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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 366

Hosea Ballou papers, 1810-1890.


Papers of Universalist pastor Hosea Ballou.


  • 1810-1890.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


2 boxes

Biographical / Historical

Hosea Ballou (1771-1852) began his career as an itinerant preacher in Vermont and Massachusetts in 1791. He was ordained during the Universalist Convention in Oxford, Massachusetts, in 1794, and he served the "Sister Societies" of Barnard, Woodstock, Hartland, Bethel, and Bridgewater, Vermont, from 1803 to 1817. He accepted a call to the Second Universalist Church of Boston in 1817, and became known as the most influential preacher in the second generation of the Universalist movement. His most well-known works, A Treatise on Atonement (1805) and An Examination of the Doctrine of Future Retribution (1834), altered the philosophies of many of his ministerial colleagues and their congregations. Ballou's theology was based on reason, which led him to reject the Trinitarian doctrine, and as early as 1795, he was preaching a unitarian form of Universalism. Ballou founded the Universalist newspaper known as the Universalist Magazine (later the Trumpet and Universalist Magazine) in 1819 to further the ideals of Universalism. He served as pastor of the Second Universalist Church (Boston) from 1817 until his death in 1852.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Universalist Historical Society, 1976.

Related Materials

For further information about the Ballou family, please see bMS 128, bMS 351, and bMS 359.

Hosea Ballou papers, 1810-1890: 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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