The New International Encyclopædia/Frothingham, Octavius Brooks

FROTH'INGHAM, Octavius Brooks (1822-95). An American Unitarian clergyman. He was born in Boston, November 26, 1822, a son of Rev. Nathaniel Langdon Frothingham. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1843, at the Cambridge Divinity School in 1846, and was settled as pastor of the North Church (Unitarian), Salem, Mass., in 1847. In 1855 he became minister of a church in Jersey City, N. J., where he remained four years. In 1859 he accepted a call to the pastorate of the newly formed Third Unitarian Congregational Church in New York, and remained at that post for twenty years, when ill health compelled his resignation. From the beginning he belonged to the most radical wing of the Unitarians, and the name of his church was finally changed from the ‘Third Unitarian’ to the ‘First Independent Liberal Church of New York,’ the connection with the Unitarian denomination being thereby sundered. After 1881 he resided in Boston, and devoted himself to literary work. He died November 27, 1895. Frothingham was one of the founders of the ‘Free Religious Association,’ and its president for the first twelve years of its existence. He ranked high as a scholar, and as a preacher was impressive and eloquent. He contributed largely to the periodical press, on a great variety of subjects, and published more than two hundred sermons. Other works worthy of mention are: A translation of Renan's Studies of Religious History and Criticism (1864); History of Transcendentalism in New England (1876); History of Boston Unitarianism from 1820 to 1850, including a memoir of his father (1890); and lives of Theodore Parker (1874), Gerrit Smith (1878), George Ripley (1882), William Henry Channing (1886), and David Atwood Wasson (1889).