(1813–53), Unitarian minister, graduate of Yale (1836) and Harvard Divinity School (1840), during his second year at the graduate school published A Young Man's Account of His Conversion from Calvinism. As a pastor at Augusta, Me. (1840–53), he advocated several idealistic reforms, including a “birthright church” in which all individuals would by birth automatically become members. He was a pacifist, opposed capital punishment, and believed in temperance and antislavery. His religious and social ideas are exhibited in his two novels, Margaret (1845) and Richard Edney and the Governor's Family (1850), and in his didactic metaphysical epic Philo, an Evangeliad (1850). His novels are distinguished both for their realistic depiction of the Down East region and for their idealistic quality, reminiscent of Hawthorne and Melville.
From The Oxford Companion to American Literature in Oxford Reference.