Theodore Parker: A Biography

By Octavius Frothingham Brooks | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II.
HOME AND BOYHOOD.

THEODORE PARKER was born on the 24th of August, 1810. He was the youngest of eleven children, -- the tenth being five years older than he. One died in infancy: the rest, none of them distinguished, lived to be useful men and women. All but three had a decided fondness for literature, read the best books they could get, and copied the portions that most interested them. The oldest had gone away from home when the last was born; but enough remained to fill the house. John Parker was poor when he married, and he never became rich. "When he married Hannah Stearns," says Theodore in a fragment of autobiography, "he went back to the original homestead to take care of his mother, while he should support his handsome young wife and such family as might happen. It was the day of small things: he wore home-made blue-yarn stockings at his wedding, and brought his wife home over the rough winding roads, riding in the saddle his tall gray horse, with her upon a pillion. The outfit of furniture did not bespeak more sumptuous carriage: the common plates were of wood; the pitcher, mugs, teacups and saucers, were of coarse earthenware; while the great carving dishes were of thick, well-kept pewter. The holiday service 'for company' was of the same material. Yet a few costly wine-glasses were not wanting, with two long-necked decanters, a few china teacups and saucers of the minutest

-10-

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Theodore Parker: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface iii
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I - Birthplace and Parentage 1
  • Chapter II - Home and Boyhood 10
  • Chapter III - Teaching and Study 28
  • Chapter IV - Divinity Hall 41
  • Chapter V - The Candidate 67
  • Chapter VI - West Roxbury 88
  • Chapter VII - The Ferment of Thought 125
  • Chapter VIII - The Unitarian Controversy 147
  • Chapter IX - Europe 183
  • Chapter X - The Conflict Renewed 210
  • Chapter XI - The Pastor 241
  • Chapter XII - The Pastor. Specimens of Correspondence 252
  • Chapter XIII - The Preacher 332
  • Chapter XIV - The Reformer 352
  • Chapter XV - The Fight with Slavery 376
  • Chapter XVI - The Kansas War 435
  • Chapter XVII - Failing Health 477
  • Chapter XVIII - The Departure. the Search 508
  • Chapter XIX - The Eternal City 521
  • Chapter XX - Tributes 537
  • Index 583
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