atwood (September 25, 1869-November 4, 1951), a Universalist minister, educator, and denominational leader, served, for 37 years, as dean of the Canton Theological

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Auer, Johannes A. C. F.

Johannes Abraham Christoffel Fagginger Auer (August 6, 1882-March 3, 1964) was a Unitarian minister, author, professor of Church History and of the Philosophy of Religion

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Backus, Burdette E.

Edwin Burdette Backus (December 27, 1888-July 7, 1955), a Unitarian minister and proponent of humanism, had a popular radio ministry. He was a notable supporter

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Balch, William Stevens

William Stevens Balch (April 13, 1806-December 25, 1887), a celebrated Universalist preacher, was also an evangelist, a denominational organizer, journalist, politician, teacher, and historian. Proud

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Ballou Family

The Ballou family of New England produced some of the most well-known and distinguished American Universalists, including Hosea Ballou, the leading theologian and evangelist of

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Ballou, Adin

Adin Ballou (April 23, 1803-August 5, 1890), founder of the utopian community at Hopedale, Massachusetts and a leading 19th century exponent of pacifism, was during

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Ballou, Hosea

Hosea Ballou (April 30, 1771-June 7, 1852) was the most influential of the preachers in the second generation of the Universalist movement. His book, A

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Ballou, Hosea 2d

Hosea Ballou 2d (October 18, 1796-May 27, 1861), Universalist minister, scholar, educator, and journalist, was the grandnephew of the theologian and denominational leader Hosea Ballou.

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Barnum, P.T.

Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810-April 7, 1891), known as P. T. Barnum, a prominent Universalist, the most influential American showman of the nineteenth century,

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Barrett, Samuel

Samuel Barrett (August 16, 1795-June 24, 1866) was an active and much respected Unitarian minister in the early days of the organized American Unitarian movement.

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Béla Bartók

Bartok, Bela

Béla Bartók (March 25, 1881-September 26, 1945), the greatest Hungarian composer, was one of the most significant musicians of the twentieth century. He shared with

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Barton, Clara

Clara Barton (December 25, 1821-April 12, 1912) was both famous and honored in her lifetime—and has a well-earned place in American history—as the angel of

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Beard, John Relly

John Relly Beard (August 4, 1800-November 22, 1876), British educational reformer and minister, was a militant exponent and populariser of mid-Victorian Unitarianism. His most enduring

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Bentley, William

William Bentley (June 22, 1759 -December 29, 1819), the minister of the East Church in Salem, Massachusetts, was one of the first New England ministers

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Bergh, Henry

Henry Bergh (August 29, 1811-March 12, 1888) was the founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and was instrumental

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Billings, Mary

Mary Charlotte Ward Granniss Webster Billings (July 11, 1824-March 2, 1904) was a Universalist author, activist, and hymn writer. The wife of two Universalist ministers,

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Birkhead, Leon Milton

Leon Milton Birkhead (April 28, 1885-December 1, 1954), a controversial Methodist and Unitarian minister, achieved national prominence in the 1940s as director of the Friends

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Bisbee, Herman

Herman Bisbee (October 29, 1833-July 6, 1879) is best known as the only American Universalist minister to have been found guilty of heresy. After losing

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Boult, Adrian Cedric

Sir Adrian Cedric Boult (April 8, 1889-February 22, 1983) was one of the foremost British conductors of his time. Well-known for his advocacy and performance

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Bowditch, Nathaniel

Nathaniel Bowditch (March 26, 1773-16 March 16, 1838), a self-taught astronomer, navigator, and business executive, was one of America’s first scientists. His enduring reputation is

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Bowen, Georgene Esther

Georgene Esther Bowen (February 13, 1898-September 1984) was a Universalist missionary and social worker. She worked at the Blackmer Home for underprivileged girls in Japan

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Bowring, Sir John

Sir John Bowring (October 17, 1792-November 23, 1872), a man of amazing energy and a polymath, was a linguist, political economist, reformer, hymnist, writer and

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Boyden, John

John Boyden (May 14, 1809-September 28, 1869), a Universalist minister, politician, and social reformer, was a disciple of Hosea Balou and the longtime pastor of

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Bradburn, George

George Bradburn (March 4, 1806-July 26, 1880), antislavery politician, was a journalist, lecturer, and Unitarian minister. He was a friend and co-worker in the abolitionist

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Bradley, Franklin

Franklin Bradley (February 2, 1831 – May 3, 1909) was a Non-Subscribing Presbyterian minister in Northern Ireland and England and the first minister to Unitarians

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Bragg, Raymond

Raymond Bennett Bragg (October 10, 1902-February 15, 1979), a Unitarian minister and civic leader, played a key role in the making of the Humanist Manifesto

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Brown, Olympia

Olympia Brown (January 5, 1835-October 23, 1926) dedicated her life to opening doors for women. Among only a handful of women to graduate from college,

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Buck, Florence

Florence Buck (July 19, 1860-October 12, 1925) was a Unitarian minister at a time when women ministers were uncommon and a leader in the development

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Burleigh, Celia

Celia Burleigh (September 18, 1826-July 25, 1875) was ordained at Brooklyn, Connecticut, on October 5, 1871, the first woman to enter Unitarian ministry. Had this

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Burton, Harold Hitz

Harold Hitz Burton (June 22, 1888-October 28, 1964) was a Unitarian layman, lawyer, and politician who served as Moderator of the American Unitarian Association (AUA).

