Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884

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William Henry Channing, Unitarian minister and reformer, was born in Boston, Mass. He was the editor of The western messenger, 1838-1839, spent time at Brook Farm, wrote a memoir of his uncle, William Ellery Channing (1848), and with Ralph Waldo Emerson and James Freeman Clarke, wrote a memoir of Margaret Fuller (1852). He later accepted positions as minister in several Unitarian churches in England.

From the description of W.H. Channing letter to Dear Sir, 1852 Mar. 29. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 61104065

Born into a prominent Boston family, William Henry Channing achieved success and notoriety as a minister, author, editor, and social reformer. His work as author and editor is generally of an intellectual and spiritual nature, often espousing Christian eclecticism. Channing was a fringe Transcendentalist, unofficial minister of Brook Farm, and was acquainted with many significant personages of his day. Energetic and inspirational, he was sometimes criticized for not following through on his plans.

From the description of William Henry Channing letter to O.B. Frothingham, 1882 Jan. 10. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 53150147

American clergyman.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Horace Greeley, 1869 Aug. 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270623156

Unitarian clergyman, reformer, New York City.

From the description of Diary and memorandum book, 1842 Apr. 26-1845 Jan. 1. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 58661232

American author and reformer.

From the description of Letter to Elizabeth Oakes Smith [manuscript], 1852 March 27. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647871288

William Henry Channing (1810-1884) was the son of Francis Dana Channing and Susan Higginson Channing, and the nephew of the renowned Unitarian clergyman, William Ellery Channing. William Henry's father died shortly after his birth; he was raised by his mother and maternal grandfather, Stephen Higginson. After attending Boston Latin School and Harvard College (class of 1829), Channing entered Harvard Divinity School, where he began his successful career as a reform-minded minister. He married Julia Allen of Rondout, New York, in 1836; they had three children. In 1837, he founded a free church in New York City that served the poor. The church failed to thrive in the community and closed. He then moved his family west and served as a minister in the First Congregational Church of Cincinnati from 1838-1841. During this time, he was also an editor for the Western Messenger, a publication "devoted to religion, life, and literature." A skeptic of some Unitarian tenets, Channing left the Cincinnati church and lived with his mother in Brattleboro, Vermont, from 1841-1842. Over the next decade he focused his energies on writing about and preaching for social reform, and believed that religious institutions should guide these changes. He edited two journals: The Present (1843-1844) and The Spirit of the Age (1849-1850), while contributing to The Phalanx (1843-1845) and The Harbinger (1845-1849).

From 1852 to 1854, Channing worked as a minister of Unitarian society of Rochester, New York, before moving to England with his family. He served as a minister to the Unitarian churches at Renshaw Street (1854-1857) and Hope Street Chapels (1857-1861) in Liverpool; the New Oakfield Road Church in Clifton (1865-1866?); and the Free Christian Church and Notting Hill in Kensington (1867-1869?). While in England he continued to write, edit, and publish essays and monographs. He moved to Washington D.C. during the early years of the Civil War, but could not find permanent work and returned to England. Though he lectured in America after the Civil War, his permanent home remained in England. Channing died in London in 1884.

