Newell Dwight Hillis

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Newell Dwight Hillis
Hillis circa 1900
Born (1858-09-02)September 2, 1858
Harrison County, Iowa
Died February 25, 1929(1929-02-25) (aged 70)
Religion Congregationalist
Spouse(s) Annie Louise Patrick Hillis (1862-1930)
Children Richard Dwight Hillis (b. 1888)
Margaret Louise Hillis Roulston (b. 1899)
Nathalie Louise Hillis Kellogg (b. 1900)
Cover of The Blot on the Kaiser's 'Scutcheon by Hillis

Newell Dwight Hillis (September 2, 1858 – February 25, 1929) was a Congregationalist minister, writer, and philosopher from Brooklyn. He served as pastor of the historic Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, and he oversaw the completion of the last major renovation of the church.[1]


He was born on September 2, 1858.

Hillis was a supporter of eugenics. With John Harvey Kellogg he organized the first and second National Race Betterment Conferences in 1915 and 1916. Hillis was on the executive committee and spoke on the subject of factory degeneration.[2]

He died on February 25, 1929 at age 70.

Controversial views[edit]

As a minister in a major metropolis, Hillis railed against immorality, and he told reporters in 1900 that "a common whipping post might be very wholesome for New York today."[3] Hillis was upset over what he deemed the immoral behavior found in Broadway plays, in particular the play Sapho, which featured English actress Olga Nethersole in the role of Fanny. The offensive scene involved Fanny being carried up a flight of stairs by a man to whom she was not married, with Fanny discussing her excitement onstage about what might await the couple after they reached the top of the stairs.

Hillis also authored a book containing World War I German atrocity stories. Based upon his belief in the veracity of the reports of alleged German inhumanity, he called for the sterilization of Germans.[4]

As a writer, Hillis wrote a wide variety of books. Some of which are "Right Living as a Fine Art," "The Better America Lectures," "Great Books as Life-Teachers: Studies of Character, Real and Ideal," "After Sermon Prayers," "The Contagion of Character, Studies in Culture and Success," "Lectures and Oration" By Hillis and Henry Ward Beecher, "The Quest of John Chapman: The Story of a Forgotten Hero" "German Atrocities, Their Nature and Philosophy: Studies in Belgium and France During July and August 1917" "The Quest of Happiness: A Study of Victories Over Life's Troubles," and "John Milton the Scholar in Politics (1608-1674)."


  1. ^ "Our History". Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  2. ^ "First National Conference On Race Betterment". Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  3. ^ "The Sapho Affair". PBS. 1999. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  4. ^ Hillis, Newell Dwight (1918). The Blot on the Kaiser's 'Scutcheon. p. 22. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 


  • Hillis, Newell Dwight. The Influence of Christ in Modern Life. New York: MacMillan & Company, 1900.
  • Hillis, Newell Dwight. The Quest of Happiness. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1902.
  • Hillis, Newell Dwight. German Atrocities, Their Nature and Philosophy: Studies in Belgium and France. New York: Fleming H. Revell and Company, 1918.
  • Hillis, Newell Dwight.The Blot on the Kaiser's 'Scutcheon. New York: Fleming H. Revell and Company, 1918.
  • Swing, David and Hillis, Newell Dwight. The Message of David Swing to His Generation: Addresses and Papers. New York: Fleming H. Revell and Company, 1913.
  • Hillis, Newell Dwight. Right Living As A Fine Art. Fleming H Revell Company New York Chicago Toronto,1899.

External links[edit]