Beecher, Henry Ward

Beecher, Henry Ward

biographical name


Henry Beecher, photographed by Napoleon Sarony—The Granger Collection, New York

(born June 24, 1813, Litchfield, Conn., U.S.—died March 8, 1887, Brooklyn, N.Y.) U.S. Congregational clergyman. The son of a minister, he was the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catharine Esther Beecher. After graduating from Amherst College and later studying at Lane Theological Seminary, he served as pastor to congregations in Indiana. In 1847 he was called to Plymouth Church in Brooklyn. A famous orator and one of the most influential preachers of his time, he opposed slavery and supported women's suffrage, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and scientific biblical criticism. He gained unfavourable publicity in 1874 when he was put on trial for adultery, but he was acquitted and returned to his church.

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