December 22, 1822, Freetown, Massachusetts.

February 7, 1905, Boston, Massachusetts.

Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Son of Nahum and Catherine S. Lodge Alger, William attended Harvard Divinity School (1844–47). In 1848, he was ordained a Unitarian minister in Roxbury, Massachusetts, serving there until 1855. He later served at the Bulfinch Street Church, Boston (1873); Church of the Messiah, New York City (1873–77); and at churches in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Louisiana, and Rhode Island. He was a Free Mason and abolitionist, and contributed to the publications Old and New and the Christian Examiner. He also served as chaplain to the Massachusetts state House of Representatives in the 1860s.

Among Alger’s quotes are Most men give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain and Men often make up in wrath what they want in reason. His works include:

  1. Away, O Fame, Thy Star Has Set
  2. Before Thee, Lord, a Servant Bows
  3. I Hold the Laws of Truth
  4. Jesus Has Lived!
  5. My God Once Mixed a Harsh Cup
  6. Now Bend We Low, and Ask Our Fathers’ God
  7. O Father, Kindly Deign to Hear
  8. Sleepless Night; The Rain Pours Fast, A
  9. Worlds That Shine Above Us Nightly, The
  10. Within the Shadow of His Cross We Stand