A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Channing, William Ellery
Channing, William Ellery (1780-1842). -- American Divine, b. at Newport, Rhode Island, was for a time a minister in the Congregationalist Church, but became the leader of the Unitarians in New England. He had a powerful influence on the thought and literature of his time in America, and was the author of books on Milton and Fénelon, and on social subjects. The elevation and amiability of his character caused him to be held in high esteem. He did not class himself with Unitarians of the school of Priestley, but claimed to "stand aloof from all but those who strive and pray for clearer light."