1-20 of 34 results  for:

  • Religion and belief x
Clear all

Article

Bennet, Sanford Fillmore (21 June 1836–11 June 1898), physician and writer of popular verses and hymn texts, was born in Eden, New York, the son of Robert Bennet and Sally Kent. After spending his early years in New York, Bennet moved with his family to Lake County, Illinois. By the age of eighteen Bennet was teaching school in Wauconda, Illinois. In 1858 he entered the University of Michigan but did not complete a degree there, deciding instead to accept a position as the head of the Richmond, Illinois school district. After his marriage to Gertrude Crosby Johonnatt, Bennet moved to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where he became co-owner and editor of the ...

Article

Brooks, Walter Henderson (30 August 1851–06 July 1945), clergyman, temperance leader, and poet, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Albert Royal Brooks and Lucy Goode, slaves. Brooks’s father was an enterprising slave who owned his own “snack house” and a livery business that brought him into contact with some of Virginia’s wealthiest citizens, including his wife’s owner, German consul Daniel Von Groning. Albert Brooks purchased his wife’s freedom in 1862 for $800. Still a slave, Walter Brooks at age seven was sold to the Turpin & Yarborough tobacco firm. He woefully recalled his time there, writing: “It was all I could do to perform the task assigned to my little hands. What I do remember is that I stood in mortal fear of ‘the consequences’ of failing to do what was required of me.” When the Richmond manufacturer fell victim to wartime economic decline, Brooks was allowed to reside with his mother and began working in hotels, boardinghouses, and restaurants. In his youth he acquired the doctrines that served as the foundation for his life’s work. He learned temperance from his pastor, the Reverend ...

Article

Caulkins, Frances Manwaring (26 April 1795–03 February 1869), author, was born in New London, Connecticut, the daughter of Joshua Caulkins, a seagoing trader who died in Haiti before her birth, and Fanny Manwaring. Her mother married Philemon Haven in 1807. Caulkins attended schools in Norwichtown and Norwich, Connecticut. She was a voracious reader and began early in life to collect information about history and genealogies. She lived with a maternal uncle in New London, where she began to publish essays in local newspapers about people and events of regional interest....

Article

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....

Article

Crosby, Fanny (24 March 1820–12 February 1915), poet and author of gospel hymn texts, was born Frances Jane Crosby in Putnam County, New York, the daughter of John Crosby and Mercy Crosby, farmers. (Her mother’s maiden name and married name were the same.) At the age of six weeks, she developed an eye infection, for which a man falsely claiming to be a physician prescribed the application of hot poultices; the tragic result was permanent blindness. That same year her father died, and her mother went to work as a maid. Fanny was first sent to live with her grandmother, and later with a Mrs. Hawley, who realized the child’s precociousness and set her to memorizing much of the Bible. Within two years, Fanny had committed the entire Pentateuch (complete with genealogies), most of the poetic books, and the four Gospels to memory....

Article

Davies, Samuel (03 November 1723–04 February 1761), Presbyterian minister, author, and educator, was born in the Welsh Tract in Pencader Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, the son of David Davies (whose family name appears also as David and Davis) and Martha Thomas, farmers. After his mother shifted her allegiance from the Baptists to the Presbyterians, Davies enrolled at the classical academy conducted by the Reverend Samuel Blair at Fagg’s Manor, Pennsylvania. Blair, one of America’s best teachers of the mid-eighteenth century, trained Davies thoroughly in the classics, initiated him into the experiential piety of revivalistic Calvinism, and prepared him for the Presbyterian ministry. Shortly after Davies finished his study with Blair, he was licensed by the New Side (or revivalistic) Presbytery of New Castle on 30 July 1746. Later that year he married Sarah Kirkpatrick, who died giving birth on 15 September 1747....

Article

Evans, Nathaniel (08 June 1742–29 October 1767), poet and Church of England missionary, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Edward Evans, a merchant, and his wife, whose name is unknown. Intended by his parents for a career as a merchant, Evans entered the new Academy of Philadelphia soon after its opening in 1751. There he came under the influence of its energetic and visionary provost, the Reverend ...

