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Henry Whitney Bellows Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

HENRY WHITNEY BELLOWS
Born: June 11, 1814 in Boston, Massachusetts
Died: January 30, 1882 in New York City, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
American Unitarian clergyman and author Bellows (1814-1882) is probably best remembered today for co-founding the United States Sanitary Commission (USSC) during the American Civil War. The USSC, officially created on June 18, 1861, was one of the largest soldier's aid agencies during the war and improved camp conditions and food for Union and captured Confederate soldiers and assisted evacuation and treatment of the wounded. Before it was disbanded in 1866, it also helped Union veterans secure bounties, back pay and pensions. Bellows was the USSC's first and only president. He graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1837. A brief pastorate in Mobile, Alabama (1837-1838) turned him into a moderate abolitionist. However, Bellows reportedly refused to call slave owners evil like other abolitionists, as he'd been tempted by the good life of the South's white upper class himself. He was then made pastor of the First Congregational Church (Unitarian) in New York City, which he held until his death. An influential voice in Unitarianism, he founded the newspaper the Christian Inquirer in 1847 and edited it and its successor, the Liberal Christian for over three decades. His greatest influence on Unitarianism was his proposing and organizing the National Conference of Unitarian Churches in 1865. He served as president of the National Conference, with short breaks, until 1880. The organization was later absorbed into the American Unitarian Association.>
  

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