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 • Middlesex County
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William Ellery Channing
Birth: Apr. 7, 1780
Newport County
Rhode Island, USA
Death: Oct. 2, 1842
Old Bennington
Bennington County
Vermont, USA

Religious Figure. Sometimes called the "Father of American Unitarianism," he graduated from Harvard University at the top of the class of 1798, tutored in Virginia, returned to Harvard to study theology, and in 1803 became minister of Boston's Federal Street Church, where he served until 1842. Identified early in his career as a leader among New England's liberal clergy, he became spokesperson for the growing Unitarian movement within the Congregational Church. His 1819 "Unitarian Christianity," a sermon delivered at the ordination of Jared Sparks at Baltimore's First Independent Church, is often cited as the catalyst for the formal break the Unitarians made from the Congregational Church and the formation in 1825 of the American Unitarian Association. "Unitarian Christianity" clearly formulated Unitarian principles, explaining the Unitarian view of the scriptures and, with its Christian humanist underpinnings, promoting the importance of human reason. The sermon was immediately published in pamphlet form and went through eight editions within a few months. Though he did not consider himself a Transcendentalist, Channing was a strong influence on the American Transcendentalists. And though he did not consider himself a social activist, his writings on topics like poverty, slavery, and war influenced nineteenth-century thought and social justice. (bio by: NatalieMaynor) 
Family links: 
  Mary Ruth Channing Eustis (1818 - 1891)*
  William Francis Channing (1820 - 1901)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Middlesex County
Massachusetts, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 190
William Ellery Channing
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William Ellery Channing
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William Ellery Channing
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