Article

Fletcher, Bridget Richardson (23 April 1726–08 June 1770), hymnist and religious poet, was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the daughter of Zachary and Sarah Richardson. Although little is known about Fletcher’s childhood, her parents were probably farmers, as Middlesex County was largely an agricultural region and Fletcher herself writes in Hymn 2 that she did not spring from a prophet’s line, but “only of an herdsman.” Whether or not Fletcher had any formal education is uncertain. Her ability to read and write should be noted, however, since only 40 percent of women were literate during this period, and schools frequently did not admit female students. On 15 February 1745, she married Timothy Fletcher, Jr., of Westford, Massachusetts, a small community adjoining Chelmsford. She probably lived the rest of her life in this town, as the title page of her volume of hymns indicates that she is “late of Wesford [ ...

Article

Grant, Percy Stickney (13 May 1860–13 February 1927), Episcopal clergyman and poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Stephen Mason Grant and Annie Elizabeth Newhall Stickney. An 1883 graduate of Harvard University, he prepared for the ordained ministry at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from which he received his B.D. in 1886. He earned an M.A. from Harvard in the same year. Ordained a deacon (1886) and priest (1887), he served three Massachusetts congregations (Church of the Ascension, Fall River, 1886; St. Mark’s, Fall River, 1887–1893; Christ Church, Swansea, 1890–1893) before becoming rector of the Church of the Ascension in New York City (1893–1924)....

Article

Jones, Amanda Theodosia (19 October 1835–31 March 1914), inventor, poet, and Spiritualist, was born in East Bloomfield, New York, the daughter of Henry Jones, a master weaver, and Mary Alma Mott, a woman noted for her powers of memory and “splendid intellect.” Her family, though of modest means, considered books “more necessary than daily bread,” and Amanda, like her brothers and sisters, was reading the New Testament by age seven. In 1845 the family moved to Black Rock, New York, near Buffalo, where Amanda attended classes at the East Aurora (N.Y.) Academy (then the Normal School at East Aurora). She graduated by 1850 and at age fifteen began teaching at a country school, attending Buffalo High School during the summers. In 1854, exhausted from her rigorous schedule and encouraged by her father to become a poet, she abandoned teaching when her first poems were accepted by the ...

Article

Lathrop, Rose Hawthorne (20 May 1851–09 July 1926), writer and founder (as Mother Alphonsa) of the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer, writer and founder (as Mother Alphonsa) of the Servants of Relief for Incurable Cancer, was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, the daughter of ...

Article

Linn, John Blair (14 March 1777–30 August 1804), poet and clergyman, was born in Big Spring (now Newville), Pennsylvania, the eldest son among seven children of William Linn, pastor of the Presbyterian church there, and Rebecca Blair, the daughter of a theology professor at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). In the course of a distinguished career William Linn became president of Washington College in Maryland in 1784 and was appointed co-pastor of the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church in New York in November 1786, moving there with his family....

Article

Lowell, Robert Traill Spence (08 October 1816–12 September 1891), Episcopal priest, educator, and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of the Reverend Charles Lowell, a Unitarian minister, and Harriett Brackett Spence. He attended the Round Hill School, Northampton, Massachusetts, 1823–1828, where he studied with Joseph Green Cogswell, the founder of the school, and ...

Article

Merton, Thomas (31 January 1915–10 December 1968), Trappist monk and writer, was born in Prades, France, the son of Owen Merton, a New Zealand–born painter, and Ruth Jenkins, an American. In 1916 the family returned to the United States. Following Merton’s mother’s death of cancer in 1921, his father took him to Bermuda for a year and, after a return to New York, left for France where he enrolled Merton in the Lycée Ingres at Montauban in 1925. In 1928 Merton’s father moved to England to exhibit his paintings. Merton himself left Montauban to enter Oakham School. In 1931 Merton’s father died of a brain tumor while still resident in England. In 1933, thanks to a scholarship, Merton entered Clare College, Cambridge, where he remained until 1934....