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Calhoun, John Caldwell

John Caldwell Calhoun (March 18, 1782-March 31, 1850) was a United States representative, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and vice president. A political

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Cannon, Ida Maud

Ida Maud Cannon (June 29, 1877-July 8, 1960) was a pioneer in the hospital social service movement which began in Boston in the first decade

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Cary Sisters

Alice Cary (April 26, 1820-February 12, 1871) and Phoebe Cary (September 4, 1824-July 31, 1871) were in their day well known and loved for their

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Cassara, Ernest

Ernest Cassara (June 5, 1925-April 10, 2015) was a Unitarian and a Universalist minister, a scholar of American Universalism, and a professor of history. He

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Chamberlain, Austin

Sir (Joseph) Austen Chamberlain (October 16, 1863-March 16, 1937), British politician and statesman, was the son of Joseph Chamberlain and the older brother of Neville

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Chamberlain, Joseph

Joseph Chamberlain (July 8, 1836-July 2, 1914), a British industrialist, reformer, and statesman, was a key cabinet minister in Liberal and Conservative governments. In his

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Chamberlain, Neville

Field Marshal Sir Neville  Bowles Chamberlain (January 10, 1820-February 3, 1902), a significant figure in Britain’s wars on the Indian subcontinent, was the only person

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Chaney, George Leonard

George Leonard Chaney (December 24, 1836-April 19, 1922) was an established New England Unitarian minister whose major contribution to Unitarianism was his work in the

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Channing, Henry Trevett

Henry Trevett Channing (January 17, 1760-August 27, 1840) was the uncle and mentor of the leading exponent of American Unitarian Christianity, William Ellery Channing. He

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Channing, Walter

Walter Channing (April 15, 1786-July 20, 1876) was born, in Newport, Rhode Island, into a prestigious family. He earned his own reputation as Boston’s leading

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Channing, William Ellery

William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780-October 2, 1842), minister of the Federal Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts, 1803-42, was a spokesman during the Unitarian controversy

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Chapin, Edwin

Edwin Hubbell Chapin (December 29, 1814-December 26, 1880), Universalist minister, author, lecturer, and social reformer, was one of the most popular speakers in America from

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Child, Lydia Maria

Lydia Maria Child (February 11, 1802-Oct. 20, 1880) was a novelist, editor, journalist and scholar who produced a body of work remarkable for its brilliance,

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Clarke, James Freeman

James Freeman Clarke (April 8, 1810-June 8, 1888), an influential Unitarian minister, social reformer, popular author, scholar, and institutionalist, founded and ministered to a new

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Cole, Alfred Storer

Alfred Storer Cole (October 9, 1893-January 5, 1977) was a minister, scholar, writer, librarian of the Universalist Historical Society and, for a quarter century, teacher

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772-July 25, 1834) was a poet, philosopher, and romantic visionary, an inescapable presence in early 19th-century England. John Stuart Mill

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Cone, Orello

Orello Cone (November 16, 1835-June 23, 1905), a Universalist minister and scholar, was a professor at the Theological School of St. Lawrence University and president

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Cooke, George Willis

George Willis Cooke (April 23, 1848-April 30, 1923), born in Comstock, Michigan, was a Unitarian minister, writer, editor, and lecturer best known now for his

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Cordner, John

John Cordner (July 3, 1816-June 22, 1894) was unquestionably the most influential figure in setting the tone for the emerging Unitarian movement in nineteenth-century Canada.

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Couden, Henry Noble

Henry Noble Couden (November 21, 1842 – August 22, 1922) was Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives for twenty-five years (1895-1921). After being

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Cousens, John

John Albert Cousens (November 17, 1874-July 2, 1937), a Universalist businessman and educator, was for eighteen years the president of Tufts College. John was born

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Cummings, E. E.

Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894-September 3, 1962) was one of America’s leading 20th century poets. A prolific poet and painter, Cummings (in his poetry

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Curione, Celio Secondo

Celio Secondo Curione (May 1, 1503-December 24, 1569), a classical scholar and professor of eloquence, was a leading religious and humanistic voice in the community

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Dall, Caroline

Caroline Wells Healey Dall (June 22, 1822-December 17, 1912), author, journalist, lecturer and champion of women’s rights, was a Unitarian community service worker, minister’s wife

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Dall, Charles

Charles Henry Appleton Dall (February 12, 1816-July 18, 1886), a Unitarian minister to the poor in the United States and an early Unitarian minister in

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Davies, A. Powell

A. Powell Davies (June 5, 1902-September 26, 1957), a Unitarian minister, was a renowned orator and a prominent social activist for civil liberties, government accountability,

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Dean, Paul

Paul Dean (March 28, 1783-October 1, 1860) was a prominent Universalist evangelist and minister in the early 19th century, a rival of Hosea Ballou, a leader

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Dickens, Charles

Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812-June 9, 1870) is often considered the finest English novelist of the 19th century. His enduring comic characters are part of

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Dietrich, John Hassler

John Hassler Dietrich (1878-1957), minister for almost a quarter of a century at the First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was among the first Unitarian

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Dorothea Lynde Dix

Dix, Dorothea

Dorothea Lynde Dix (April 4, 1802-July 18, 1887), in her early career a teacher and author of children’s books, was, in her unique and international

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