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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: bMS 144
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Creator: Austin, John Mather, 1805-1880.
Title: Austin, John Mather, 1805-1880. Journals, 1832-1877.
Quantity: 5 boxes
Abstract: Journals of John Mather Austin (1805-1880) minister of the Universalist Society of Auburn and editor of the Christian Ambassador, a newspaper of the New York State Convention of Universalists.
John Mather Austin (1805-1880) was born in Redfield, New York. He traced his lineage from Richard Mather, who was the grandfather of Cotton Mather. He married Sarah Ann Somerdyke in 1828 and they had twelve children. He was a minister of the Universalist Society of Auburn from 1844 to 1851, and from 1851 to 1861 he was editor of the Christian Ambassador, a newspaper of the New York State Convention of Universalists. Austin was a close friend of Secretary of State William Henry Seward, and through his influence, President Lincoln offered Austin consulships to the West Indies and the Prince Edward Islands. He refused both of them due to his reluctance to abandon his religious work. However, Austin did accept Lincoln's commission of Paymaster in the Union Army, which carried a rank of Major, and he held this post until he was decommissioned in 1866. Austin labored against the death penalty and war; and for abolitionism, women's rights, prison reform, and the Underground Railroad. He wrote several books, of which his Golden Steps to Respectability, Usefulness and Happiness (1859) is the most well known. He died at his home in Auburn, New York.
These journals give detailed information on Austin's daily life as a Universalist minister, and his reflections on the various events of the day. The journals in this collection are numbered 1-9, for a total number of nine journals in the collection. Journals 2-9 have been microfilmed onto two reels, and this microfilm is located in box 1 of the collection. In addition, the collection has been digitized and is accessible through the links below.