From the guide to the William H. Channing collection, Channing, William H. collection, 1829-1863, (William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Julia Ward Howe Papers, 1845-1917 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Books from the library of Amos Bronson Alcott, 1579-1893. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. Letter to Elizabeth Oakes Smith [manuscript], 1852 March 27. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Channing, William, 1751-1793. Colonial Society of Massachusetts collection, 1710-1939. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Robinson, Harriet Jane Hanson, 1825-1911. Papers of Harriet Jane Hanson Robinson and Harriette Lucy Robinson Shattuck, 1833-1937 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Ford, Worthington Chauncey, 1858-1941. Letters of Worthington Chauncey Ford [manuscript], 1886-1900. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers, 1814-1946, (bulk 1840-1902) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871. Samuel Joseph May diary, 1859. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850. Margaret Fuller papers, 1837-1884. Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square
referencedIn Papers, 1784 (1832-1939) 1944 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn Letters to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1761-1904 (inclusive) 1820-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. Franklin Benjamin Sanborn papers, 1845-1936 (bulk 1845-1936) Concord Free Public Library, Special Collection
referencedIn Charles Henry Brainard papers, 1795-1884 and undated. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902. Elizabeth Cady Stanton papers, 1814-1946 (bulk 1840-1902). Library of Congress
creatorOf William H. Channing collection, Channing, William H. collection, 1829-1863 William L. Clements Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn John Thomas Codman Brook Farm collection, 1840-1901. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. Dangers to be guarded against in the study of polemic divinity : [Divinity School, 1833] Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871. Samuel Joseph May diary, 1861. Cornell University Library
referencedIn William Allen family correspondence, 1802-1872. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Edward Morris Davis papers, 1830-1941 (inclusive), 1837-1850 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Codman, John Thomas. John Thomas Codman Brook Farm collection, 1840-1901. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Fowler family. Fowler and Wells families papers, 1807-1968, 1836-1901(bulk). Cornell University Library
referencedIn Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842. Autograph letter : Boston, to Benjamin Rodman in New Bedford, 1833 Dec. 27. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Portrait file: Guide. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Amy Hemenway collection of autographs, 1791-1873. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. W.H. Channing letter to Dear Sir, 1852 Mar. 29. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Charles Sumner correspondence, 1829-1874. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Wendell Phillips papers, 1555-1882 (inclusive) 1833-1881 (bulk). Houghton Library.
creatorOf Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888. James Freeman Clarke correspondence, 1845-1872. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. Autograph letter signed : London, to Horace Greeley, 1869 Aug. 7. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Autograph File, C, 1554-2002. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842. Autograph letter signed : [Boston], to "Monsieur J le L de Sismondi," 1841 Sept. 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Alcott family additional papers, 1707-1904 (inclusive), 1821-1888 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Slavery in the United States collection, 1703-1905. American Antiquarian Society
referencedIn Palfrey family papers, 1713-1915. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Emerson family correspondence, ca. 1725-1900. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Allen, William. William Allen family correspondence, 1802-1872 (inclusive), 1802-1850 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871. Samuel J. May diary, 1870. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Howe family papers, 1819-1910. Houghton Library.
referencedIn James Freeman Clarke correspondence, 1845-1872. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1833-1937 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Allen, John, 1814-1858. Brook Farm correspondence, 1839--1851. Middlebury College
referencedIn Blackwell family. Papers, 1784-1944 (inclusive), 1832-1939 (bulk). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Emerson family papers, 1699-1939. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Channing, Ellen Kilshaw (Fuller). Papers concerning Margaret Fuller, ca. 1848-[ca. 1884] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. William H. Channing collection, 1829-1863. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. William Henry Channing letter to O.B. Frothingham, 1882 Jan. 10. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. Julia Ward Howe papers, 1845-1917. Library of Congress
referencedIn Allen, Joseph Henry, 1820-1898. Correspondence, 1842-1897 (inclusive). Harvard University, Divinity School Library
referencedIn James Freeman Clarke additional papers, 1806-1936. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Channing, W. H. (William Henry), 1810-1884. Diary and memorandum book, 1842 Apr. 26-1845 Jan. 1. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Ralph Waldo Emerson letters from various correspondents, ca. 1814-1882. Houghton Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alcott, Amos Bronson, 1799-1888 person
correspondedWith Alcott family. family
associatedWith Allen, Joseph Henry, 1820-1898. person
associatedWith Allen, William. person
associatedWith Allen, William. person
associatedWith Blackwell family. family
associatedWith BLACKWELL FAMILY family
correspondedWith Brainard, Charles Henry, 1817-1885 person
associatedWith Brook Farm Phalanx (West Roxbury, Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Channing, J. D. person
associatedWith Channing, J. D. person
associatedWith Channing, Sarah, d. 1844. person
associatedWith Channing, Susan Higginson, 1783-1865. person
associatedWith Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842. person
associatedWith Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888. person
associatedWith Codman, John Thomas. person
correspondedWith Davis, Edward Morris, 1811-1887 person
associatedWith Emerson family. family
associatedWith Emerson family. family
correspondedWith Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882 person
associatedWith Ford, Worthington Chauncey, 1858-1941. person
associatedWith Fowler family. family
associatedWith Frothingham, Octavius Brooks, 1822-1895, person
associatedWith Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850. person
associatedWith Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872, person
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Hemenway, Amy, collector. person
correspondedWith Howe family. family
correspondedWith Howe, Julia Ward, 1819-1910. person
associatedWith Kingsbury, J. D. (John Dennison), b. 1831, person
correspondedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871. person
correspondedWith Palfrey family. family
correspondedWith Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884 person
associatedWith Robinson, Harriet Jane Hanson, 1825-1911. person
correspondedWith Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917. person
associatedWith Shattuck, Harriette Lucy Robinson, 1850-1937 person
associatedWith Smith, Elizabeth Oakes Prince, 1806-1893 person
correspondedWith Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902. person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Brattleboro (Vt.)
United States
Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y.)
United States
United States
Brattleboro (Vt.)
United States
Subject
Transcendentalism (New England)
Unitarian Universalist churches--Clergy--Correspondence
Bereavement
Spiritual life--Unitarians
Unitarians--Clergy--Correspondence
Military chaplains
Newspaper reading
Women's rights
Unitarians
Occupation
Clergy
Function

Person

Birth 1810-05-25

Death 1884-12-23

Americans

English

Information

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