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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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Brownson, Orestes Augustus (16 September 1803–17 April 1876), educator and philosopher, was born in Stockbridge, Vermont, the son of Sylvester Augustus Brownson and Relief Metcalf, farmers. His father died when Brownson was two, and he was placed with a nearby family. The couple reared him in strict Calvinist Congregationalism. At fourteen he rejoined his mother and twin sister in Ballston Spa in upstate New York, where he studied briefly in an academy before going to work in a printer’s office. He had no more formal education. In 1827 he married Sally Healy of Elbridge, New York; they had eight children....

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Carus, Paul (18 July 1852–11 February 1919), editor, author, and philosopher, was born in Ilsenburg, Germany, the son of Dr. Gustav Carus, the first superintendent-general of the Church of Eastern and Western Prussia, and Laura Krueger. As the son of a well-known theologian and state church official, Carus was afforded an appropriate Gymnasium education, which focused on mathematics and the classics. He studied at the Universities of Greifswald, Strasbourg, and Tübingen, eventually earning his Ph.D. degree from Tübingen in 1876. His first professional position was as an educator at the military academy in Dresden, an appointment he soon resigned because of conflicts over his liberal religious views. He then lived briefly in England (1881–1884) before traveling to the United States and settling in LaSalle, Illinois, where he lived for the remainder of his life....

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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....

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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....

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Curry, Daniel (26 November 1809–17 August 1887), Methodist pastor, college president, and editor, was born near Peekskill, New York; the names of his parents are not known. An industrious youth who received a good preparatory education, Curry graduated in 1837 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He spent the next two years as the principal of the Troy Conference Academy in West Poultney, Vermont. From 1839 to 1845 he labored in Georgia, first as a professor at Georgia Female College in Macon and then, after being received on probation as a Methodist minister in 1841, as the pastor of congregations in Athens, Lexington, Savannah, and Columbus....

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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....

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Dixon, Thomas (11 January 1864–03 April 1946), author, clergyman, and lecturer, was born Thomas Dixon Jr. near Shelby, North Carolina, the son of Thomas Dixon, a Baptist minister and farmer, and Amanda McAfee Dixon. Thomas, the third of five children, was born during the Civil War. The Dixon family, which had once been prosperous, was reduced to extreme poverty by the war's end in 1865, owing to the collapse of the Southern economy and the destruction of farmland. During the ensuing years of Reconstruction, as lawlessness stalked the South, the elder Dixon struggled to support his wife and children, and their humiliation and degradation led him, like many other formerly prosperous Southerners, to join the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan, a vigilante organization of white males that proclaimed the supremacy of the white race, had been founded in 1866 to restore honor to the South and to oppose social and political advancement by Negroes, as African Americans were then called. Both the senior Dixon and his brother, the favorite uncle of Thomas Dixon Jr., became leaders in the Klan, and young Thomas grew to adulthood revering the Klan and its teachings....

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Duffy, Francis Patrick (02 May 1871–26 June 1932), Catholic military chaplain, editor, and teacher, was born in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, the son of Irish immigrants Patrick Duffy and Mary Ready. The third of six children who lived to maturity, Duffy received his early Catholic education from the Sisters of St. Joseph but had to leave school at the age of thirteen to work in a mill. At fourteen, however, he was thought to be too frail to work, so he returned to school. Duffy earned a teacher’s certificate from the Cobourg Collegiate Institute in 1888. Feeling a call to the priesthood, he attended St. Michael’s College in Toronto, studying with the Basilian Fathers and graduating with a baccalaureate degree in 1893. In 1894 he accepted a position at St. Francis Xavier College in New York City, where he earned a master’s degree and applied for formal entry into the seminary. Archbishop ...

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Ralph Waldo Emerson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-98114).

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Emerson, Ralph Waldo (25 May 1803–27 April 1882), lecturer and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Emerson, a Congregational minister, and Ruth Haskins. Ralph was one of eight children. His father was a liberal, Concord-born minister of the First Church in Boston and active in the city’s intellectual and social life, being an editor of the ...

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Gordin, Jacob (01 May 1853–11 June 1909), playwright and teacher, was born in Mirgorod, Ukraine, the son of Yekhiel Mikhel Ha-Levi Gordin, a prosperous merchant, and Ida (maiden name unknown). Gordin received both a secular education and a grounding in traditional Jewish studies. Most of his early jobs were as a Russian-language journalist, at which he made a name for himself for his vignettes of Jewish life. He may also have worked in the Russian theater. He married Anna Itskowitz in 1872; they had eleven children....

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Greeley, Andrew Moran (05 February 1928–29 May 2013), Catholic priest, sociologist, popular theologian, and novelist, was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Andrew T. Greeley, a businessman, and the former Grace McNichols, who worked prior to marriage and in widowhood as a billing clerk at Sears. His grandparents emigrated from Ireland. Raised in moderate comfort and interested from childhood in becoming a priest, Greeley entered Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago at the age of fourteen and attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in suburban Mundelein from 1947 until 1954, when he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Assigned initially to a prosperous parish in the city’s southwest corner, Greeley developed an interest in the affluent, highly educated Catholics whose numbers were growing rapidly in the 1950s. Their impact on what had hitherto been a predominantly working-class, immigrant church was the subject of his first book, ...

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Henry, Caleb Sprague (02 August 1804–09 March 1884), educator, pastor, and author, was born in Rutland, Massachusetts, the son of Silas Henry and Dorothy Pierce. Henry received his A.B. from Dartmouth in 1825 and later studied at Andover Theological Seminary. At twenty-four years of age, Henry was ordained a pastor in the Congregational denomination and served at churches in Greenfield, Mississippi (1829–1831), and in West Hartford, Connecticut (1833–1835). Henry was a proponent of the peace movement and in 1834 wrote the pamphlet ...

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Jacobs, Joseph (29 August 1854–30 January 1916), literary critic, folklorist, and Jewish historian, was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, the son of John Jacobs and Sarah (maiden name unknown). He received a B.A. from St. John’s College, Cambridge, England, in 1876, and the following year he went to Berlin to study with the famous Jewish scholars Moritz Lazarus and Moritz Steinschneider. Upon returning to England, he studied anthropology with Sir Francis Galton. He married Georgina Horne (date unknown); they had three children....

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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 ...

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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 ...

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John F. X. O’Conor Courtesy of John D. Alexander.

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O’Conor, John F. X. (01 August 1852–31 January 1920), clergyman, writer, and educator, was born John Francis Xavier O’Conor in New York City, the son of Daniel O’Conor, a builder, and Jane Lake O’Conor. Educated in New York City, he excelled in philosophy and in 1872 won the medal for the natural sciences at St. Francis Xavier College. He graduated with a B.A. that year. On 9 October 1872 he entered the Society of Jesus at Sault au Récollet, Canada. He continued his literary studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Roehampton, England (1874–1876), and pursued philosophy in the Jesuit College at the University of Louvain, Belgium (1876–1879). He began his academic career teaching classical and modern rhetoric and oratory at Manresa, West Park, New York (1879–1881), classical and Anglo-American poetry at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (1881–1883), and French at Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts (1883–1884). During his theological studies at Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland, he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by Archbishop (later Cardinal) ...

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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....