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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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Harriman, Job (15 June 1861–25 October 1925), Socialist and utopian colonist, was born in Clinton County, Indiana, the son of Newton Springer Harriman and Elizabeth Miller, farmers. At the age of eighteen Harriman traveled to Irvington, Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis), where he enrolled in Northwest Christian University and began religious studies. After graduation he served for three years as a minister in the Disciples of Christ church, but a growing interest in secular matters drew him away from organized religion, and at twenty-three he left the church. In 1883 Harriman headed west to Colorado Springs. He enrolled in Colorado College, where he studied philosophy but after one year returned to Indiana unsure about his future....

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Moody, Lady Deborah (1586–1659?), English colonist and early proponent of religious liberty, was born Deborah Dunch in London, England, the daughter of Walter Dunch and Debora Pilkington, members of the landed gentry. Her father had read law at Gray’s Inn and was a member of Parliament at the time of Moody’s birth. Her mother’s ancestors included churchmen noted for their radical Puritan leanings. Moody probably grew up at the family estate in Wiltshire, where she would have received an education in reading, writing, and accomplishments customary for girls of her class. In 1606 she married Henry Moody. Shortly thereafter, Henry was knighted by James I, making his wife Dame, or Lady, Deborah Moody. Henry Moody would go on to become sheriff of Wiltshire, a baronet, and a member of Parliament. The couple had two children....

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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....