First Parish Church was established in 1717. A rich relationship developed between the parish and Bowdoin College. The Abolitionist Movement attracted many ardent supporters in the congregation. Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose husband was a Bowdoin professor, was sitting in Pew 23 at a communion service when she had a vision of the death of a slave which became the pivotal element in her book, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain attended First Parish and married the daughter of First Parish's minister before becoming a Civil War hero and Maine Governor. Notables speaking at First Parish included Longfellow, Emerson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. The church is included on the National Register of Historic Places.