Joseph Stevens Buckminster (1784-1812),the young, magnetic, epileptic minister of the Brattle Street Church in Boston and co founder of Boston Athenaeum, was born on this day in 1784. Buckminster was held in awe by many of the founding generation of American Unitarianism, and he became the very model of the literary minister. Buckminster helped introduce German Biblical Criticism to America, thereby influencing the entire direction of the movement. His death following a seizure was devastating to the Boston Unitarians. The historian Daniel Walker Howe reports that "Forty years after Buckminster's death,...'there were Boston Merchants who could not speak of him without tears.'
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