1775–1863, American Presbyterian clergyman, b. New Haven, Conn., grad. Yale, 1797. In 1799 he became pastor at East Hampton, N.Y. While serving (1810–26) in the Congregational Church at Litchfield, Conn., he published his six sermons on intemperance, which passed through many American and English editions. Beecher helped to found (1816) the American Bible Society. In 1826 he was called to the Hanover St. Church, Boston, where his revival services created excitement. He was president of Lane Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, from 1832 to 1852. His liberal views not infrequently placed him in sharp opposition to the conservative group in the Presbyterian Church. Of his 13 children, Henry, Charles, Edward, Thomas, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Catharine Esther Beecher won wide recognition.
See his Collected Works (1852–53) and his Autobiography ed. by B. M. Cross (1864, new ed. 1961); biography by S. C. Henry (1974).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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