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Jonathan Blanchard was an educator and social reformer, born in Rockingham, Vermont. Blanchard graduated from Middlebury College intending to prepare for the ministry. He joined the Congregationalist Church and became a lifelong advocate of revivalism. Entering Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts in 1834, he left to serve a year in southern Pennsylvania as an agent of the American Anti-Slavery Society. After his agent's commission expired, Blanchard enrolled in the fall of 1837 at Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, but never graduated. On 31 October 1838 Cincinnati's Sixth Presbyterian Church (New School) installed Blanchard as its pastor, a post that he held until leaving the city in 1845. The congregation harbored abolitionist sympathies. Wary of political abolitionism, his reputation among western abolitionists grew, and in 1843 the Ohio State Anti-Slavery Society sent him to the World's Anti-Slavery Convention in London. Appointed the President of Knox College, he turned Congregationalist soon after moving to Illinois. A bitter feud with Knox's founder, George Washington Gale, helped fuel his leaving Knox's presidency in 1858. In 1860 Blanchard became the first president of Wheaton College at Wheaton, Illinois. Blanchard spent his final decades crusading against "secret societies."