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Rev James Freeman Clarke

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Rev James Freeman Clarke

  • Birth 4 Apr 1810 Hanover, Grafton County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Death 8 Jun 1888 Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Plot Section 11
  • Memorial ID 44882903

Abolitionist, Author, Social Reformer. Clarke attended the Boston Latin School before enrolling at Harvard College and, later, earning his degree from Harvard Divinity School. After giving his first sermon in Waltham, Massachusetts, he became a minister in Kentucky, then a slave state. He became an active abolitionist, social reformer, and member of the Transcendentalists. He was also the founding editor of the "Western Messenger" before returning to Massachusetts. In 1846, he gave the Phi Beta Kappa address at Harvard and used the platform to denounce slavery; he met with wide criticism. In 1850, he co-authored a biography of his friend, the literary critic Margaret Fuller, with Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Henry Channing. Clarke had previously published Fuller's first literary review. He also contributed to "The Dial", "Harper's", "Atlantic Monthly", and others. After the failure of the Transcendental Utopian community Brook Farm, Clarke bought its land before donating it to Abraham Lincoln to serve as Camp Andrew, a training ground for Union soldiers. During the Civil War, Clarke visited Washington, D.C. and suggested his friend Julia Ward Howe write new lyrics to "John Brown's Body"; the result was "The Battle-Hymn of the Republic". After Lincoln's death, Clarke oversaw the memorial service for him in Boston. For a time, he served as a professor at Harvard and published several books on religion. He also advocated for the rights of women and was recognized as a leader of Unitarian thought. He inspired poems by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes and Samuel Francis Smith (author of "My Country 'Tis of Thee"), both of whom graduated from the same Harvard class with Clarke.

Bio by: Midnightdreary


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Darlina Shaw
  • Added: 28 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44882903
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev James Freeman Clarke (4 Apr 1810–8 Jun 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44882903, citing Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .