Time Line

This is an effort to encapsulate developments in fifty-year increments, listing key names and events, providing links for further research. We have attempted to round out the diversities of Universalism (and Universalist thinkers) by researching and expanding upon the earliest part of the timeline:

  • Tracing historical roots back beyond England to the European continent and the universal salvation controversies of the Reformation time period;
  • Tracing historical roots back even further to early Christian controversies of the first, second and third centuries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Prior to 1700 CE
1701–1750 CE
17511800 CE
18011850 CE
18511900 CE
19011950 CE
19512000 CE

Prior to 1700 CE—  

500 BCE- Ionians believed in one irreducible element common in all nature, called the universal substance, to which all things would return.

c. 150- Clement of Alexandria was born, probably in Athens, Greece. He utilized Christian, Jewish, Pagan, and heretical works as sources of knowledge.

185 CE- Origen Adamentius was born in Alexandria.

215- Clement of Alexandria died.  He was the first to synthesize Platonic and Christian thought.  He believed in the final restoration of all things to God.  He was Origen’s teacher and a prominent early church founder.

225- Origen advocated for universal salvation and the ultimate restoration of all things, including the devil, to God. He developed a philosophical and theological system directed towards human redemption.

253-4- Origen was martyred in the Decian persecution.  It is believed that the location of his grave was known into the Middle Ages.

c. 335- Gregory of Nyssa was born. He was brother to Basil of Caesarea, and along with Gregory of Nazianzen, the three are sometimes referred to as the Cappadocians. Gregory of Nyssa believed in the continual migration of all souls towards perfection and union with God. Among his writings are Life of Moses, 15 homilies On the Song of Songs, and De Opificio Hominis.

c. 350- Theodore of Mopsuestia was born in Antioch.

392- Theodore of Mopsuestia became bishop of Mopsuestia and adopted exegetical methods, preached the humanity of Christ and that all souls are saved through God’s grace.

428- Theodore of Mopsuestia died.

553- Through the urging of Emperor Justinian, the Council of Constantinople declared Origen’s Universalism a heresy.

744- Clement, early reformer in Germany and France, was condemned and imprisoned by the Church for teaching, that with the intervention of Christ, all souls would be redeemed.

c. 810- John Scotus Erigena was born in Ireland.

847- John Scotus Erigena was invited by Charles II, later the Holy Roman Emperor, to head the court school in Paris.  He was one of the most learned individuals of his time and taught that everything emanated from God and would be restored to God.

c. 877- John Scotus Erigena died.

1100- The Cathari, a dualistic ascetic movement, spread from the Balkans into Western Europe.  They saw God as ruler over the spiritual realm and Satan ruler over the material realm.  Eventually all the universe would be restored to God.

1150- The Albigenses began a reform movement in Languedoc, France.  They preached universal salvation and critiqued the excesses of the Church hierarchy and leadership.

1208- Pope Innocent III proclaimed the Albigensian Crusade to silence their “heretical teachings” and to put an end to their calls for reform within the Church.

1233- Pope Gregory IX, in an effort to eradicate and squelch the influence of the Albigenses, instituted the Medieval Inquistions, which was led by the Dominicans.

c.1330- John Wyclif was born in Yorkshire, England.

1377- John Wyclif began vigorous attacks on orthodox church doctrines.  He believed that individuals could interpret the Bible for themselves, without the interpretation from Church clergy, and that Grace was universally available.

1378- The Lollards, a 14th century reform group of Wyclif followers, maintained a belief in universal salvation.

c. 1382- The First Wyclif Bible was published. This was a translation from the Latin Vulgate into English by a group of Lollards, notably Nicholas Hereford.

1384- John Wyclif died of a stroke and was buried in Lutterworth (his remains were later exhumed and cast out of hallowed ground on order of the Council of Constance in 1415) 

c. 1388- A Revised Wyclif Bible was published.  A follower of Wyclif, John Purvey, directed the project.

Hans Denck

Hans Denck

1495- Hans Denck, a leading Anabaptist, was born.

1526- In a letter to Ulrich Zwingli (January 1st, 1484-October 11th, 1531), a hostile observer of Hans Denck wrote that for Denck “even the demons in the end will be saved.”

