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Ballou, Adin (23 April 1803–05 August 1890), Universalist clergyman, reformer, and founder of Hopedale Community, was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island, the son of Ariel Ballou and Edilda Tower, farmers. A largely self-educated preacher, Ballou’s earliest religious experience was Calvinist in nature, and he later recalled the “very solemnizing effect” of the preaching he heard as a youth. At about age eleven, however, Ballou experienced a religious conversion, and a year later he was baptized into a Christian Connection church that emphasized a more enthusiastic and fundamentalist religiosity. Ballou developed a deep interest in religious matters over the next several years and eventually became a self-proclaimed preacher. At age eighteen, in the autumn of 1821, he was received into the fellowship of the Connecticut Christian Conference, a Christian Connection body. In 1822 he married Abigail Sayles; they had two children before Abigail died in 1829....

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Graffenried, Christoph, Baron von (15 November 1661– November 1743), promoter of Swiss and German settlement in early North Carolina and founder of New Bern, was born in the village of Worb near Bern, Switzerland, the son of Anton von Graffenried, lord of Worb, and Catherine Jenner. After studying at the Universities of Heidelberg and Leyden, he visited England about 1680, where he met the duke of Albemarle, Sir John Colleton, and other Lords Proprietors of Carolina. In 1683 he returned home and in 1684 married Regina Tscharner, with whom he had thirteen children....

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Hutchinson, Anne (1591?–1643), religious leader, was born in Alford, Lincolnshire, England, the daughter of Francis Marbury, minister of the Church of England, and Bridget Dryden. She learned scripture and theology from her father, who had been silenced and imprisoned for long periods of time by his bishop for complaining about the poor training of English clergymen....

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Morton, Thomas (1580–1647), colonist and writer, was born probably in the West Country of England. His identification on the title page of his New English Canaan (1637)—as “of Cliffords Inne gent”—shows that he had studied law. In his book he refers to himself as the son of a soldier and identifies himself as “having bin bred in so genious a way” that he “had the common use” of hunting hawks. Almost nothing is known otherwise of his parentage or his rearing. Morton was a traveler, for, in addition to his three trips to New England in the 1620s and 1640s, he reports that he had been so near the equator that “I had the sun for my zenith.” On 6 November 1621 he was married to Alice Miller, a widow. Other evidence shows that he was, according to the social standards of his day, a gentleman and a person of means....

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Scholte, H. P. (25 September 1805–25 August 1868), Reformed cleric, journalist, and founder of the Pella, Iowa, Dutch colony, was born Hendrik Pieter Scholte in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the son of Jan Hendrik Scholte, a sugar box factory owner, and Johanna Dorothea Roelofsz. The Scholte family for generations operated sugar refineries in Amsterdam, and young Hendrik, called “H. P.,” was destined to carry on the business tradition. Religiously, the family members were “outsiders” who belonged to a pietistic German Lutheran congregation rather than the national Dutch Reformed church, headed by the monarchy. The death of his father, grandfather, only brother, and mother, all within six years (1821–1827), freed Scholte to use his inheritance to enroll as a theology student at Leiden University. In 1832 he married Sara Maria Brandt. They would have five children before her death in 1844....

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Williams, Samuel May (04 October 1795–13 September 1858), Texas colonizer, city founder, and banker, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Howell Williams, a sea captain, and Dorothy Wheat. After local schooling, young Sam served around 1810 as an apprentice in his uncle Nathaniel Felton Williams’s commission house in Baltimore, Maryland, and he soon journeyed as supercargo to Buenos Aires. Naval activities associated with the War of 1812 prevented his return to the United States until after 1815, allowing Williams time to master the Spanish language and culture....