The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion's Harvest Time

The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion's Harvest Time

The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion's Harvest Time

The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion's Harvest Time

Excerpt

Among all of the weapons forged by the West in its struggle against lawlessness and immorality, few were more successful than the frontier camp meeting. This socioreligious institution helped tame backwoods America. Although the woodland revival was an integral part of pioneer culture, its place in our history has never been clearly established. The stereotype is well known, but the camp meeting itself is little known. In fact, no book or comprehensive article has ever been written on the subject. This study was undertaken to dispel the misconceptions which have long shrouded the western camp meeting.

The scope of the book is limited to the trans-Allegheny West in the first four decades of the nineteenth century. It was on that mobile frontier that the camp meeting was created and experienced its institutional growth, flowering, and decline. How this Kentucky Revival weapon, of Presbyterian origin, became largely the property of the church of John Wesley, utilized by the circuit rider to extend Methodist influence to the remotest edges of settlement, is treated in detail. The four-day encampment's freshening role in the social life of the lonesome pioneer, its singular success in converting sinners and raising com-

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