All Biographies (A to Z)

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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Douglas, Emily Taft

Emily Taft Douglas (April 19, 1899-January 28, 1994) was a congresswoman, civil rights activist, early feminist, actress, author, and Unitarian lay leader. Throughout her life

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Douglas, Paul

Paul Howard Douglas (March 26, 1892-September 24, 1976), a prominent Quaker and Unitarian United States Senator and economist, fought for civil rights, truth in lending,

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Drennan, William

William Drennan (May 23, 1754-February 5, 1820), a physician, poet, educationalist and political radical, was one of the chief architects of the Society of United

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Drummond, William

William Hamilton Drummond (August 1778-October 16, 1865), a leading 19th century Irish non-subscribing Presbyterian minister and Unitarian Christian theologian, was also an honored poet, an

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Dwight, John Sullivan

John Sullivan Dwight (May 13, 1813-September 5, 1893) made important contributions to the Transcendentalist movement. A dedicated member of the Brook Farm commune while it

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David H. Eaton

Eaton, David

David Hilliard Eaton (1932-1992) was the first African American to serve as senior minister in a large Unitarian Universalist church. During his tenure, All Souls

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Ecob, James Henry

James Henry Ecob (September 4, 1844-November 6, 1921) was a minister in Unitarian, Presbyterian, and Congregational churches, and participated in and advocated for interdenominational worship

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Eddy, Richard

Richard Eddy (June 21, 1828-August 16, 1906), a Universalist minister, wrote an enduringly valuable two-volume history, Universalism in America, 1884-86. Born and raised in Providence, Rhode

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Eliot, Fredrick May

Frederick May Eliot (September 15, 1889-February 17, 1958), longtime minister of Unity Church, St. Paul, Minnesota and Chair of the Unitarian Commission on Appraisal, served

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Eliot, Thomas Dawes

Thomas Dawes Eliot (March 20, 1808-June 14, 1870) was a renowned Massachusetts attorney and a passionate progressive politician in the years leading up to and

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Ellis, Sallie

Sallie Ellis (March 13, 1835-December 27, 1885), an infirm lay evangelist in Cincinnati, Ohio, created the work of the first Unitarian Post Office Mission which

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Ernst, Sarah Otis

Sarah Otis Ernst (July 23, 1809-December 25, 1882), one of the most effective radical abolitionists in the West, organized the Cincinnati Anti-Slavery Sewing Circle, whose

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Etz, Roger

Roger Frederick Etz (April 30, 1886-December 19, 1950) was a parish minister and a major figure in the Universalist denomination for forty years. He was

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Farwell, William

William Farwell (January 6, 1749-December 11, 1823), one of the founding generation of American Universalist evangelists, organized societies in the neighborhood of Charlestown, New Hampshire

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Ferguson, Jesse Babcock

Jesse Babcock Ferguson (January 19, 1819-September 3, 1870), a renowned orator and minister in the Antebellum South, converted to universalist and unitarian beliefs. His conversion

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Fillmore, Millard

Millard Fillmore (January 7, 1800-March 8, 1874), the thirteenth president of the United States, worked to preserve the union from the sectional interests that threatened

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Fisher, Ebenezer

Ebenezer Fisher (February 6, 1815-February 21, 1879), Universalist minister and educator, was the first president of the Theological School at St. Lawrence University in Canton,

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Foote II, Arthur W.

Arthur W. Foote II (January 18, 1911-December 9, 1999) was a Unitarian minister who chaired the commission that prepared the first hymnal after the Universalist

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Foote, Arthur

Arthur Foote (March 5, 1853-April 4, 1937), Unitarian church musician and influential music teacher, was a leading member of a group of composers known as

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Foote, Henry Wilder II

Henry Wilder Foote (February 2, 1875-August 27, 1964) was a Unitarian minister, scholar, teacher, and hymnologist. As Chair of a joint Universalist and Unitarian commission

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Forbes, John Murray

John Murray Forbes (February 23, 1813-October 12, 1898), a leading Boston businessman and philanthropist, financed and operated a great nineteenth century industrial empire. He and