1527- Hans Denck died of the plague.

1532- Domenico (Menocchio) Scandella was born in Montreale, Italy (now called Montreale Cellina). His beliefs in the oneness of God and that all spirits would return to God are chronicled in Carlo Ginzburg’s, The Cheese and the Worms.

1575- Jakob Boehme was born, probably in the vicinity of Goelrlitz, in Silesia.

Jakob Boehme

Jakob Boehme

c. 1600- Jakob Boehme, a German mystic, developed new speculations about the Godhead. His followers became known as Behmenists. Some of his ideas were incorporated into the English Philadelphian Society. The Universalism of the Philadelphian Society migrated back to Germany and was adopted by several Behmenist groups, a number of who immigrated to America. George de Benneville was associated with these German mystics and was Universalist prior to his coming to America in 1741.

1601- After two separate trials, almost a decade apart, Domenico Scandella was convicted of heresy and burnt at the stake.

1637- Samual Gorton, a pioneer Christian Universalist, is driven out of Massachusetts for his radical teachings.

1684- Joseph Gatchell had his tongue pierced with a hot iron for stating that “all men should be saved”.

1691- The new Massachusetts Charter provided liberty of conscience for all Protestants.  This voided the claim of Puritan sovereignty.

1701-1750 CE—

1703-George de Benneville was born in London.

1705- Charles Chauncy was born.

1716- Isaac Davis was born in Windsor, Connecticut. He and his wife Rachel were Universalists who headed the Davis Family group of Universalists, which was begun by an earlier relative Samuel Davis of Roxbury, Massachusetts (1681-1760).

1722- James Relly was born in southwest Wales.  He wrote Union, a theological treatise on universal salvation.

1723- George de Benneville accepted his first preaching mission on the European continent.

1735- The Great Awakening Revivals of Edwards/Whitefield spread throughout the colonies. This evangelical movement galvanized an intolerant Calvinist atmosphere where dissenting views were difficult to express.

1741- John Murray was born in Alton, England.  He and his 2nd wife, Judith Sargent Murray, would become the driving forces behind the formation of modern Universalism.

1741- George de Benneville emigrated to Pennsylvania and began preaching the Universalist gospel.

1743- George de Benneville and Christopher Sower, a Universalist Quaker, printed the first Bible in America translated into German.  Universalist passages were printed in bold type.

1743- Charles Chauncy published Seasonable Thoughts on the state of Religion in New England, a pamphlet which opposed the emotionalism of the revivals associated with “The Great Awakening” and the ‘New Light Era’. He became the leader of the ‘Old Lights’, or liberals in theology, which sought to preserve reason within religion.

1745- Benjamin Rush was born December 24th in Byberry Township near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

James Relly

James Relly

1746- James Relly was dismissed as a Methodist Minister for preaching universal salvation.

1750- James Relly became an independent preacher of the doctrine of universal salvation.  The first Universalist congregation was organized in London under his leadership.

1750- Caleb Rich was born in Sutton, Massachusetts in August.

1751-1800 CE—

1751- Judith Sargent (Stevens, Murray) was born to Winthrop and Judith Saunders

Home of Judith
Sargent & John Murray

 Sargent in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

1751- Elhanan Winchester was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.

1754- In London, James Relly and his brother John published Christian Hymns, Poems and Spiritual Songs, a hymnbook, which included contributions from several sources.

1759- James Relly published Union:  Or a Treatise of Consanguinity and Affinity Between Christ and his Church in London.  The premise was a logical analysis that if all humans were born into the original sin of Adam, then all were saved through Christ.

c. 1770- Winthrop Sargent established a Universalist fellowship at his home in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  They utilized James Relly’s Universalism as laid out in Union.

1770- The “Hand-in-Hand”, a ship carrying John Murray to New York, ran aground off the coast of New Jersey.  Thomas Potter, of Good Luck, on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, took Murray in.  Potter had built a meetinghouse on his property and was waiting for someone to come preach a more tolerant gospel.  On September 30, Murray preached his first sermon in America in Potter’s meetinghouse.

