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Longfellow, Samuel (1819-1892)

Samuel Longfellow was born June 13, 1819, in Portland, Maine. He was the youngest of eight children. His father was a Harvard classmate of Dr. Channing and Judge Story, a cultured and high-minded gentleman; the mother, a direct descendant of the John Alden and Priscilla of Henry’s “Courtship of Miles Standish.”…

Samuel Longfellow

May, Samuel Joseph (1797-1871)

Samuel Joseph May was a descendant of John May, an early member of the Roxbury parish under Rev. John Eliot. His father was Colonel Joseph May, for over forty years a warden of King’s Chapel, Boston. Colonel May was an intimate friend of Rev.…

Samuel Joseph May

Johnson, Samuel (1822-1882)

During the earlier half of the last century there arose a group of ministers of original motive, but more or less affected by the inspirations of the great preacher, Theodore Parker, and by Emerson and the Transcendental philosophy, whose work had much to do with the unrest of a transitional period in New England Unitarianism.…

Samuel Johnson

Dewey, Orville (1794-1882)

Orville Dewey was born in 1794 in Sheffield, Massachusetts. His father was a farmer, and both his parents were children of the first settlers of the place. It was, in his childhood, a quiet, homely village of the primitive New England type, with one wide grassy street, and scattered houses on either hand, with vegetable gardens beside them, and lilacs almost as tall as the houses shading the doors, and a rustic wealth of roses and peonies and hollyhocks under the windows.…

Orville Dewey

Frothingham, Octavius Brooks (1822-1895)

Octavius Brooks Frothingham was born in Boston, November 26, 1822. His father was Rev. Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham, D.D., minister of the First Church in Boston from 1815 to 1850. The mother was Ann Gorham Brooks, a daughter of Peter C. Brooks and a sister of Mrs.…

Octavius Brooks Frothingham

Allen, Joseph Henry (1820-1898)

Joseph Henry Allen was sixth in descent from James Allen, who came from England to Dedham, with his wife Anna, in 1639. Ten years later the western part of Dedham was set off under the name of Medfield; and James Allen was one of a company of fifty to settle there, receiving as his portion a house-lot of twenty-four acres, which has remained in the Allen family ever since.…

Joseph Henry Allen

Cordner, John (1816-1894)

John Cordner was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and was born in Newry, near Belfast, Ireland, July 3, 1816. He was educated in Ireland, and in 1843 received an invitation from the newly organized Unitarian society in Montreal, Canada, to become its first minister.…

John Cordner

Clarke, James Freeman (1810-1888)

James Freeman Clarke was born April 4, 1810. His childhood was a very happy one. He was one of the fortunate group of children who called James Freeman grandfather, himself the namesake and pupil of the wise and good man, who, living before his time in his views of religion and education, made an ideal teacher for the little grandson.…

James Freeman Clarke

Stebbins, Horatio (1821-1902)

Horatio Stebbins was born in the South Parish of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, now Hampden, on the 8th of August, 1821, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 8, 1902. He was the son of Calvin and Amelia Adams Stebbins; and, though he cared little to trace genealogies, and was accustomed to say that every man derives from God, yet it was a satisfaction to him to know that his father was considered very intelligent by his neighbors, and longer-headed than the common run.…

Horatio Stebbins

Bellows, Henry Whitney (1814-1882)

This distinguished preacher and organizer of the Unitarian faith was born in Boston, June 1, 1814. The most sociable of human beings, he was not even born alone; a twin brother was born with him. If the twins were not “changed in the cradle,” they were mixed in baptism, Henry getting the name intended for his brother, Edward Sears.…

Henry Whitney Bellows