Article

Morris, Robert (31 August 1818–31 July 1888), Masonic lecturer and poet, according to most biographers, including his son, was born near Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Robert Morris and Charlotte (maiden name unknown), teachers. However, the reliable twentieth-century Masonic historian Henry Wilson Coil in his ...

Article

Odell, Jonathan (25 September 1737–25 November 1818), Anglican clergyman, Loyalist, and poet, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of John Odell, a skilled carpenter, and Temperance Dickinson, the daughter of President Jonathan Dickinson of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). Odell’s father provided in his will for a college education for his son. After graduating from the College of New Jersey in 1754, Odell conducted the college’s grammar school, receiving in payment two-thirds of the school’s proceeds. In 1756 he studied medicine and then joined a regiment of the British army, serving in the West Indies as an army surgeon. He received his A.M. from the College of New Jersey in 1757. During this period he decided to seek ordination as an Anglican clergyman, in spite of his family’s historic ties to the Congregationalist church. While in England studying for the ministry, he taught at James Elphinston’s Academy in Kensington and published his first poems. He met ...

Article

Powers, Jessica (07 February 1905–18 August 1988), poet and nun, was born in Mauston, Wisconsin, the daughter of John Powers and Delia Trainer, farmers. She counted the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, among her ancestors. During her lifetime over three hundred of her poems were published in journals, magazines, newspapers, and in six volumes of verse. While she was still in her teens, her poems began appearing in newspapers (which typically published poetry on the op ed pages in the early decades of the twentieth century). For financial reasons, her formal education ended after one semester at Marquette University’s School of Journalism in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1922–1923), the only school in the Jesuit university open to women at that time. Soon after leaving Marquette, she found work in Chicago as a secretary, but her real work remained poetry. She participated in an informal salon that met regularly at the Dominican Priory in River Forest on the outskirts of Chicago. Young men studying for the priesthood and young writers exchanged books and discussed poetry, drama, and theology. The first journal to publish Jessica Powers’s work was ...

Article

Rogers, Elymas Payson (10 February 1815–20 January 1861), clergyman, poet, and missionary, was born in Madison, Connecticut, the son of Abel Rogers and Chloe Ladue, farmers. His father, the son of an African slave who had survived a shipwreck off the coast of Connecticut, was raised as family by the Reverend Jonathan Todd, from whom he eventually inherited the farmland on which he made his living. In the early 1830s, Rogers left for Hartford, Connecticut, where he attended school and worked for his board in the home of a Major Caldwell. His first formal church affiliation was established in 1833 as a communicant of the Hartford Talcott Street congregation....

Article

Roseliep, Raymond (11 August 1917–06 December 1983), poet and Catholic priest, was born in Farley, Iowa, the son of John Albert Roseliep, a caterer, and Anna Elizabeth Anderson. When he was a child, Roseliep’s family moved to Dubuque, where he developed a lifelong love for the natural world while hiking about Dubuque’s hills. He also enjoyed drawing and painting. At Loras Academy his artistic interests evolved toward poetry....

Article

Rouquette, Adrien Emmanuel (26 February 1813–15 July 1887), Catholic priest and writer, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Dominique Rouquette, a wine merchant, and Louise Cousin. His early life was spent largely in St. Tammany Parish, north of Lake Pontchartrain, where his mother’s family were landowners. Rouquette grew up speaking French, and in the pine woods around his house he developed an intimacy with the Choctaws and their lifestyle. His formal education began in 1821 at the Collège d’Orléans, but he did not prosper there. About three years later he was sent to Transylvania College in Kentucky, where he learned English, lived with Protestants, and acquired some Latin. Rouquette’s father having died by suicide in 1819 and his mother having died during his years in Kentucky, his maternal relatives sent him in 1828 to a small French school in Mantua, New Jersey, outside Philadelphia, in which city his older brother Dominique was to read law. A year later he left for the Collège Royal of Nantes in Brittany, France. After some years in Brittany Rouquette passed his baccalaureate examination....