The brig "Hand in Hand" aground on a sandbar
Thomas Potter sees the stranded ship
Thomas Potter & John Murray meet

1771- Hosea Ballou was born April 30, in Richmond, New Hampshire.  He later became one of the primary voices of Universalism in America.

1773- John Murray preached his first sermon in Boston.

1774- Winthrop Sargent’s fellowship in Gloucester invited John Murray to preach.

1775- General Washington appointed John Murray as chaplain of two Rhode Island regiments.  When the established clergy protested to Washington’s appointment of a heretic, Washington proceeded to place all the regiments of Rhode Island under Murray’s chaplaincy.

Benjamin Rush

1776- The American colonies issued The Declaration of Independence.  Benjamin Rush, a noted Universalist, was one of the signers.

1776- John Murray reprinted the Relly Hymnal including his own additions. Four hundred sixty-eight copies were sold.

1778- Caleb Rich organized The General Society to ordain ministers and issue preaching licenses.  This society included the churches of Richmond and Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and Warwick, Massachusetts.

1778- Nathaniel Michael Stacy was born in New Salem, Massachusetts, on December 2.  He studied under Hosea Ballou and was given fellowship as a minister in 1803.  He was instrumental in spreading the hope of universal salvation throughout the state of New York.

1778- Reverend James Relly died and was buried in the Maze Pond Baptist Ground, (Southwark) London, England.

1779- On January 1, the Gloucester Universalists signed Articles of Association, which created the Independent Church of Christ.

1779- Maria Cook was born. As an adult she was jailed for preaching Universalism.

1780- December 25, the Independent Church of Christ dedicated its new church edifice and called Murray as minister.

1780- Lucy Barnes was born.  She became a noted Universalist writer and poet.

Elhanan Winchester

1781- Elhanan Winchester gave his first sermon publicly advocating Universal Restoration at Pennsylvania University on April 22nd.  

1781- Adams Streeter, a notable New England Universalist in Richmond, New Hampshire.  Over three hundred people attended Rich's ordination service.

1782- Charles Chauncy anonymously published Salvation for all Men defending the Universalist doctrine.

1783- The members of Independent Church of Christ claimed exemption under the Colonial Bill of Rights to avoid paying taxes twards the maintenance of First Parish, the established church that they had left.  The case came to court in 1783 and continued until 1786 with the Universalists prevailing.

1784- Charles Chauncy anonymously published The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations, his second work that defended Univeralist doctrine.

1785- Universalists held their first convention in Oxford, Massachusetts.

1785- Judith Sargent Murray wrote a Universalist catechism.

1786- Gloucester Universalists won the right not to be taxed by the state, for the support of the established church.

1787- Shippie Townsend wrote a catechism for Universalist children in Boston.

1787- Elhanan Winchester, an American Universalist, preached Universalism in England.

1787- Charles Chauncy died.

John Murray

John Murray

1788- Murray was re-ordained by the Gloucester congregation after attempts to bring judgment against him for illegally performing marriages, and for not being ordained.  The Massachusetts legislature had reversed lower court decisions against him, but he was re-ordained to avoid further controversy.

1790- Philadelphia Convention of Universalists adopted a declaration of faith and a set of social reform principles.

1790- Benjamin Rush founded a religious education program for youths called “First Day” or “Sunday School Society” in Philadelphia.  He advocated for the establishment of public schools.

1793- General Convention of Universalists, organized at Oxford, Massachusetts, continues under different names until the Consolidation with the Unitarians in 1961.

1793- Abel Sarjent published The Free Universalist Magizine. This was most likely the first periodical, published in the United States, that advocated Universalism.

1796- Hosea Ballou 2nd was born on October 2nd in Guilford, Vermont.

1797- Elhanan Winchester died on April 18th in Hartford, Connecticut at the age of 47.

1798- Sylvanus Cobb was born on July 17th in Norway, Maine.  He became an influential Universalist minister, theological journalist, legislator, and social reformer. He founded Christian Freeman and Family Visiter in 1839.

1799- The Eastern Association of Universalist churches was formed in the district of Maine, followed by the Northern Association, which included societies in Vermont, New Hampshire and part of New York.

1800- Thomas Whittemore was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 1st.

