The Mormons

From Poverty and Persecution to Prosperity and Power

In the month of February, 1846, when conditions for travel were as unpropitious as possible, the Mormons began moving out of their newly built city of Nauvoo, Illinois, in order to cross the ice-strewn Mississippi, on the first leg of a long and uncertain journey. A forced abandoning of barely completed homes, this time with the loss of much property and the necessity for travel in the dead of winter, was no new experience for the adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Read more »

“Mad Jack” And The Missionaries

The Pacific Ocean is vast and lonely. In the second decade of the nineteenth century, when the American whaling industry was expanding rapidly in that great sea and American merchant ships plied the lucrative China trade, they ventured in an area where no nation’s law extended. The United States naval force in the Pacific totalled at most three vessels, all well occupied in protecting American interests on the coasts of Peru and Chile in the midst of Bolivar’s revolution. Read more »

The Medium Had The Message:

Mrs. Piper and the Professors

“If I may be allowed the language of the professional logic shop, a universal proposition can be made untrue by a particular instance. If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black you must not seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white. My own white crow is Mrs. Piper. In the trances of this medium I cannot resist the conviction that knowledge appears which she has never gained by the ordinary waking use of her eyes and ears and Wits.” Read more »

A Man For All Souls

THE EARNEST QUAKER JOHN WOOLMAN PREACHED AND ACTUALLY PRACTICED THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN

On October 19, 1720, was born one of the few saints and prophets this country has produced. John Woolman, the Quaker, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, is still relatively unknown in his own land though his Journal is extensively read in England, Germany, and France. That he lacks fame in his own land is not surprising. Too many of his ideas ran counter to those held by a majority of the population in his own time. His greatness lay in his compassionate humanity, a quality that is only rarely in fashion. Read more »

Pentecost In The Backwoods

Shocking, exuberant, exalted, the camp meeting answered the pioneers' demand for religion and helped shape the character of the West.

The Great Revival in the West, or the Kentucky Revival of 1800, as it was sometimes called, was a landmark in American history. It was not some accidental outburst of religious hysteria that crackled through the clearings. Rather, it was one of many answers to a question on which America’s destiny hung during Thomas Jefferson’s Presidency. Which way would the West go?Read more »