William Ellery Channing, the famous early 19th Century Unitarian preacher from Newport and Boston whose liberal philosophy inspired transcendentalists like Emerson and Thoreau, loved his family farm in Portsmouth more than any other place. Throughout his life, he spent entire summers at Oakland Farm, later purchased by the Vanderbilts. Sundays would invariably find him preaching or simply talking about religion and life with the farmers and fishermen who attended the non-denominational Christian Church in Portsmouth, now the Portsmouth Historical Society Museum.
On Sunday, August 6, Rev. William Zelazny, minister at the historic Channing Memorial Unitarian Universalist Church in Newport, spoke at the museum about Channing life’s and philosophy at the Portsmouth Historical Society headquarters (870 East Main Road), in the very church whose congregation Channing inspired for so long. After to talk there were light refreshments and time to tour the historical society’s many exhibits of more than 400 years of life in Portsmouth. Conor Kennedy provided beautiful music on the piano.