1801-1850 CE-

1803- The Winchester Profession of Faith was adopted by Universalists at Winchester, New Hampshire.

1803- Nathaniel Stacy was fellowshipped as a Universalist minister after studying under Hosea Ballou.

1803- Adin Ballou was born in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

1804- Hosea Ballou published Notes on the Parables of the New Testament (revised in 1812).

Hosea Ballou

Hosea Ballou

1805- Hosea Ballou published A Treatise on the Atonement.  This was a defense of universal salvation and the first book published in America which openly rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.

1810- Sylvanus Cobb was born on July 17th, in Norway, Maine.

1811- Hosea Ballou and collegues created the Gospel Vistant, a journal for the discussion of theological issues.

1811- Maria Cook, considered the first woman to preach from Universalist pulpits, began her work with Universalist congregations.

1812- Thomas Baldwin Thayer was born on September 10th in Boston, Massachusetts.

1812- Benjamin Rush published Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind after thirty years of advocating for the mentally ill.

1813- Benjamin Rush died on April 19th, in Philadelphia, at the age of 68.

1814- Edwin H. Chapin was born.

1816- Lydia Moss Bradley was born.  She was an educator, philanthropist, and founder of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

1819- The Universalist Magazine began as a weekly paper established by Hosea Ballou.  It later became The Christian Leader and is now part of the UU World.

1820- Alice Cary was born.  She was an author, poet, abolitionist, and suffragist.

Judith Sargent Murray's Gravestone in Natchez, Mississippi

1820- Mary Ashton Rice (Livermore) was born.  She became a key organizer of the United States Sanitary Commission, a prominent lecturer, author, and suffragette.

1820- Judith Sargent Murray died in Natchez, Mississippi.

1821- Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross, was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts on December 25th. She became a prominent humanitarian, a prisoner reformer and set up the Bureau of Records in Washington to trace missing soldiers.

1821- Hosea Ballou supported the separation of church and state during the revision of the Massachusetts state constitution.  He was against taxes going for the support of religious institutions.  This practice, by law, continued until 1834.

1824- Ednah Dow Littlehale Cheney was bornShe became a Universalist and a Unitarian.  She was a suffragist, civil rights advocate, and an editor (she edited Louisa May Alcott:  Her Life, Letters, and Journals (1832-1888).

1824- Thomas Starr King was born in New York City in December.

1824- Caroline Augusta White (Soule) was born September 3rd in Albany, New York.  She became a Universalist minister, missionary to Scotland, author and editor.

1824 or 1825-Lydia Ann Moulton (Jenkins) was born in Auburn, New York.  She was the first woman fellowshipped by any denomination in the United States. She was also a woman’s rights and health advocate.

1828- Thomas Whittemore took over the editing of The Trumpet and Universalist Magazine.  It became profitable and gained greater influence.

1828- Richard Eddy was born.  He became a Universalist historian.

1829- Hosea Ballou 2nd published Ancient History of Universalism.

1829- Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford was born.  She became a Universalist minister, author, poet, and a suffragist.

Thomas Whittemore

1830- Thomas Whittemore published The Modern History of Universalism.  He would later write The Life of Rev. John Murray in 1833, Life of Rev. Hosea Ballou in 1854-55, and The Early Days of Thomas Whittemore, in 1858.

1831- The Restorationist Controversy began.  Twenty ministers left the Universalists and formed the Massachusetts Association of Universal Restorationists over the “Ultra Universalist” view of no future punishment after one’s death.  They rejoined the Universalists in ten years.

1834- Thomas Whittemore founded the Universalist Historical Society.

1835- Maria Cook died on December 21st in Geneva, New York.

1835-Olympia Brown was born at Prairie Ronde in the Michigan Territory on January 5th.

1835- Orello Cone was born on November 16th in Lincklaen, New York.  He became a Universalist minister, educator, and author.  He was professor of biblical languages and literature at St. Lawrence University from 1865-1880, and president of Buchtel College in Akron, Ohio from 1880 until 1896.

Augusta Chapin

1836- Augusta Jane Chapin was born on July 16th in Lakeville, New York.  She  became a Universalist minister, social activist, and was one of the organizers of the Parliament of the Worlds Religions.

