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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 62

Clarke, James Freeman. Papers, 1847-1897.


Papers of Unitarian minister James Freeman Clarke, consisting mainly of correspondence, as well as some essays and lectures. The papers span 1847-1897.


  • 1847-1897.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


1 boxes

This collection is divided into two series. Series I consists of correspondence, arranged alphabetically by correspondent, with unidentified and miscellaneous letters at the end. Series II contains essays and lectures.

Biographical / Historical

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) graduated from Boston Latin School in 1825, Harvard College in 1829, and Harvard Divinity School in 1833. Ordained as a Unitarian minister in 1833, Rev. Clarke was sent to Louisville, Kentucky, as a missionary evangelist. While in Kentucky, he co-founded the Unitarian journal The Western Messenger. He served as chaplain of the Massachusetts State Senate in 1844, and as the secretary of the American Unitarian Association from 1859 to 1861. He was a lifelong advocate of education reform and as such served on the Massachusetts State Board of Education from 1863 to 1869. In 1867, he was appointed to the faculty of Harvard Divinity School as Professor of Natural Theology and Christian Doctrine, where he pioneered the discipline of comparative theology. His published works include Ten Great Religions (2 volumes, 1871 and 1883) and Events and Epochs in Religious History (1881). 


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Correspondence
  2. Series II. Essays and lectures

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 447.

Clarke, James Freeman. Papers, 1847-1897: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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