Heritage Society Histories

Universalist Historical Society 1834-1978 

The following is an account of the organizational meeting of the Universalist Historical Society. Adapted from a news article published in the October 18, 1834, Star and Universalist. A number of brethren met according to appointment on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 18th, 1834, and called Br. Thomas Whittemore to the Chair, and appointed Br. T. J. Sawyer, Secretary. After having heard stated the objects of the proposed association, it was unanimously resolved, That a Universalist Historical Society be now organized. It was moved that a Committee of three be appointed to draft a constitution for said society, and present the same this evening; and that Brs. W. S. Balch, A.C. Thomas, and T. J. Sawyer be that Committee. Adjourned to meet immediately after the public services of the evening.

Met according to adjournment, when the following Constitution was reported and adopted.

Art. I. This Association shall be known as the Universalist Historical Society.
Art. II. The objects of this Society shall be to collect and preserve facts pertaining to the history and condition of the doctrine of Universalism; together with books and papers having reference to the same subject.
Art. III. Officers
Art. IV. Officer’s duties,
Art. V. Meetings
Art. VI. Annual election of officers
Art. VII Membership requirements
Art. VIII. Member’s duties
Art. IX. Amendments

The following officers for the ensuing year were then duly elected, viz.

  • Hosea Ballou, 2nd, President.
  • Pitt Morse, Vice President.
  • Thomas J. Sawyer, Secretary.
  • Thomas Whittemore, Treasurer.
  • and 20 Corresponding secretaries.

Unitarian Historical Society  1901 to 1978

In 1900, Samuel Atkins Eliot, the secretary of the American Unitarian Association called for the organization of a Unitarian Historical Society:

“It is obviously desirable that there should be at the National Headquarters complete files of all the Unitarian periodicals, sets of the works of all Unitarian scholars, histories and pictures of Unitarian churches, and biographies and portraits of Unitarian leaders. All members of the Association are invited to add to the present collection and to make the library a useful department of the Association’s activity.”

“The Secretary ventures to hope that the day is not far distant when there may be organized, in connection with the Association, a Unitarian Historical Society, which shall have special charge of collecting memorabilia, books, and pictures.”

The Unitarian Historical Society was founded at a meeting in Channing Hall at Unitarian headquarters in Boston on May 23, 1901.

Unitarian Universalist Women’s Heritage Society  1988 to 2012

The Unitarian Universalist Women’s Heritage Society was founded in 1988 (as the Women’s History Publication Project) by one woman with a vision and a small group of supportive colleagues with funding from the Unitarian Universalist Association and private donations.

The Society sought to recover and preserve the stories of UU women’s lives so that future generations could be inspired by their wisdom and courage, celebrating the valuable gifts we have received from our Universalist and Unitarian foremothers.

In June, 2012 the UUHS and the UUWHS consolidated into the Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society.