Chapter

The Bellwether; or, What the Traveler Saw

Karin E. Gedge

in Without Benefit of Clergy

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780195130201
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835157 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195130200.003.0002

Series: Religion in America

 The Bellwether; or, What the Traveler Saw

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European travelers to the early republic published numerous accounts that often expressed alarm and dismay at the reciprocal devotion of women and ministers, seeing in it a threat to families, churches, and the republic itself. Whether conservative or liberal, skeptical or approving of the democratic experiment and the disestablished church, writers as varied as Frances Trollope, Harriet Martineau, Francis Grund, Charles Dickens, and Frances Wright felt compelled to describe the pastoral relationship and often did so in derogatory ways. It served as synecdoche and bellwether for the health of the republic.

Keywords: Travelers’ accounts; early republic; disestablished church; Frances Trollope; Harriet Martineau; Francis J. Grund; Charles Dickens; Frances Wright (d’Arusmont); Richard Gooch; Henry Fearon

Chapter.  5507 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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