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Allen, Young John William (03 January 1836–30 May 1907), missionary, educator, and journalist in China, was born in Burke County, Georgia, the son of Andrew Young John Allen and Jane Wooten. Because of the early death of both parents, Allen was raised by an aunt and uncle, Wiley and Nancy (Wooten) Hutchins, who lived in Meriwether County, Georgia. He received a sizable inheritance from his father, which financed his education at several small private schools near his home in Starrsville, Georgia, including the Baptist-run Brownwood Institute in LaGrange, Georgia, and the Morgan H. Looney schools in Palmetto, Georgia. His inheritance also allowed him to collect a personal library, which made him the envy of his classmates as early as 1850, when he was only fourteen years old. He began college work at Emory and Henry College in Virginia in 1853 but transferred to Emory College in Oxford, Georgia, in the spring of 1854. At Emory, Allen acquired the secular learning of the European tradition as well as knowledge of Christianity. His extracurricular activities included membership in a debating society and religious study groups, both of which prepared him for his subsequent careers in China....

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Bentley, William (22 June 1759–29 December 1819), clergyman, scholar, and journalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Joshua Bentley, a carpenter, and Elizabeth Paine, the daughter of a merchant. Bentley was raised in the home of William Paine, the prosperous grandfather for whom he was named, and he was educated at the Boston Latin School before entering Harvard College in 1773. After graduation in 1777, Bentley taught school. He returned to Harvard in 1780 as a tutor in Latin and Greek and prepared for the ministry. Ordained at the Second (East) Congregational parish in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1783, Bentley served in its pulpit until his death thirty-six years later....

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Buckley, James Monroe (16 December 1836–08 February 1920), Methodist clergyman and journalist, was born in Rahway, New Jersey, the son of John Buckley, a Methodist clergyman, and Abbie Lonsdale Monroe. When Buckley was five years old his father died, and the family went to live with his maternal grandfather. The boy was plagued with ill health, suffering from the same pulmonary consumption that claimed his father. Aware of this genetic frailty, he took steps to strengthen his physical condition, especially with breathing exercises and long walks in the open air. Slender financial resources did not provide much formal education, but as a teenager Buckley studied for a few years at a New Jersey academy known as the Pennington Seminary. In 1856 he entered Wesleyan University, but college discipline apparently had little attraction for him; he spent much of the year campaigning for ...

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Corrothers, James David (02 July 1869–12 February 1917), journalist, poet, and clergyman, was born in Chain Lake Settlement, Cass County, Michigan, a colony first settled by fugitive slaves in the 1840s. His parents were James Richard Carruthers (spelling later changed by Corrothers), a black soldier in the Union army, and Maggie Churchman, of French and Madagascan descent, who died when Corrothers was born. Corrothers was legally adopted by his nonblack paternal grandfather, a pious and respected man of Cherokee and Scotch-Irish origins, who raised young Corrothers in relative poverty. They lived in several roughneck towns along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, where Corrothers attended school and became aware of racial hostility. In his boyhood family members introduced him to a rich vein of African-American folk tales that he would later draw upon for a number of his dialect sketches....

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Ewer, Ferdinand Cartwright (22 May 1826–10 October 1883), journalist and Anglo-Catholic clergyman, was born in Nantucket, Rhode Island, the son of Peter Folger Ewer, a shipowner and oil merchant, and his second wife, Mary Cartwright. During Ewer’s childhood, the family moved from Nantucket to Providence, Rhode Island, and then to New York City, finally returning to Nantucket in 1839. Throughout these years, the Ewers were financially well off, but the family fortune declined during Ewer’s years at Harvard (1845–1848). As a result, he experienced financial difficulties while in school and graduated in debt....

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Frank, Ray (1861–10 October 1948), journalist and preacher, was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Bernard Frank, a peddler and fruit vendor, and Leah (maiden name unknown). She was brought up in a deeply religious home. Her mother was an unassuming, pious woman who was fond of reading the Bible, while her father, an Orthodox Jew, was the great-grandson of Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon, the renowned Vilna Gaon, a great eighteenth-century Lithuanian rabbi. After attending public schools in San Francisco, she graduated from Sacramento High School in 1879 and subsequently moved to Ruby Hill, Nevada, where she taught for six years. She then rejoined her family in Oakland, California. To support herself, she offered private lessons in literature and elocution and began to write for periodicals. She also taught Sabbath school classes at First Hebrew Congregation and soon after became superintendent of its religious school....

