Reverend Samuel Hopkins Emery and the “World’s Greatest Showman”

By William F. Hanna

In the spring of 1852, as Reverend Samuel Hopkins Emery was writing his two-volume church history of Taunton, he came upon a research problem that brought his project to a halt. A talented biographer, Emery was producing a chronological study of the local ministry when he came up short on information about one of its most illustrious members. After trying unsuccessfully to find someone locally who could answer his questions, Emery decided to look for help outside of Taunton.