1839- Sylvanus Cobb began The Christian Freeman and Family Visiter.  This periodical combined theological writings, articles on religious education, and presented an anti-slavery perspective. He was a prominent social reformer.

Adin Ballou

1841- Adin Ballou founded the utopian Hopedale Community, in Hopedale, Massachusetts.

1841- The Universal Restorationists were reunited with the larger body of Universalists.

1842- Joseph H. Jordan was born.  He became the first African American Universalist minister

1843- An un-named Universalist published a work on the evolutionary nature of the universe and humans.

1843- A Universalist church was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1845- An article published in the Universalist Quarterly by W. F. (possibly William Fishbough) supported the compatibility of scripture with geological findings.

Hosea Ballou, 2nd

1845- Hosea Ballou 2d received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Harvard, and became an Overseer of Harvard University.

1845- Quillen Hamilton Shinn was born on January 1st, in Bingamon, West Virginia.  He would become a prominent evangelical Universalist missionary and a church builder. 

1846- Adin Ballou published his principle work on pacifism, Christian Non Resistance.

Thomas Starr King

1847- Thomas Starr King, both a Universalist and a Unitarian, published an article presenting a pantheistic interpretation of the relationship between science and religion.

1850- Nathaniel Stacy published his Memoirs of the Life of Nathaniel Stacy, Preacher of the Gospel of Universal Grace in Columbus, Pennsylvania.


1851-1900 CE-

1852- Tufts College was founded in Medford, Massachusetts.

1852- Lombard College was founded in Galesburg, Illinois.

1852- Hosea Ballou died on June 7th in Boston, Massachusetts. He is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery. 

1853- Marion D. Shutter was born.  He later became a Universalist champion for the theory of evolution.

1853- Hosea Ballou 2nd became president of Tufts College.  He established the first curriculum that led to the Bachelor of Arts degree.

E.H. Chapin

1854- Edwin Chapin wrote Humanity in the City, which addressed social problems in urban centers, especially children and the marginalized.

1854- Adin Ballou published Practical Christian Socialism. This was written in justification of the Hopedale Community and the first section was his only published work on systematic theology.

1856- St. Lawrence University and School of Theology was founded in Canton, New York.

1856- The Universalists in Chelsea, Massachusetts established Children’s Sunday to honor the worth of children.

1857- Fannie Farmer was born on January 15.

1858- Ida C. Hultin was born.  She became a Universalist and a Unitarian minister, and also spoke at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

1858- Thomas Baldwin Thayer published The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment. He argued that the doctrine of eternal damnation had its origins primarily in Egyptian and other Oriental religions.

1859- The Middlesex Sabbath School Union of Massachusetts sponsored discussions on Science and Religion.

1858- Tufts College presented an honorary Doctor of Divinity to Thomas Whittemore.

1860- Lydia Jenkins was the first woman extended fellowship as a preacher of any denomination in the United States.  She was extended fellowship from the Ontario Association of the New York State Convention of Universalist churches. 

1861- Thomas Whittmore died in Boston and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery. His wife, Lovice (Corbett) Whittmore, presented his personal library to Tufts College.

1861- Hosea Ballou 2d died on May 27th in Medford, Massachusetts.

1862- The Universalist Publishing House is established.

1862- Thomas Baldwin Thayer published Theology of Universalism.

Olympia Brown

1863- Olympia Brown became the first woman to be ordained by any denomination in the United States.  She was ordained on June 25th as a Universalist minister.

1863- The Human Race, probably written by Isaac C. Knowlton, critiqued Darwin and others on the question of human origin, saying that evolution was a theory that, in order to become plausible, required more proof.  Though supporting a “superhuman intelligent agency” behind the creation of man, the door was left open to the findings of science.

1864- Thomas Starr King died on March 4th in San Francisco, California.

1864- Kate Cooper Austin was born.  She was a Universalist, freethinker, feminist, anarchist, and writer.

Clara Barton

1865- President Lincoln endorsed Clara Barton in setting up the Bureau of Records in Washington to trace missing soldiers.  Through her efforts 20,000 names of soldiers were traced.

