William Henry Furness

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William Henry Furness

Birthplace: Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts
Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Husband of Annis Pulling Furness
Father of Horace Howard Furness; William Furness, Painter; Capt. Frank Furness, Medal of Honor and Annis Lee

Managed by: Private User
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About William Henry Furness


Rev. William Henry Furness (1802–1896) was an American clergyman, theologian, reformer and abolitionist.

An 1823 graduate of the Theological Department of Harvard University, he became Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia at the age of 22, serving from 1825 to 1875. A close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, he presided over a period marked by the growth and increasing prosperity for First Church. A fiery abolitionist, he was a supporter of the rights of all segments of society, including African-Americans and Jews. Following the American Civil War, he raised funds for Black schools in the South, including Morehouse College.

He was the father of painter William Furness, Shakespearean scholar Horace Howard Furness, architect Frank Furness, and author and translator Annis Furness Lee.

In the position of Minister Emeritus, Rev. Furness lived to see the completion of the current First Church building in 1886, designed by his son Frank.

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William Henry Furness's Timeline

Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts
Age 25
Age 31
November 12, 1839
Age 37
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 94