The Promise and Risks of Proximity on the Frontier

John R. Dichtl

in Frontiers of Faith

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780813124865
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135106 | DOI:
The Promise and Risks of Proximity on the Frontier

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This chapter tells the story of the Livingston family. The Livingston family living near Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and in 1789, or 1790, they openly accommodated a severely ill poor Irish traveler to their home. They did this in spite of the fact that they were Lutheran and the Irishman was Catholic. However, Mr. Livingston did not grant the dying man's request to send for a priest, and he died without receiving his last rites. After which, it was believed that the Livingstons were often plagued by malicious spirits. Mr. Livingston sent for Lutheran and other Protestant ministers to help, unfortunately they proved ineffective. Mr. Livingston thus called for Father Dennis Cahill and Father Demetrius Gallitzin to combat the evil spirits. This story ends with how the Livingstons opted to convert to Catholicism.

Keywords: Livingstons; Catholicism; Father Dennis Cahill; Father Demetrius Gallitzin; trans-Appalachian frontier; challenges; opportunities

Chapter.  11844 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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