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Henry Parker
A Famous Sermon
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December 28, 1862 was the middle of the American Civil War. It was 4 days before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

On that date in history, Henry W. Parker repeated a sermon he had preached to the congregation of his own church, the North Congregational Church in New Bedford, Mass.  The sermon was given in the Salem Baptist Church, to a congregation that was mostly African American.  His sermon was about race and how people of different races were all a part of the body of Christ.  It was a passionate discourse on how race should not be the huge issue that it was.

The sermon was published and is available today as a publish on demand document.

Part of the way through the sermon, Henry mentioned "the authors of that disreputable southern book, 'The Types of Mankind.'"  Henry spent a considerable amount of time discussing and disputing the conclusions of that book.

The Types of Mankind was a 700 page book, primarily written by J.C. Nott, a physician from Alabama.  However, the book had a number of contributions from other authors, including Louis Agassiz, which lent it an air of scientific and biblical authority.  Henry Parker recognized it as garbage, and spent some time disputing the arguments.

Louis Agassiz was, at the time, probably the most respected scientist in the field of Natural History.  He is still respected today, but his non-acceptance of evolution is considered wrong, and his theories on race are now considered quite racist.

Henry spoke at length and with some passion about the subject of race.  There might have been just a hint of anger toward Mr. Agassiz, even though Henry never mentioned him by name.  There was the incident involving members of the family and Dr. Agassiz, after all.

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