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Henry Ward Beecher
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Religious Figure
    (June 24, 1813-March 8, 1887)
    Born in Litchfield, Connecticut
    First minister of the Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn (1847-87)
    Advocate for abolition, women's suffrage, temperance and the theory of evolution
    Brother of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' author Harriet Beecher Stowe
    During the 'Bleeding Kansas' struggle between pro- and anti-slavery factions, he raised money for weapons, declaring 'there was more moral power in one [Sharps rifle] than in a hundred Bibles.'
    During a railroad strike, he told workers whose wages had been cut, 'If you are being reduced, go down boldly into poverty.'
    He used his fame to endorse everything from soap to lingerie.
    He denounced Victoria Woodhull for advocating free love, while carrying on his own adulterous affairs.
    He was involved in the biggest sex scandal of 19th century America when parishioner Theodore Tilton sued him for seducing his wife (1875).
    His wife supported him throughout the trial (which ended with a hung jury).
    He held mock auctions that raised money to purchase the freedom of slaves.
    During the Civil War, his church raised and equipped a volunteer infantry regiment.
    Her toured England to undermine British support for the Confederacy.
    Abraham Lincoln said that no one else in history had 'so productive a mind.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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