1866- Sylvanus Cobb died on October 31st in Boston, Massachusetts.

1868- Nathaniel Stacy died on April 4th in Pennsylvania.

1869- Women’s Centenary Association is formed.  It became known as the Association of Universalist Women, and then united with the Alliance of Unitarian Women to become the UU Women’s Federation. Caroline Soule was the first president.

Mary Livermore

1870- Mary Livermore, a Universalist on the Lyceum circuit, became known as the “Queen of the American Platform”.

1872- George S. Weaver (1818-1908), writer of some fourteen books, advocated for the theory of evolution and women’s rights. In his works he presented the Mosaic account of creation as one of visions, metaphors, and allegory, and in no way contradictory to the findings of science.  He held that Adam and Eve were equal parts of creation, neither one above the other. He supported “humans in ministry” not “men in ministry”.

1874- Lydia Jenkins died on May 7. She was a Universalist minister and the first woman to be fellowshipped within any denomination in the United States.

1874- Herman Bisbee (1833-1879) was tried for heresy and disfellowshipped from Universalist ministry.  Bisbee called the infallibility of the Bible a myth, asserted that all miracles had explanations in the physical sciences, and that Christians did not have a monopoly on goodness, among other rational ideas.This was two years after the Winchester Profession of Faith was written into the constitution of the General Convention without the "Liberty Clause”.

1875- Edna Madison McDonald was born.  She became a Universalist minister, religious educator and the first woman ordained in Illinois.

1877- Clara Barton wrote to a founder of the International Red Cross and began the creation of the American Red Cross.

Carolyn Augusta Soule

1878- Caroline Soule became the first Universalist missionary to Scotland.  She was minister of St. Paul’s Universalist Church in Glasgow, Scotland from 1879-1882.

1880- Edwin Hubbell Chapin died in New York on  December 26th.

1881- Clarence Russell Skinner was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1881- Clara Barton incorporated the American Red Cross, with herself as president.

1882- Quillen Hamilton Shinn began his annual meetings in New Hampshire.  This grew out of the tradition of Universalist grove meetings or evangelical brush revivals.

Quillen Hamilton Shinn

1883- Clara Barton served as superintendent of the Women’s Reformatory Prison in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

1884-6-Richard Eddy (1828-1906) published his two-volume history, Universalism in America.

1886- Thomas Baldwin Thayer died on February 12th in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

1889- Joseph H. Jordan (1842-1901) was fellowshipped as the first African American minister.

1889- Young People’s Christian Union was formed (later called the Universalist Youth Fellowship). 

1889- G. T. Flanders, Universalist, attacked a group of Universalists Rationalists for questioning the Divine authority of the Scriptures, including the validity of miracles, saying the Rationalists “would come to no good end”, and that they should be completely discredited.  Among them were:

Jonathon Kidwell, Josiah Upson, O.D. Miller, Andrew Jackson Davis, S. B. Britton, William Fishbough, and Thomas L. Harris.

Orello Cone

Orello Cone

1890- Orello Cone (1835-1905) achieved international recognition for his scholarly Biblical work.  He was a strong supporter of the sciences and applied “scientific spirit” to his understanding of theology.

1890- Universalists sent missionaries to Japan.  Primary Principles of the Missionary program were the efficacy of self-help and the reliance on local leadership.  This forged bounds that continue to present day.

1890- Adin Ballou died in Hopedale, Massachusetts.

1891- Quillen Hamilton Shinn, an itinerant Universalist minister, took it upon himself to become an independent Universalist missionary.

1891- Orello Cone became known as one of the foremost Universalist Biblical Scholars.  He wrote Gospel-Criticism.

1893- The Parliament of World Religions was held in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago Illinois.  Among the presenters were Universalists  Augusta Chapin, A. J. Canfield, Ida C. Hultin and Olympia Brown Willis.

1894- Leo Tolstoy published The Kingdom of God is Within You, and was instrumental in transmitting the ideas of American pacifists, including Adin Ballou, to the 20th century nonresistants, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

1895- Quillen Hamilton Shinn was designated as a general missionary by the Universalist convention.  By this time he had started about fifty Universalist churches and Sunday schools.

