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Iowa History Daily: November 17 - William Slater & the Iowa Band

Iowa History Daily: On November 17, 1821, minister, author, and abolitionist of the “Iowa Band” William Slater was born. Author of one of Iowa’s earliest comprehensive histories, Slater also helped found Grinnell College.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Slater attended Andover Theological Seminary before meeting other young seminarians who became known as the "Iowa Band," a group of 11 earnest young men who sought to bring orthodox Christianity to the West. Evangelizing the Iowa Territory with help from the American Home Missionary Society, the group arrived late in 1843.

In 1844, Salter supported the establishment of Iowa College, an institution which eventually merged with a college established by Josiah Grinnell to become Grinnell College. Twenty years later, in 1864, Slater accepted an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa). Already an antislavery man when he embarked for Iowa in the 1840s, Slater hardened into an active abolitionist during the 1850s.

Aside from preaching and actively working to advance social issues, Slater also spent a great deal of time writing. Responsible for a major early history of Iowa, Slater also wrote a biography of Iowa's third governor, James W. Grimes. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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