Unitarian Universalist History in Gettysburg
Adams County, Pennsylvania, is named after President John Adams, a Unitarian.
Edward Everett, the famous orator who delivered the main speech at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, had been the pastor of the Brattle Street Unitarian Church in Boston in 1814. Everett’s November 19, 1863 dedication speech preceded Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
President Abraham Lincoln was highly influenced by the abolitionist Unitarian Minister Theodore Parker. Some of Lincoln’s language in the Gettysburg Address can be directly attributed to Parker, including the phrase —"government of the people, by the people, for the people."
Superintendent of Nurses for the Federal Government during the Civil War was Unitarian Dorothea Dix. Her nurses were responsible for the even-handed treatment of both the Union and Confederate wounded after the Battle of Gettysburg.
Henry Whitney Bellows founded the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the Civil War. Bellows was the minister of the All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City. The support of the U.S. Sanitary Commission was critical to the relief efforts after the Battle of Gettysburg.
On Memorial Day, May 31, 1909, President William Howard Taft, a Unitarian, dedicated the first memorial to the troops of the Regular Army who fought in the Gettysburg campaign. Previously, all the memorials had been dedicated to volunteer units. William Howard Taft is the only person to have served as both President of the United States and Chief Justice of its Supreme Court.