Baptists on the American Frontier: A History of Ten Baptist Churches of which the Author Has Been Alternately a Member (Google eBook)
John Taylor, Chester Raymond Young
Mercer University Press, 1995 - Religion - 416 pages
A History of Ten Baptist Churches, first published in the 1820s by author John Taylor, a pioneer Baptist farmer-preacher, has long been recognized as an indispensible source for first-hand information about the religious life of the early American frontier. In his history Taylor recounted the experiences of Baptists in Virginia who championed the cause of religious liberty. He then chronicled the movement of many of those Baptists, including himself, to the wilderness of central and northern Kentucky where their church communities both struggled and flourished.
Taylor's vivid accounts are filled with colorful descriptions of church life, including revivalistic experiences and doctrinal debates; the challenges of being a minister, including coping with meager resources and mediating disagreements; and the problems of rural living, including the dilemma of slavery and property disputes.
Chester Raymond Young has overcome the difficulties faced by the modern reader in deciphering the anacronisms, obscurities, and idiosyncrasies of Taylor's narrative.
Young's edition, the first ever annotated one, features a logical division of Taylor's sentences and paragraphs, a full bibliography of relevant historical works, tables outlining frontier religious rhetoric, and an extensive system of annotation that clarifies and corrects Taylor's account.
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