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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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Coode, John (1648–between 27 Feb and 28 Mar. 1709), one of the most colorful and persistent rebels in American colonial history, was born in Penryn, Cornwall, the second son of John Coode, a lawyer, and Grace Robins. Coode matriculated at age sixteen at Exeter College, Oxford. He was ordained as a deacon in July 1668 and later claimed ordination as a priest. Coode served briefly in a chapel under the vicar of St. Gluveas in Cornwall before being turned out of the ministry for unspecified reasons. By early 1672, Coode was in Maryland, first settling in St. George’s Hundred where he officiated as a minister on several occasions. Two years later he moved to St. Clement’s Hundred after marrying Susannah Slye, the recent widow of a wealthy merchant, Robert Slye, and the daughter of Catholic Thomas Gerard, a powerful landholder and opponent of the proprietary family. At least fifteen years older than Coode, Susannah was subject to periodic fits of madness exacerbated by the recent deaths of a son, her first husband, and her father. Marriage provided Coode a measure of financial security through his management of the estate Robert Slye had left for his children. Coode devoted considerable attention during the next few years to law suits and other measures to build upon these holdings and to acquire land and wealth of his own....

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Endecott, John (1588–15 March 1665), governor and member of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was born probably in Devon. There is no reliable information on his parents, and little is known of his early years.

Sometime during 1627 Endecott became acquainted with the Dorchester Company’s abortive attempt to plant a colony on Cape Ann near the present site of Gloucester, Massachusetts. As part of a reorganization effort, the Dorchester Company’s assets were transferred to a new group of investors willing to provide additional capital and, in the case of Endecott, actually settle in the New World. On 6 September 1628 Endecott landed in Naumkeag (now Salem), Massachusetts, and assumed command of the remnants of the previous settlement. The settlers who arrived with Endecott on the ...

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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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Hathorne, William (1607– April 1681), developer of Salem, Massachusetts, and progenitor of the Ha(w)thorne family in America, developer of Salem, Massachusetts, and progenitor of the Ha(w)thorne family in America, was born in Bray, Berkshire, England, the son of William Hathorne, a yeoman, and Sarah (full name unknown). Little is known of his early years except that he received more education than was usual for one of his family’s standing and grew up in relatively comfortable surroundings. As a young man of eighteen or nineteen, he was converted to Puritanism and, soon after, announced that he intended to migrate to New England. His close friend Richard Davenport, betrothed to Hathorne’s sister Elizabeth Hathorne, left for America in 1628 with the understanding that William and his sister would soon follow. When the Hathornes reached New England is unclear. Probably they arrived after 1630 and no later than the fall of 1633....

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Lyman, Phineas (1715–10 September 1774), provincial general and colonizer, was born in Durham, Connecticut, the son of Noah Lyman, a weaver, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Lyman’s exact birthdate is unknown; he was baptized 6 Mar. 1715. After abandoning weaving, his father’s craft, Lyman studied to enter Yale, graduated in 1738, and stayed on as a tutor and part-time law student until 1742. In that year he married Eleanor Dwight; they had five sons and two daughters. Lyman moved to Suffield, Connecticut, where he practiced law, held a militia commission, and became prominent in provincial politics. In 1747 he was appointed to initiate the ultimately successful process to obtain recognition that Suffield was in Connecticut, rather than Massachusetts, a province with an equally, and perhaps more, plausible claim to the town. Lyman served briefly as a deputy, one of two elected by the freemen of Suffield to the General Court of Connecticut. In 1752 he was chosen for its upper house. As one of the most active of the twelve assistants elected annually, until 1758 he negotiated with other colonies and the London government about Connecticut’s wartime roles. Military duties began to divert him in 1755. War with France interrupted another of Lyman’s interests, his close involvement in the schemes for westward settlement of the Susquehannah Company....

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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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Edward James Roye. Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

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Roye, Edward James (03 February 1815–28 October 1871), fifth president of the Republic of Liberia, was born in Newark, Ohio, the son of John Roye, a wealthy merchant. His mother’s name is unknown. His father died in 1829, leaving some personal property and land to Roye. He went to public schools in Ohio, attended Oberlin College, and taught for a few years in Chillicothe. He also tried his hand as a sheep trader and shopkeeper in various parts of the Middle West. After his mother died in 1840, he was influenced by the emigration movement to escape American prejudice. He rejected Haiti and instead went to Liberia in 1846 when an independent republic was proclaimed, taking with him a stock of goods....

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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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Winslow, Edward (18 October 1595–08 May 1655), diplomat, author, and political leader, was born in Droitwich, Worcestershire, the son of Edward Winslow, a salt merchant, and Magdalene Oliver. Baptized on 19 October 1595, he was well educated at the cathedral school in Worcester. By 1617 he had joined John Robinson’s separatist congregation at Leyden. There he married Elizabeth Barker, of Chattisham, Suffolk, in 1618. At the time he was apparently a printer associated with ...

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Brigham Young. Engraving on paper, c. 1855, by Augustin Francois Lemaitre. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Young, Brigham (01 June 1801–29 August 1877), second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), first governor of Utah Territory, and colonizer, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), first governor of Utah Territory, and colonizer, was born in Whitingham, Vermont, the son of John Young, a farmer and revolutionary war veteran, and Abigail Nabby Howe. Three years later the family moved to central New York State and in 1813 to Sherburne in South-central New York. As a typical frontier boy, Brigham fished; trapped animals; helped clear land, build sheds, and dig cellars; milked the cow; and assisted with the planting and harvest. He received only eleven days of formal schooling but learned to read and write from his mother, with whom he regularly read the Bible. He helped care for her when she became debilitated from tuberculosis. The Young family frequented revivals in that religiously active region, and most of them became active Methodists....