Perfecting the Home Front

Hadley Kruczek-Aaron

in Everyday Religion

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2015 | ISBN: 9780813061085
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780813051369 | DOI:
Perfecting the Home Front

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This chapter considers lived religion and reform at the household level by examining what various sources reveal about how the Gerrit Smith and his family engaged their beliefs in the context of their own rural New York home. It describes the texts authored by a number of Smith's contemporaries who noted the pious consumption habits of the wealthy Smith family, thereby suggesting a level of consistency between belief and behavior at their estate. In contrast, private correspondence suggested struggles between various family members over facets of Smith's belief system, including the effort to live simply and observe temperance, and the archaeological evidence recovered at the estate reveals the end product of these negotiations. The artifacts found, as well as other sources speaking to the family's material worlds (such as photographs, maps, deeds, and gravestones), are described in order to illuminate when and how this struggle manifested.

Keywords: lived religion; Gerrit Smith; archaeological evidence; temperance

Chapter.  15196 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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