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Edward Everett Hale Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99518).

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Hale, Edward Everett (03 April 1822–10 June 1909), author, reformer, and Unitarian minister, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Nathan Hale, a journalist, and Sarah Preston Everett. His father was a nephew of revolutionary war hero Captain Nathan Hale, and his maternal uncle and namesake was the orator and statesman ...

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LaFarge, John (13 February 1880–24 November 1963), clergyman, journalist, and civil rights advocate, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the youngest child of John La Farge, a painter and art critic, and Margaret Mason Perry, a granddaughter of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Growing up in this distinguished Catholic family, LaFarge was exposed to such famous people as ...

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Peel, Robert (06 May 1909–08 January 1992), educator, journalist, historian, and religious scholar, was born in London, the son of Arthur James Peel and Anne Susannah Monk. His mother, a Christian Science practitioner for many years, was a decisive influence. He was also close to his sister Doris Peel (1907-1990), a poet whose writing on spiritual themes attracted a devoted following. He never married....

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Ray, Charles Bennett (25 December 1807–15 August 1886), African-American journalist, educator, and minister, was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Aspinwall Ray, a postal worker, and Annis Harrington, a well-read and deeply religious woman. He claimed descent from American Indians, as well as English and Africans. After schooling in Falmouth, Ray went to work for five years on his grandfather’s farm in Rhode Island and then settled on Martha’s Vineyard to learn the bootmaker’s trade....

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Reed, Sampson (10 June 1800–08 July 1880), author and advocate of Swedenborgianism, was born in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of John Reed, a Unitarian pastor, and Hannah Sampson. Reed graduated with high honors from Harvard College in 1818 and went on to study at the Divinity School. There he was introduced to the mystical writings of Emanuel Swedenborg by his roommate, Thomas Worcester, and shortly thereafter Reed abandoned his intention to become a Unitarian minister and in 1820 joined the Boston New-Church Society. At his graduation from Harvard with an M.A. in 1821, he delivered an oration on “Genius,” which rejected the current Lockean notion that at birth the mind is a tabula rasa that registers only impressions received through the senses and experience. His claim that “Locke’s mind will not always be the standard of metaphysics” and his advocacy of intuition as a way of knowing appealed to eighteen-year-old ...

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Seabury, Samuel (09 June 1801–10 October 1872), Episcopal clergyman and journalist, was born in New London, Connecticut, the son of Charles Seabury, a cleric, and Anne Saltonstall. The family moved to Setauket, Long Island, in 1814. Seabury’s family, a long, established line of clerics, included a grandfather (and namesake) who was the first bishop of the Episcopal church in America. Charles Seabury, however, was a modest and uninspiring cleric, and his reduced economic circumstances markedly affected the education and early career of his son. Seabury’s early formal education was limited to various village schools, and rather than being permitted to study the classical languages as a preparation for college, he was instead apprenticed to a furniture maker in New York City. This was a traumatic experience for Seabury, a “bleeding of self-pride,” which he movingly recalled in his personal narrative written in 1831. His narrative includes descriptions of apprentice life and working-class religion and mores as seen through the eyes of a genteelly reared young man. His apprenticeship proved a failure, and he instead dedicated himself to the task of self-education, particularly in the classical languages. He received an honorary M.A. from Columbia College in 1826. Seabury was married three times: to Lydia Huntington Bill (1829–1834); to Hannah Amelia Jones (1835–1852); and to Mary Anna Jones (1854–1872). Altogether he had six children....

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Wallace, Henry (19 March 1836–22 February 1916), cleric and journalist, was born in West Newton, Pennsylvania, the son of John Wallace and Martha Ross, farmers. Initially choosing the ministry rather than farming as a career, Wallace graduated from Jefferson College in 1859 and Monmouth Theological Seminary in 1863. After taking up his duties in the Presbyterian pulpit, he married Nancy Ann Cantwell in 1863. They had seven children, five of whom lived into their adult years....