A Century of Unitarianism in the National Capital, 1821-1921: The Shadow of Slavery

by Jennie W. Scudder

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Jennie Scudder’s work traces the sometimes controversial history of Unitarianism in the District of Columbia, centering on All Souls Unitarian Church. Scudder publshed the volume initially in 1909, but it wasn’t copyrighted until 1921, when the Church celebrated its hundredth birthday. The account includes the development of liberal religion not only in the District but in surrounding towns in northern Virginia centuryand Southern Maryland. There is a great amount of detail on the striking building on 16th Street in Washington, which echoes St. Martins in the Fields in London, the involvement of President Taft and other Washington Unitarians responsible in so small a way for the present look of the city, including luminaries such as Benjamin French and Ulysses Pierce, along with other important capital figures. Its use of original sources makes this a handy volume for anyone looking for more information on Unitarianism or the development of the East Coast.

This new edition is dedicated to Mark Ryan and Ginger Clarkson, good Unitarians, good friends.