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Miller, William (15 February 1782–20 December 1849), lay Baptist preacher and father of the Adventist movement, was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of William Miller, farmer and revolutionary war soldier, and Paulina Phelps. The family soon moved to upstate New York opposite Rutland, Vermont, where young Miller grew up steeped in the unsophisticated Bible-centered culture of his Baptist minister grandfather and uncle. As a youth he evinced a great desire for learning. In 1803 he married Lucy Smith, with whom he would have ten children, and soon afterward settled across the New York border on a farm near Poultney, Vermont, later entering public life as a constable and then sheriff. After friends introduced him to the writings of Voltaire, ...

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Smith, Uriah (02 May 1832–06 March 1903), writer and editor, was born in West Wilton, New Hampshire, the son of Samuel Smith, a highway and bridge contractor, and Rebekah Spalding, a poet. At age four Smith developed an ulcer on his left leg that led to amputation above the knee. This condition in turn contributed to a sedentary life. In 1844 he was baptized into adventism, adopting ...

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Ward, Henry Dana (13 January 1797–29 February 1884), reformer and clergyman, was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas Walter Ward, a sheriff, and Elizabeth Denny. Ward studied history and classics at Harvard, where he earned a B.A. in 1816; in 1819 he earned an M.A. from Harvard. He married Abigail Porter Jones of Lebanon Springs, New York, in 1821. They had no children....

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White, Ellen Gould Harmon (26 November 1827–16 July 1915), cofounder of the Seventh-day Adventist church, was born on a farm outside Gorham, Maine, the daughter of Robert Harmon, a farmer and hatter, and Eunice Gould. In the early 1830s Ellen and her twin sister, Elizabeth, moved with the Harmon family to nearby Portland, where they began their schooling. When Ellen was about nine years old, an angry schoolmate hit her in the nose with a rock, severely injuring her and virtually ending her formal education. The accident left her a self-described “lifelong invalid” seldom free from pain....