D. B. Robinson's Genealogy Database

Entries: 206457    Updated: 2011-01-22 16:04:04 UTC (Sat)    Owner: D. B. (David) Robinson

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  • ID: I095193
  • Name: Thomas Starr King
  • Sex: M
  • ALIA: Starr /King/
  • Title: The Rev. Mr.
  • Birth: 17 DEC 1824 in New York, New York Co., NY
  • Death: 4 MAR 1864 in San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA
  • Note:
    KING, Thomas Starr, clergyman, was born in New York city, Dec. 17, 1824; son of the Rev. Thomas Furrington King, a Universalist minister. In 1835 he removed with his parents to Charlestown, Mass., and after the death of his father in [p.253] 1836, was employed in a dry-goods store until 1840, when he became assistant teacher in the Bunker Hill grammar school, and in 1842, principal of the West grammar school at Medford, Mass., and during all this time applied himself diligently to study. He was a pupil in theology under Hosea Ballou in Medford, 1842-45, and was clerk in the navy yard at Chariestown, Mass., for a time.

    He delivered his first sermon in Woburn, Mass., in 1845, preached for a short time for a Universalist society in Boston, and in 1846 settled over his first parish at Charlestown, to which his father had ministered. In 1848 he became pastor of the Hollis Street Unitarian church, Boston, Mass., and remained there until the spring of 1860.

    During this period he entered the lecture field, gaining great popularity. His lecture subjects include: "Goethe","Substance and Show", "Sight and Insight","The Laws of Disorder" and "Socrates." In 1860 he became pastor of the First Unitarian society in San Francisco, Cal., and his fame as a lecturer having preceded him, he was soon in the lecture-field in California and Oregon. He became familiar with the natural beauties of the Yosemite valley, to which he called the attention of the public through lectures and newspaper articles. Shortly after the secession of the southern states he learned of the existence of a large party in California in favor of forming an independent republic. His efforts against this project drew upon him the attention of the whole nation, and his patriotic denunciation of it won the day at the polls, and California was preserved to the Union.

    Through his exertions the United States sanitary commission obtained generous sums of money in California that enabled it to carry on its work at a critical period of the war. At the same time he was occupied with the building of a new church, the cornerstone of which was laid in September, 1862. It was dedicated, Jan. 10, 1864, and in February, 1864, he was stricken with diphtheria from which he never rallied. He was buried with notable civic and military honors. He received the honorary degree of A.M. from Harvard in 1850.

    In 1889 a monument was erected to his memory at Golden Gate Park, Cal., at a cost of $50,000. His name was one of the twenty-six in "Class G, Preachers and Theologians," submitted for a place in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, New York university, in October, 1900, and received seven votes. He is the author of: The White Hills, their Legends, Landscapes and Poetry (1859), and contributions to the Boston Transcript and the Universalist Quarterly. After his death some of his writings were collected and published under the titles: Patriotism and Other Papers (1865); Christianity and Humanity, with a memoir by Edwin P. Whipple (1877); Substance and Showy (1877). He died in San Francisco, March 4, 1864. (The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans: Volume VI)

    Father: Thomas Farrington King b: ABT 1797
    Mother: Susan Starr b: ABT 1802

    Marriage 1 Julia Maria Wiggin b: BET 1828 AND 1829 in perhaps East Boston, Suffolk Co., MA
    • Married: DEC 1848 in perhaps Boston, Suffolk Co., MA
    1. Has No Children Frederick King b: in MA
    2. Has Children Edith S. King b: BET 1851 AND 1852 in MA
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