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Freeman, James

James Freeman (April 22, 1759-November 14, 1835), Minister of King’s Chapel in Boston for 43 years, was the first preacher in America to call himself

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Friend, Victor

Victor Alonzo Friend (July 21, 1870-January 2, 1952), a well-known Boston-area businessman whose company produced Friend’s Brick Oven Baked Beans, was a prominent Universalist lay

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Frieze, Jacob

Jacob Frieze (1789-1880), a Universalist minister from New England, was an early missionary to North Carolina. After retiring from the ministry he became a Rhode

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Fuller, Margaret

Margaret Fuller (May 23, 1810-July 19, 1850) “possessed more influence on the thought of American women than any woman previous to her time.” So wrote

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Gammell, John

(May 16, 1836-December 15, 1913), educator and minister, was the third Unitarian minister to arrive in New Zealand. As a school inspector he influenced educational

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Gannett, Ezra Stiles

Ezra Stiles Gannett (May 4, 1801-August 26, 1871) was a prominent Unitarian minister, editor, and a founder of the American Unitarian Association (AUA). He was

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Gaskell, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson Gaskell (September 29, 1810-November 12, 1865), a lifelong Unitarian and the wife of an eminent Unitarian minister, was the author of a

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Gaskell, William

William Gaskell (July 24, 1805-1884), minister of Cross Street Chapel in Manchester, England for more than fifty years, was a pioneer in the education of

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Gilman, Caroline

Caroline Howard Gilman (October 1, 1794-September 15, 1888), one of the most popular women writers of the first half of the nineteenth century, was born

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Godbey, John Charles

John Charles Godbey (September 26, 1927-November 5, 1999), a Unitarian Universalist minister, scholar, historian, and teacher, spent his entire professional life, 1962-96, as a faculty

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Gordon, Alexander

Alexander Gordon (June 9, 1841-February 21, 1931), a Unitarian minister and educator, was a prominent historian of religion, particularly of religious dissent. Describing himself as

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Graham, Augustus

Augustus Graham (baptized April 15, 1776-November 27, 1851) was a manufacturer, social activist and philanthropist. Because of his name change and the mystery surrounding him,

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Greeley, Dana McLean

Dana McLean Greeley (July 5, 1908-June 13, 1986), a Unitarian minister, peace activist, and civil rights leader, was the last president of the American Unitarian

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Greeley, Horace

Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811-November 29, 1872), Universalist journalist, reformer, and politician, is best known as the longtime, innovative publisher and editor of the New

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Green, Robert

Robert Edward Green (September 30, 1934-January 15, 2003) was a religious humanist and Unitarian Universalist minister who served churches in Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, Michigan, and,

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Grieg, Edvard and Nina

Edvard Grieg (June 15, 1843-September 4, 1907), considered Norway’s greatest composer, was the first to create an internationally celebrated body of musical works inspired by

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Hall, Franklin Oliver

Frank Oliver Hall (March 19, 1860-October 18, 1941) was an inspiring preacher and social gospeler who founded the Universalist Commission on Social Service. He served

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Harris, Clarence J.

Clarence J. Harris (March 16, 1873-November 27, 1941) was a minister who served both Universalist and Unitarian congregations. During the early years of the motion

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Harrison, Alice Mildred

Alice Mildred Harrison (July 27, 1906-June 13, 1989), a religious educator, was a pioneering leader and organizer of youth programming and activities for the Universalist

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Charles Hartshorne

Hartshorne, Charles

Charles Hartshorne (pronounced Harts-horne—as in “deer’s horn”) (June 5, 1897-October 9, 2000) was the 20th century’s leading exponent of process theism. In his long career

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Haydon, Eustace A

A. Eustace Haydon (1880-1975), a pioneer in the study of world religions, was a leader of the Humanist movement. Born in Canada, he was ordained

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Hedge, Frederic Henry

Frederic Henry Hedge (December 12, 1805-August 21, 1890) was a Unitarian minister, an early Transcendentalist leader, a historical theologian, a German scholar and translator, and

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Herford, Brooke

Brooke Herford (February 21, 1830-December 21, 1903) was a Unitarian minister, noted preacher, and author, who served several important churches in Great Britain and America.

