16 May 20  updated  TimeLines  17 jan 15

Historical TimeLine / >Context:  3 formats:  evoTimeLine.xlsx         evoTimeLine.pdf     evoTimeLine.htm

The campus of the Lane Seminary (1828-1910) of Walnut Hills is now the location on Gilbert Avenue of Thomson-MacConnell Cadillac.

2 short blocks north, from the west, Beecher Street terminates on Gilbert Avenue.  On the east side of Gilbert, between Martin Luther King Drive and Foraker Avenue is the Beecher homestead, established 1832 -- as provided by Lane Seminary founders brothers William and Ebenezer Lane -- for the family of Reverend Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), Doctor of Divinity and first President of the Lane Theological Seminary. 

The family:  8 children of first wife Roxanna Foote who died in 1816; and second wife Harriet Porter who bore 4 more prior to her death in 1835.  That same year, Roxanna's 7th child, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (1811-1896) at 24, suffered the loss of her 3-year friend Eliza, first wife of Calvin Stowe, Doctor of Divinity, Professor of Biblical Literature.  In the following  year, Harriet married widower Calvin - becoming:  Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Harriet and Calvin were members of the Cincinnati literary Semi-Colon Club established by her uncles John and Sam Foote, with other Cincinnati nobles of generally New England origins, including Dr. Daniel Drake, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Salmon P. Chase.  A generous report on the Semi-Colon Club is provided by Louis L. Tucker, former Director of Historical Societies:  Cincinnati, then New York, and Massachusetts.  John Foote was perhaps the quintessential heart and soul of Cincinnati. 

Harriet's other uncle, adventurer Samuel Edmond Foote, sailed around Cape Horn and back twice!   Samuel's grand home at 3rd & Vine, extending to 4th, completed 1829, topped rental offices fronting 3rd St, generally known as "Foote's Row".  Adjacent neighbor's included in the development accommodated the William Greenes and Charles Stetsons.[1]

The homestead is now the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, in conjunction with Cincinnati Parks, under administration of the Ohio History Connection, previously known as the Ohio Historical Society.


Pursuant to the 1820 Missouri Compromise devised by U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky, in 1827 New York abolished slavery while Clay served as Secretary of State under John Quincy Adams.

After underwriting Beecher's 1832 October commitment to Cincinnati, New Yorker Arthur Tappan presided at the 1833 July Anti-Slavery Society Convention in Philadelphia; then Tappan >

forwarded to the [Lane Seminary] students a copy of the address issued by the convention, and the whole subject was soon under discussion [around Cincinnati].  Many of the students were from the south; an effort was made to stop the discussions and the meetings; slaveholders went over from Kentucky and incited mob violence; and for several weeks Dr. Beecher lived in a turmoil, not knowing how soon the rabble might destroy the seminary and the houses of the professors. [2]

This led the the first documented (1848 link below) debate among students in America about slavery and its abolition.  In 1834, the student-driven debate and formation of the Lane Seminary Anti-Slavery Society led to the 1834 November student revolt; many to Oberlin College, established one year prior.

www.LaneRebelsMovie.com  expected early next year > Sons & Daughters of Thunder


Previously, founding President of Trustees, Joshua Lacy Wilson (1828-31) resigned in a huff, to be followed by Hon. Nathaniel Wright.  Later, Rev Wilson presiding at the First Presbyterian Church twice led indictments of Lyman Beecher, presiding at the "New School" Second Presbyterian Church at 4th & Race.  Beecher prevailed.

Founding Treasurer was Robert Boal, jr, a Cincinnati Dry Goods merchant, and Presbyterian whose brother Thomas came with namesake 5-year young son Robert in 1811, the year Harriet was born.   When nephew Robert (1806-1903) was 10 his father Thomas died in 1816 concurrent with the death in Connecticut of Harriet's mother.  Thomas may have started the business carried forward by Robert, jr

So young Robert Boal was raised by his namesake Cincinnati uncle Robert Boal, jr and graduated 1828 from the Ohio Medical College of Cincinnati 9 years after its 1819 founding by Dr. Daniel Drake (not connected with Lane Seminary).  (Starting in Pennsylvania, the trail of slaveholder grandfather Major Robert Boal is sketchy.)

In accord with the students, one might surmise, Dr. Robert Boal (1806-1903) migrated (1835-6) ) to Illinois, when the capitol was (1819-1839) in Vandalia, the terminus of the "National Road" he may have traveled (now US 40 / I-70); then heading North of Peoria to settle Lacon, on the Illinois River, where he became State Senator 1844-48, and mentored 5-year younger Abe Lincoln, State representative 1834-42, through Illinois politics to become US Rep 1847-49; and 1856 formation of the Republican Party >

said formation - in response to the brash initiative designed by U.S. Senator (1847-1861) Democrat Stephen A. Douglas expanding allowance of slavery beyond the new state of Missouri - west to Kansas and north to Nebraska. 

Douglas beat Lincoln to win his third term; but failed in bid for Mary Todd who opted for Abe; and then failed again in the 1861 bid for President.

Dr. Boal's 3rd generation view of slavery and lessons conveyed from Lane by his uncle Dad may have instilled moral clarity inspiring Abe's transition from Kentucky roots to the 1854 moral courage effecting abolition.  The linked 1854 event occurred in the first of Boal's two terms (1854-58) in the Illinois House of Representatives, having previously served in the Senate 1844-48.


Below are records of the Lane Seminary in pdf documents available from


(improved with bookmarks and hiLites)

1829-99_people  (20M140pgs  catalog and index; 2 pics of campus

1886_inaugural  (2M)  Address by Rev Roberts

1871-72_catalog  (1M)  Academic year courses

1848_history  (1M)  Tortuous recount of unlikely success in pursuit of Dr. Beecher of Boston, the sine qua non foundation of the fledgling Lane Seminary

1834_StudentRevolt  (3M)  Earliest witness to formative events of 1834

1828-81_people  (4M)  less complete predecessor of the 1829-99 document.


[1] Centennial history of Cincinnati and representative citizens, Charles Theodore Greve 1904   pg 698 http://books.google.com/books?id=eJxABLtxX60C&dq=1880%20cincinnati

[2] (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Appletons%27_Cyclop%C3%A6dia_of_American_Biography/Beecher,_Lyman)