Samuel Porter Putnam

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Samuel Porter Putnam (born 23 July 1838 in Chichester, New Hampshire; died in Boston, 11 December 1896) was a United States freethinker, critic and publicist.


He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1861, then entered the Union Army[citation needed] as a private, and was promoted during the war to a captaincy. In 1865 he entered the theological seminary in Chicago, where he was graduated in 1868, and preached for three years thereafter as a Congregational minister in the pulpits of Illinois. In 1871 he became a Unitarian minister, and preached for several years in various states.

He then renounced the Christian religion and became an avowed freethinker. He attacked the Bible and Christianity upon the platform, and for 20 years probably making more speeches against them than any other American, speaking almost every day for months together.

After his death, it was revealed that he was divorced with two children.


In 1887 he established a Journal of Freethought in San Francisco. He was the author of:

  • Prometheus
  • Gottlieb: His Life
  • Golden Throne
  • Waifs and Wanderings
  • Ingersoll and Jesus
  • Why don't he lend a Hand?
  • Adami and Heva
  • The New God
  • The Problem of the Universe
  • My Religious Experience
  • Pen Pictures of the World's Fair
  • Four Hundred Years of Freethought