Fannie Farmer

1896- Fannie Merritt Farmer (1857-1915), noted author and a Universalist, published her historical cookbook, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.

1899- The Universalist  issued Declaration of Principles, a statement of Universalist beliefs . 

1900- Marion D. Shutter wrote Applied Evolution championing the legitimacy of evolution within Christian theology.

1901-1950 CE-

1901- Joseph H. Jordan died on March 4th, in New York, New York.

1902- Kate Cooper Austin died.

1903- Caroline Soule died in Glasgow, Scotland on December 6th.

1904- Ednah Cheney died.

Joseph Fletcher

1904- Joseph Fletcher Jordan became the third African American to be fellowshipped within the Universalist church.  He headed the Suffolk Normal Training for African Americans and later the Jordan Neighborhood House.

1904- Max Adolph Kapp was born.  He became a Universalist minister, teacher, and promoter of the Unitarian Universalist consolidation.

1905- Mary Livermore died on May 23rd in Melrose, Massachusetts.

1905- Augusta Chapin died on June 30th in New York, New York.

1905- Orello Cone died on June 23rd in Canton, New York.

1906- Richard Eddy died on August 16th in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

1906- Dorothy Tilden Spoerl was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1907- Quillen Hamilton Shinn died on September 6th, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1911- Kenneth L. Patton was born on August 25th in Three Lakes, Michigan.  He became a Universalist minister, hymnist, poet, and served as minister and the driving force of the Charles Street Meetinghouse.

1911- Albert Ziegler was born in South Boston, Massachusetts.

1913- In July at a meeting in Utica, New York, Sunday school workers, from a call from the Commission, met to find new ways to revive interest in religious education and improve standards of religious education.  The following October, the Universalist General Convention, meeting in Chicago, formally sanctioned the organization of the General Sunday School Association.

Clarence Skinner

1915- Clarence Skinner published The Social Implications of Universalism, offering a socialistic vision of the “Kingdom of Heaven” as realized here on earth.

1915- Fannie Farmer died in Boston.

1917- The Universalist Convention adopts a Declaration of Social Principles, written by Clarence Skinner.

1921- A group of Universalist women acquire Clara Barton’s homestead and set up a camp for diabetic girls.

1921- Phebe Hanaford died on June 2nd, in Rochester, New York, at the age of 92.

1922- Carl Gerrard Seaburg was born in Medford, Massachusetts.  He became a Unitarian Universalist minister, wrote hymns and several liturgical anthologies, edited and created liturgical materials, and served the UUA for many years.

Dorothy Spoerl

1929- Dorothy Spoerl was ordained as a Universalist minister.

1933- Free Church of America was formed including Universalists, Congregationalists, and Unitarians.

1933- The Humanist Manifesto was signed by 34 individuals.  Clinton Scott was the only exclusive Universalist minister to sign.  

Clinton Lee Scott

Those with joint affiliations were:  J. A. C. Fagginger Auer, Unitarian, Universalist, and Congregationalist, and Charles Francis Potter, who was both a Universalist and a Unitarian.

1935- The Universalist General Convention at Washington, D. C. adopted The Washington Profession of Faith.

1937- Clarence Skinner published Liberalism Faces the Future

1938- Ida C. Hultin died.

1938- Dorothy Spoerl and Sophia Lyon Fahs coauthored Beginnings of Life and Death, a curriculum for elementary school children.

1939- Clarence Skinner published Human Nature and the Nature of Evil.

1945- Clarence Skinner published A Religion for Greatness, which would have a significant impact on Universalist thought.

1945- The Universalist Service Committee began as an organization dedicated to the healing from, and the eradication of, human suffering. Hungary, Japan, Phillipians and other areas were included in first work projects.

1945-The Federal Council of Churches barred the Universalist Church of America from membership.

Albert Ziegler

Albert Ziegler

1946- Albert Ziegler and Gordon McKeeman founded the brotherhood, Humiliati (The Humble Ones) along with their fellow Tufts University schoolmates, Raymond Hopkins, David Cole, Earle McKinney, Keith Munson, Frederick Harrison, and Charles Vickery. The group wanted a forum for delving into new ways of creating an “emergent Universalism” through developing a new theological system and embodying it with innovations in liturgy.

