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Hosea Ballou was the founder of the Universalist Denomination which with the Unitarian Denomination introduced religious liberalism into New England.
He was born in Richmond, New Hampshire, April 30, 1771, then in the wilderness. Until sixteen he could barely read or write, and had no schooling until twenty, when he entered a Quaker private school, after which he attended an academy. Before he died he had preached some 10,000 sermons and written enough to fill one hundred books. He was made a Mason (the particulars not known), and when he moved to Barnard in New Hampshire he joined the Woodstock Lodge, no 31. He was Worshipful Master in 1808. He delivered Masonic orations before a large number of Lodges. The minutes of Woodstock Lodge and of its predecessor, Warren, No. 23, should be published in facsimile because they are one of the few detailed records of a back country, New England Masonic community in the Revolutionary Period. The drinking of hard liquor, so prevalent in Colonial times even among churchmen, appears to have lingered longest in Lodges, and evidently was one of the small factors which led to the Anti-Masonic Crusade; it was one of the " Lodge problems" to which Bro. Ballou often addressed himself.
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