Beecher family

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Originating in New England, one particular Beecher family in the 19th century was a political family notable for issues of religion, civil rights, and social reform. Notable members of the family include clergy (Congregationalists), educators, authors and artists. Many of the family were Yale-educated and advocated for abolitionism, temperance, and women's rights. Some of the family provided material or ideological support to the Union in the American Civil War. The family is of English descent.

Locations named after persons of this family include: Beecher, Illinois, named after Henry Ward Beecher and Beecher Island, named after Lt. Fredrick H. Beecher.

Family tree[edit]

The following is a brief family tree of the Lyman Beecher family, and its many notable members :[1]

1. Lyman Beecher (1775–1863), son of David Beecher and Esther Hawley Lyman[2][3] , married first to Roxana Foote (1775–1816) in 1799 and had 9 children; Yale graduate

i. Catharine Esther Beecher (1800–1878) was an educator and women's-rights activist
ii. William Henry Beecher (1802–1889), a Congregational minister in Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts[4]
iii. Edward Beecher (1803–1895) helped organize Illinois' first anti-slavery society, Yale graduate; married Isabella Jones
iv. Mary Foote Beecher (1805–1900), married Thomas Clapp Perkins (1798–1870) in 1827; Perkins was the brother-in-law of Roger Sherman Baldwin[5]
1. Frederick Beecher Perkins (b. 1828), library director in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA, and author;[6] married Mary Ann Fitch Westcott. They had four children including
i. Charlotte Perkins (1860–1935), feminist; married Charles Walter Stetson in 1884 and had one child, divorced in 1894; married her first cousin George Houghton Gilman in 1900 (see below)
2. Emily Baldwin Perkins (1829–1912), married Edward Everett Hale in 1852 and had eight sons and one daughter, Ellen Day Hale (1855–1940), an artist
3. Charles E. Perkins (b. 1832),
4. Catherine Beecher Perkins (b. 1836), married William Charles Gilman. They had four children, including
i. George Houghton Gilman
v. Harriet Beecher (1808–1808)
vi. George Beecher (1809–1843) Yale graduate, married Sarah Buckingham in 1837
vii. Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (1811–1896), wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin; married Calvin Stowe (1802–1886) in 1836
viii. Henry Ward Beecher (1813–1887), married Eunice White Bullard (1812–1897) in 1837; namesake of Beecher, Illinois.
ix. Charles Beecher (1815–1900) married Sarah Leland Coffin (1815–1897) in 1840. Their son, Lt Frederick H Beecher, died at the Battle of Beecher Island,[7] Beecher Island being posthumously named after him.

By his second wife Harriet Porter (1790–1835), whom he married in 1817:

x. Frederick C Beecher (1818–1820)
xi. Isabella Holmes Beecher (1822–1907), married John Hooker (1816–1901) in 1841
xii Thomas Kinnicut Beecher (1824–1900), a Congregational minister in Elmira, New York,[8] married Olivia Day (1826–1853), the daughter of the president of Yale, Jeremiah Day, in 1851, and after her untimely death married her cousin Frances Juliana Jones (1826–1905), one of the granddaughters of Noah Webster, in 1857.
xiii. James Chaplin Beecher (1828–1886), colonel of the 35th United States Colored Troops



Additional reading[edit]

  • French, Earl A. and Diana Royce. Portraits of a Nineteenth Century Family. Hartford, Connecticut: The Stowe-Day Foundation, 1976.
  • Hooker, John. Some Reminiscences of a long life with a few articles on moral and social subjects of present interest. Hartford, Connecticut: Belknap and Warfield, 1899.
  • Rugoff, Milton. The Beechers: An American Family in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Harper & Row, 1981.
  • Van Why, Joseph S. Nook Farm. Hartford, Connecticut: The Stowe-Day Foundation, 1975.
  • Caskey, Marie. Chariot of fire: religion and the Beecher family. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1978.
  • Stowe, Lyman Beecher. Saints, Sinners and Beechers. Indianapolis, Indiana: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1934.

External links[edit]