1948- The General Sunday Association was absorbed into The Universalist Church of America and no longer served as separate entity.

1949- Clarence Skinner died in Long Ridge, Connecticut.

1949- Edna Madison McDonald Bonsor Died.

Kenneth Leo Patton

1949- The Massachusetts Universalist Convention extended fellowship to the convention sponsored, experimental Charles Street Meetinghouse. This was an effort to create a new world religion that could bridge cultural difference.  Kenneth Patton, an avowed humanist, was called as minister.  He believed in the use of art and symbolism as a uniting force for all peoples.

1951-2000 CE-

1953- The Universalists and the Unitarians met for the first time in joint session in Andover, Massachusetts and the departments of education became the first area of work to be federated.

1954- The Universalist and the Unitarian departments of education became one under the Council of Liberal Churches, Inc. Reverend Ernest W. Kuebler became the first director with a staff composed of members from both denominations.

1955- Religion and a Well Ordered Life, by Clarence Skinner, was published posthumously.

1956- The Joint Merger Commission was established to begin work on the consolidation of the Universalists with the Unitarians.

1959- Joint meetings between the Universalists and the Unitarians were held in Syracuse, New York to consider consolidation.

1960- A second meeting between the Unitarians and the Universalists was held in Boston, Massachusetts to consider consolidation.

1961- The Universalists and the Unitarians formally consolidated on May 12th when the constitution and by-laws were ratified.

1965- Unitarian Universalists go to Selma, Alabama in response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call for solidarity, and for the killing of James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister. Of the estimated 500 clergy who joined in solidarity with Dr. King, over 200 were Unitarian Universalists. James Reeb died on March 11th after being shot on March 9th.  On March 26th, the Klu Klux Klan killed ViolaGregg Liuzzo, a Unitarian Universalist layperson, as she drove to Montgomery to pick up more marchers.

1965- On August 6th President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.

Carl Seaburg

Carl Seaburg

1966- Dorothy Spoerl became the UUA’s Adult Program Editor.

1968- Carl Seaburg compiled four liturgical anthologies, the most well known was Great Occasions:  Readings for the celebration of Birth, Coming-of-Age, Marriage, and Death.

1971- Ernest Cassara published Universalism in America.

Ernest Cassara

1971- Carl Seaburg published Boston Observed.

1979- Russell E. Miller published The Larger Hope.

Max Kapp

1979- Max Kapp died in Boston.  The St. Lawrence Alumni Association later set up a scholarship award for students with Universalist interests.

1985- David Robinson published The Unitarians and The Universalists.

1988- Charlotte Cote published Olympia Brown: The Battle for Equality. Cote believed that Olympia Brown’s place in history had been overlooked by historians and sought to correct that omission. She continues to work for women’s rights.

1990- Cynthia Grant Tucker published Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Misters of the Frontier, 1880-1930.

1990- Cynthia Grant Tucker published Prophetic Sisterhood: Liberal Women Misters of the Frontier, 1880-1930.

1991- Albert Zeigler died. His memorial service was held at Ferry Beach Park in Maine, a Universalist conference center.

1993- The UUA hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, was published in May by Beacon Press in Boston.

1993- The World Parliament of Religions was held between August 30th and September 6th in Chicago. There were less Unitarian Universalists attending this Parliament (an estimated average of 75) than had previously spoken (not including attendees) at the 1893 Parliament.

1999- Dorothy Tilden Spoerl died on December 2 at the age of 93.

2002- Richard D. Leonard published Call to Selma, a firsthand account of the events leading up to and including the March for Voting Rights led by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Included are photographs by Ivan Massar, a freelance photojournalist working for Black Star Publishing Company at the time.

The Universalism history timeline was developed by Darrel Richey, student at Starr King School, with a generous grant from the St. Lawrence Foundation.

You may email your feedback to webweaver@online.sksm.edu.


This page was last modified Monday 13 November 2006.  Copyright 19992006 Rev. Alicia McNary Forsey, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.  For comments or requests [ Webweaver at PacificUU dot org ].