Parker, an outspoken abolitionist Unitarian minister from Boston, eventually led a congregation that numbered 7,000 worshippers. Amazing! Parker not only preached that people should help runaway slaves, he did so himself. He concealed them in his home and helped them escape to Canada. Parker believed firmly that the fugitive slave laws contradicted "the acknowledged precepts of the Christian religion." He believed it was more important to obey God than an unjust law of men.
Parker was born in 1810 and died in 1860, just before the beginning of the Civil War. He would have supported a war if it would bring an end to slavery. He wrote, "Our laws degrade ... one half of the human race, and sacrifice them to the other and perhaps worser (sic) half."
The writings of Theodore Parker are little known today, but he never gave up his quest to abolish slavery. Before he died, he made the following statement to slave owners and overseers: "If I were a slave-owner I would do thisI would say 'Come, now you are free, go to work, and I will pay you what you can earn.' I think, in ten year's time, you would be a richer man, and in two hour's time, a far happier one, a more Christian one."