peoplepill id: joseph-tuckerman
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Joseph Tuckerman

Joseph Tuckerman

The basics
Quick Facts
From Cuba
Gender male
Birth 18 January 1778, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Death 20 April 1840, Havana, Havana Province, Cuba (aged 62 years)
The details

Joseph Tuckerman (January 18, 1778 Boston – April 20, 1840 Havana) was a United States clergyman and philanthropist.


He graduated from Harvard College in 1798, where William Ellery Channing was in his class, and Joseph Story roomed with him. He studied theology, and became a Unitarian pastor in Chelsea in 1801. In 1826 ill health led him to move to Boston. He was appointed by the American Unitarian Association minister at large, devoting himself to city mission work.

He is best known as one of the founders of the Boston Society for the Religious and Moral Improvement of Seamen (1812), said to be the first sailors' aid society in the United States. He was also a pioneer in the scientific direction of philanthropy. “To the system inaugurated by him,” said Edward Everett Hale, “Boston owes it that in every revulsion of business, or in any great calamity, her ordinary institutions of charitable relief have proved sufficient for whatever exigency.” In France his principles were adopted by Baron de Gérando. In England they resulted in the Tuckerman Institute of Liverpool, and other associations. He visited England in 1833 and formed friendships with Lady Byron, Joanna Baillie, and others, with whom he maintained a constant correspondence.

Literary works

He wrote much in behalf of his projects. His writings were collected in the volume On the Elevation of the Poor (Boston, 1874).

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