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Christian History

Today in Christian History

February 12

February 12, 1663: Congregational minister Cotton Mather is born in Boston. The most celebrated New England writer of his day, he was a scientist (whose work included early studies of inoculation), one of the founders of Yale University, and pastor of Boston's Second Church (just as his father, Increase Mather, had been). He also wrote Wonders of the Invisible World, a description of the Salem witch trials(see issue 41: American Puritans).

February 12, 1809: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States and author of the Emancipation Proclamation, is born near Hodgenville, Kentucky (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).

February 12, 1834: German theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher dies. He made religion a matter of the will, defining it as feeling an absolute dependence on God in works including On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers (1799).

February 12, 1865: Presbyterian minister and militant abolitionist Henry Highland Garnet becomes the first African-American to address the U.S. House of Representatives (see issue 62: Bound For Canaan).

February 12, 1915: Blind hymnwriter Fanny Crosby dies at age 95 after writing more than 8,000 texts.

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February 20, 1469: Thomasso de Vio Cajetan, the most learned of the Roman Catholic dignitaries sent to silence Martin Luther in the early years of the Protestant Reformation, is born. He was also one of the cardinals who convinced Pope Clement VII to reject Henry VIII's request to divorce Catherine of Aragon (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).

February 20, 1895: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the first African-American to hold high political office, dies. After escaping to freedom in 1838, he ...

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