In New York's Burned-over District, Spencer W. McBride and Jennifer Hull Dorsey invite readers to experience the early American revivals and reform movements through the eyes of the revivalists and the reformers themselves.
Between 1790 and 1860, the mass migration of white settlers into New York State contributed to a historic Christian revival. This renewed spiritual interest and fervor occurred in particularly high concentration in central and western New York where men and women actively sought spiritual awakening and new religious affiliation. Contemporary observers referred to the region as "burnt" or "infected" with religious enthusiasm; historians now refer to as the Burned-over District.
New York's Burned-over District highlights how Christian revivalism transformed the region into a critical hub of social reform in nineteenth-century America. An invaluable compendium of primary sources, this anthology revises standard interpretations of the Burned-over District and shows how the putative grassroots movements of the era were often coordinated and regulated by established religious leaders.
Spencer W. McBride is Associate Managing Historian of the Joseph Smith Papers. He is the author of Pulpit and Nation and Joseph Smith for President, and coeditor of Contingent Citizens.
Jennifer Hull Dorsey is Professor of History and founding Director of Siena College's McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution. She is the author of Hirelings.