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Hildreth, Richard

Richard Hildreth (June 28, 1807-July 11, 1865) was a journalist, philosopher, historian, and antislavery activist. His 1836 novel The Slave is considered the first American antislavery novel.

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Hoar Family

Samuel Hoar (1778-November 2, 1856), a native of Lincoln, Massachusetts, and Sarah Sherman (1785-1862) of New Haven, Connecticut married in the fall of 1813 and

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Holden, Edith

Edith Blackwell Holden (September 26, 1871-April 6, 1920) was a British artist and art teacher, known in her time as an illustrator of children’s books.

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Holmes, John

John Holmes (January 6, 1904-June 22, 1962), a poet and critic, was a teacher of literature and modern poetry at Tufts University for 28 years.

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Holmes, John Haynes

John Haynes Holmes (November 29, 1879-April 3, 1964), a Unitarian minister and social activist, was prominent the Unitarian movement throughout much of the first half

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Howe, Julia Ward

Julia Ward Howe (May 27, 1819-October 17, 1910), little known today except as author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” was famous in her

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Huidekoper, Harm Jan

Harm Jan Huidekoper (April 3, 1776–May 22, 1854) was a businessman, philanthropist, essayist and lay theologian, a vice president of the American Unitarian Association, and

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Jack, Homer Alexander

Homer Alexander Jack (May 19, 1916-August 5, 1993) was a Unitarian Universalist minister and early activist for peace, disarmament, racial equality and social justice. An

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John Sullivan Dwight

John Sullivan Dwight (May 13, 1813-September 5, 1893) made important contributions to the Transcendentalist movement. A dedicated member of the Brook Farm commune while it lasted, he

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Jones, Jenkin Lloyd

Jenkin Lloyd Jones (November 14, 1843-September 12, 1918), a pioneering Unitarian minister, missionary, educator, and journalist, expanded the ranks of midwestern Unitarians and built up

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Jordan, David Starr

David Starr Jordan (January 19, 1851-September 19, 1931), an ichthyologist and an early teacher of evolutionary science, was president of Indiana University and Stanford University

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Jordan, Joseph

Joseph Jordan (1842-1901), the first African American to be ordained as a minister by the Universalist denomination, founded the First Universalist Church of Norfolk, Virginia

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Joy, Charles Rhind

Charles Rhind Joy (December 5, 1885- September 26, 1978) was a Unitarian minister, American Unitarian Association official, and an international humanitarian worker affiliated with the

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Kapp, Max Adolph

Max Adolph Kapp (February 1, 1904-January 1979), was a minister, theological school professor and dean, and a denominational official. He played a significant role in

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Kepley, Ada Harriet Miser

Ada Harriet Miser Kepley (February 11, 1847-June 13, 1925), an energetic women’s suffragist, temperance advocate, and Unitarian minister, was the first American woman to graduate

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King, Thomas Starr

Thomas Starr King (December 17, 1824-March 4, 1864), a Universalist and a Unitarian minister, was a lecturer and orator whose role in preserving California within

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Kirkpatrick, James

James Kirkpatrick (c.1676-1743), an Irish Presbyterian minister, played a leading role in the development of non-subscription and the creation of the Presbytery of Antrim as

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Kiszka, Jan

Jan (John) Kiszka (c.1552-1592) was a politician, magnate, patron and benefactor of Arianism in the 16th-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Jan was the eldest son of Stanislaw

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Kneeland, Abner

Born in Gardner, Massachusetts, Abner was the sixth of ten children of Timothy and Moriah Stone Kneeland. His formal education stopped after a year in

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Kuroda, Andrew Yoshinobu

Andrew Yoshinobu Kuroda (December 29, 1906-February 19, 1997), the first an* ordained Unitarian minister of Japanese ancestry in the United States, served the Japanese Unitarian

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Lathrop, John Howland

John Howland Lathrop (June 6, 1880-August 20, 1967) was a distinguished Unitarian minister, social activist and peace advocate. He said in 1936, “Human associations are

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