Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1823 - 1911

Thomas Wentworth Higginson was a reformer, lecturer, and author.  His religious position grew increasingly liberal as the years passed.  He graduated from the Harvard Divinity School, served as a Unitarian minister briefly (1847 - 1849), and later aligned himself with American Transcendentalism and the Free Religious Association.  Like Samuel Joseph May, he was a strong supporter of women's rights and an ardent abolitionist.  From 1862 to 1864 he served in the U.S. Army as colonel of one of the first Black regiments in the Civil War.
Higginson has been written about as follows by Octavius Brooks Frothingham, the first historian of American Transcendentalism.
The names of the disciples and prophets of Transcendentalism multiply as they are told off.  There is T. W. Higginson, the man of letters--whom every body knows--a born Transcendentalist, and an enthusiastic one, from the depth of his moral nature, the quickness of his poetic sensibility, his love of the higher culture.  His sympathies early led him to the schools of the ideal philosophy.  He edited the works of Epictetus; speaks glowingly on the "Sympathy of Religions"; is interested in the pacification of the sects and churches on the basis of spiritual fellowship in truths of universal import; lectures appreciatingly on Mohammed and Buddha; holds Spencer in light esteem by the side of Emerson.  In the controversial period--which was not ended when he left the Divinity School--he was entirely committed to the party of progress.  Hennell's "Christian Theism" lay on his table at Divinity Hall.  He was an ally of Parker; an abolitionist; the colonel of a black regiment in the civil war; and from the first has been a champion of woman's claim to fulness of culture and the largest political rights.  A clear and powerful mind, that in controversy would make its mark, if controversy were to its taste, as it is not.