Henry Ward Beecher as an orator



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Introduction: When in October, 1847, Henry Ward Beecher assumed the pastorate of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, he was thirty-four years old. The first thing he did was to have the pulpit cut away, upon the broad platform was set a mahogany desk, open underneath. He had the natural instinct of an orator, and felt that for him to move his listeners, the listeners must be able to see the speaker. Through-out his whole career, it is remarkable that one so apparently careless of appearances should have been, as this man was, uniformly successful in doing the right thing, so far as concerned his physical carriage in his public appearances. Beecher 's instincts were those of a gentleman, and when-ever he shocked the sense of propriety of church-goers, it was never by any ungainliness or eccentricity of action, but always by some sudden and un-expected turn or thought, or a kind to which people were unaccustomed in Sunday services. Beechers greatest powers as an orator are shown in his patriotic addresses, especially those touching on freedom and slavery and the Civil War. His first sermon dealing with the war was preached April 14, 1861.


Citation: Arbuthnot, James George. Henry Ward Beecher as an orator. Senior thesis, Kansas State Agricultural College, 1904.
Morse Department of Special Collections


Henry Ward Beecher, Orator, Speaker, Public Speaking, Sermons