George Beecher, son of Lyman and Roxana Foote Beecher, became a renowned preacher and an iconic figure in American religious history. Additionally, he was an abolitionist who joined the Anti-Slavery Society.
Beecher’s life is captured in the thousands of letters he wrote to family, friends and colleagues. While this collection covers a range of topics, most focus on his personal and family life.
Early Life and Education
George Beecher was born in Hartford, Connecticut and received an education at Yale College before being ordained a minister. Later he served as president of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He married Sarah Buckingham and they had one son. As an abolitionist, he worked to abolish slavery in the United States.
He was an influential social reformer and champion of temperance. A popular lecturer and author, his enthusiasm and wit earned him widespread admiration. Furthermore, he served as an effective judge of character.
The Beechers had a remarkable professional career that involved building their law firm and playing an instrumental role in Buffalo’s economic transformation. Norman Beecher (’59) served as board chairman of Buffalo General Hospital and helped lay the groundwork for its merger with two other hospitals into Kaleida Health System – now an impressive hub of medical care and research.
The Norman Buckingham Beecher papers, 1877-1965, contain both personal and professional correspondence. Included are family letters, legal documents, financial investments, tax documents and insurance policies as well as photographs.
The collection also contains documents related to the Beechers’ work as lawyers and on various international maritime committees. There are also a few miscellaneous books, including one about Hitler’s rise and another on German concentration camps during World War II.
Achievements and Honors
The Beecher family was a highly influential religious and educational force that had an immense impact on American life. Notable members of their legacy, such as Catharine Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, and Reverend George Beecher, made significant contributions to religion, education, women’s rights activism, and anti-slavery work.
George Beecher was a renowned author and an influential figure in the American Temperance movement, writing numerous sermons and speeches. He served as president of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as pastor of Second Presbyterian Church there. Additionally, he had thirteen children – eleven of whom survived to adulthood – that were raised by him.
George Beecher’s personal life was marked by his religious and abolitionist convictions. As an outspoken proponent of abolitionism and the immediate abolition of slavery, he wrote Narrative of the Riots at Alton in 1837 as a critique of slavery and mob violence.
Charles Beecher was an exceptional scholar. He spent his early years in Litchfield before attending Boston Latin School and Lawrence Academy before enrolling at Bowdoin College. Later, he continued his education at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His letters, dating between 1826-1836, provide family news, professional opportunities or job offers from churches and colleges, and updates on his physical, mental, and spiritual health. Additionally, there are handwritten copies of four sermons he preached between 1870-1873 that have been preserved in this collection.
George Beecher has an estimated net worth of $1 million. He is best known for his role as Tobias Beecher on the television show “Beecher”. Born and raised in Ivoryton, Connecticut with an older brother Chris working as a music supervisor for television, George has also performed in some stage performances. His father is retired school teacher; both aunt and uncle also teach. Tergesen currently resides in New York City.