William Henry Furness
(1802-1896) was an American clergyman, theologian, reformer and abolitionist. Following the American Civil War, he raised funds for Black schools in the South, including Morehouse College.
A graduate of the Theological Department of Harvard University, Furness became the Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia at the age of 22. A close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Furness presided over a period marked by the growth and increasing prosperity for First Church. A fiery abolitionist, Furness was a supporter of the rights of all segments of society, including African-Americans and Jews. He also lived to see the construction of the current church building in 1885 in the role of Minister Emeritus.
Rev. Furness was the father of painter William Furness, Shakespearean scholar Horace Howard Furness, architect Frank Furness, and author and translator Annis Furness Lee.
ID: 72897 Portrait of Massachusetts politician Charles Sumner by William Henry Furness Portrait of Massachusetts politician Charles Sumner by William Henry Furness, Jr., oil on canvas. 31 5/8 in. x 27 13/16 in. Courtesy of the Harvard University Portrait Collection, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.