Author: James Freeman Clarke

James Freeman Clark, 1880

James Freeman Clarke (1810–88) was an American author, editor, abolitionist, and Unitarian minister. Born in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1810, Clarke was a Unitarian theologian and Harvard professor. Clarke studied at Harvard Divinity School from 182933, where he became deeply influenced by the Transcendentalist movement (though he eventually rejected the label). Clarke published early poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson while serving as editor of the Western Messenger, a Unitarian magazine he co-founded to promote liberal Christian thought.

Columbus a Heretic and a Visionary to His Contemporaries

James Freeman Clarke

James Freeman Clarke (1810–88) was an American author, editor, abolitionist, and Unitarian minister. In 1880, Clarke published Self-Culture: Physical, Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual, a collection of his public lectures about education, human nature, and Christian culture from which this selection is drawn. This excerpt, specifically, comes from a speech titled the “Education of Hope,” and raises the question about how to judge this man—or, perhaps, any man: