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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 416

Allen, Joseph Henry. Correspondence, 1842-1897.


Correspondence of Joseph Henry Allen (1820-1898) Harvard Divinity School graduate (1840), professor, Unitarian minister, and editor.


  • Creation: 1842-1897.


1.25 linear feet (5 boxes)

Letters to and from Allen. Includes letters from Theodore Parker, James Martineau, Russell Lant Carpenter, Henry W. Bellows, Frederic Henry Hedge, Edward Everett Hale and others.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Henry Allen (1820-1898) was born in Northboro, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1840 and from Harvard Divinity School in 1843. He also received two honorary Harvard degrees, an A.M. in 1879 and a D.D. in 1891. He was ordained as a Unitarian minister at the Third Parish of Roxbury (later Jamaica Plain) on October 18th, 1843. He married Anna Weld in 1845, and in 1847 he moved to Washington, D.C. He later served congregations in Maine, Michigan, New York, and California. Allen served as the professor of ecclesiastical history at Harvard College from 1878-1882. In 1881 he was a delegate to an international council of Unitarian Churches in Kolozsvar, Transylvania. He published an extensive number of books and tracts, which include Hebrew Men and Times, the three volume Christian History, and Our Liberal Movements in Theology. He also served as editor of the Christian Examiner (1857-1869) and the Unitarian Review.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Unitarian Universalist Association, 1970.

Allen, Joseph Henry, 1820-1898. Correspondence: 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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