William Jewett Tucker was born on 13 July 1839 in Griswold, Connecticut to Henry Tucker, a businessman, and Sarah White Lester. After his mother died, Tucker spent much of his youth living with the family of a maternal uncle, William Jewett, a pastor in Plymouth, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in 1861. He taught school in Columbus, Ohio until he contracted typhoid fever, which not only prevented him from enlisting in military service during the Civil War but also led him to abandon his plans to study law. After recovering, Tucker enrolled in the Andover Theological Seminary in 1863. Andover, which had been founded in 1808 in response to the drift of Harvard Divinity School toward Unitarianism, was the leading center of Edwardsean Calvinism, commonly known as New England Theology. Among the prominent conservatives with whom Tucker studied was the Calvinist theologian Edwards Amasa PARK. While a seminarian, Tucker had served a brief stint in the United States Christian Commission with the Army of the Cumberland in Georgia. After graduating from Andover in 1866, he spent several months with the American Home Missionary Society in Kansas and Missouri. He was ordained on 24 January 1867 as pastor of Franklin Street Congregational Church in Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1875 he became the pastor of Madison Square Presbyterian Church in New York City.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.