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In the nineteenth century—as now—Unitarians were known to be liberal in both their politics and their approach to faith. Many of them were on the front-lines of the abolitionist movement, and religiously, they were remarkably ecumenical, sometimes according as much spiritual authority to the sacred texts of Hinduism as they did to the Bible. Early on, Unitarians seemed sympathetic to the plight of Catholics in the United States, but by the 1840s, much of this sympathy had been replaced by a vehement anti-Catholicism. This paper argues that it is impossible to understand this change in sentiment among Unitarians without examining the Catholic understanding of slavery.