Biography of Rev. Arthur Buckminster Fuller

REV. ARTHUR BUCKMINSTER FULLER, the third son of Hon. Timothy Fuller, was born August 10, 1822. He was early instructed by his father and his sister, Margaret Fuller. At the age of twelve, he spent one year at Leicester Academy; and, subsequently, studied with Mrs. Ripley, the wife of Rev. Samuel Ripley, of Waltham. In August, 1839, he entered Harvard College, at the age of seventeen, and graduated in 1843. During his college course he united with the church connected with the University. Immediately on graduation he purchased Belvidere Academy, in Belvidere, Boone Co., Illinois, Which, assisted by a competent corps of instructors, he taught for the two subsequent years. During this time, Mr. Fuller occasionally preached, as a missionary, in Belvidere and destitute places, and also to the established churches, having been interested in theological study during his senior year at college. He was a member of the Illinois Conference of Christian and Unitarian ministers, and by them licensed to preach. His first sermon was preached October, 1843, in Chicago, to the Unitarian church then under the charge of Rev. Joseph Harrington. In 1845 Mr. Fuller returned to New England; entered, one year in advance, the Harvard Divinity School, whence he graduated in August, 1847. After preaching three months at West Newton, to a church of which Hon. Horace Mann was a principal founder and a constant attendant, Mr. Fuller accepted a call to the pastorate of the Unitarian Society in Manchester, N. H., and was subsequently ordained, March 29, 1848. In September, 1852, Mr. Fuller received a call from the New North Church, on Hanover Street, in Boston, one of the most ancient churches in the city, being founded in 1714, and a church built that year on the spot where the present one now stands. This call Rev. Mr. Fuller refused, the relation between himself and the Manchester Society being a most happy one. The call was, however, renewed, and ultimately accepted, and Mr. Fuller was installed in Boston, June 1, 1853. Failing health, and the fact that the Protestant population was rapidly leaving the North End, induced Mr. Fuller to resign his city pastorate, and close his labors there July 31, 1859. He accepted at once, however, a call for a six months’ charge of the Unitarian Church in Watertown, Mass., having preferred this temporary settlement to one of longer duration. In November, 1853, Mr. Fuller was chosen by the citizens of Ward 1, in Boston, a member of the School Committee, then a much smaller body than now, consisting of only twenty-four members. In January, 1854, Mr. Fuller was chosen by the Massachusetts House of Representatives chaplain of that body. In 1858 he was elected by the Massachusetts Senate their chaplain, both of which appointments he accepted, and discharged their duties. In 1855 Rev. Mr. Fuller was selected by the citizens of Groton, Mass., to deliver a bi-centennial oration, it being the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of that ancient town. This oration was delivered October 31, 1855. In 1857 Mr. Fuller was nominated, by the republicans of Suffolk District No. 2, for the Massachusetts Senate, but, with the other candidates of his party in that district, failed of an election. In 1858 Mr. Fuller was chosen by the State Temperance Convention a member of the Executive Committee, and in the same year was elected a director of the Washingtonian Home, better known as the Home for the Fallen. Mr. Fuller’s published writings are, “A Discourse in Vindication of Unitarianism from popular Charges against it,” Manchester, 1848; ” Sabbath School Manual of Christian Doctrines and Institutions,” Boston, 1850; °, A Discourse occasioned by the Death of Hon. Richard Hazen Ayer, delivered in the Unitarian Church, February 18, 1853; ”

NOTE: Rev. Mr. Fuller has collected most of the ancient records pertaining to the Fuller family. He has also in his possession an ancient chair, which tradition declares to have been brought from England to this country by the first Thomas Fuller, in 1638; and also a chair owned by Rev. Abraham Williams, of Sandwich

“An Historical Discourse, delivered in the New North Church, October 1, 1854; ” “A Discourse occasioned by the Death of Miss Mercy Tufts, delivered in the Unitarian Church in Quincy, Mass., January 24,1858; ” “Liberty versus Romanism, or Romanism hostile to Civil and Religious Liberty,-being two Discourses delivered in the New North Church, Boston, 1859.” Mr. Fuller has also edited four volumes of his sister Margaret’s works, and has prepared for the press a complete and uniform edition of her works and memoirs.* August 1, 1861, be received a commission as chaplain in the 16th regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers and immediately went to the front. After doing good service as a minister of religion and a friend to the living and dying, both in hospitals and on the field of battle, he volunteered as a soldier in the skirmishes which preceded the Battle of Fredericksburg, and was killed December 11, 1862. An account of his life was written by his brother Richard F. Fuller under the title “Chaplain Fuller,” also by Thomas Wentworth Higginson in “Harvard Memorial Biographies.” He was correspondent during his army service of the Boston Traveler, Boston Journal, Christian Inquirer and N. Y. Tribune.



Fuller, Arthur Buckminster, and Fuller, Edith Davenport. Historical notices of Thomas Fuller and his descendants, with a genealogy of the Fuller family, 1638-1902. Cambridge, Mass.: Privately Published. 1902.

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