Theodore Parker
Theodore Parker was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the New England region of the United States as a protest against the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian...

 and reforming
Reform movement
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes...

 minister of the Unitarian
American Unitarian Association
The American Unitarian Association was a religious denomination in the United States and Canada, formed by associated Unitarian congregations in 1825. In 1961, it merged with the Universalist Church of America to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.According to Mortimer Rowe, the Secretary...

 church. A reformer and abolitionist
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

, his words and quotations which he popularized would later inspire speeches by Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

Theodore Parker was born in Lexington, Massachusetts
Lexington, Massachusetts
Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,399 at the 2010 census. This town is famous for being the site of the first shot of the American Revolution, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775.- History :...

, the youngest child in a large farming family. His grandfather was John Parker
John Parker (Captain)
John Parker was an American farmer, mechanic, and soldier, who commanded the Lexington militia at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. Parker was born in Lexington to Josiah Parker and Anne Stone...

, the leader of the Lexington militia at the Battle of Lexington. Among his colonial Yankee ancestors was Thomas Hastings
Thomas Hastings (colonist)
Thomas Hastings was a prominent English immigrant to New England, one of the approximately 20,000 immigrants who came as part of the Great Migration. A Deacon of the church, among his many public offices he served on the Committee of Colony Assessments in 1640 and as Deputy for Watertown to the...

, who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Massachusetts Bay Colony
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century, in New England, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston. The territory administered by the colony included much of present-day central New England, including portions...

 in 1634, and Deacon Thomas Parker
Thomas Parker (deacon)
Thomas Parker was one of the founders of Reading, Massachusetts, and a deacon and one of the founders of the 12th Congregational Church in Massachusetts .- Life :...

, who came from England in 1635 and was one of the founders of Reading
Reading, Massachusetts
Reading is an affluent town situated in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, some north of central Boston. The population was 24,747 at the 2010 census.-Settlement and Independence:...


Truth stood on one side and Ease on the other; it has often been so.

A Discourse of Matters Pertaining to Religion (1842).

Man never falls so low that he can see nothing higher than himself.

Essay. A Lesson for the Day.

All men desire to be immortal.

A Sermon on the Immortal Life (September 20, 1846).