Theodore Parker was born on August 24, 1810 in Lexington, Massachusetts. Parker attended Harvard Divinity School and had an affinity for languages, including Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Italian. He was regarded as one of the most socially active transcendentalists of his time. Parker traveled to Europe in 1843, where his interests shifted toward social reform.
In the 1850s, Parker dedicated his life to abolition. After the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law, he broke the law by hiding fugitive slaves in his home. The courts indicted Parker but he was never convicted. Theodore Parker gave sermons on the perils of slavery and lectured on Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Theodore Parker died on May 10, 1860 after a battle with tuberculosis.