Book Review – Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11

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Memorials

Senie, Harriet F. Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. p. 261.

How we remember and memorialize events has always been of interest to me.  My specialization in American History is up to Reconstruction.  Consequently, much of what I have studied has been mostly Civil War related:  David Blight’s Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American MemoryBeyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War, Timothy Smith’s The Golden Age of Battlefield Preservation: The Decade of the 1890s and the Establishment of America’s First Five Military Parks This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park, Jim Weeks’ Gettysburg: Memory Market and an American Shrine, Caroline Janey’s Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation, and of course, Edward Linenthal’s Sacred Ground: Americans and Their Battlefields all adorn my bookshelves.

In introducing Memorials, Seine discusses national memorials in relation to national identity, something that the United States has always and continues to struggle with.  History is not always pretty and many are, to put it mildly, uncomfortable with the uglier side of American history.  (For example: the issue of slavery is contentious when presented as part of national memory and national identity as debates over the “Confederate Flag” or blog posts such as this one demonstrate.)  Consequently, modern memorials, Seine points out, become more a memorial to the victims a la a private cemetery.

One common thread Seine identifies in the four memorials presented in this book is the heroic status conferred upon the victims and a lack of a greater historical narrative to give context.  She sees this as a “camouflage” of history with the result of defining the, “United States as a nation of victims”.  She argues that memorials are created to both remember the deceased AND the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

Seine does a good job of presenting her argument.  For each of the memorials presented she discusses “immediate memorials” (flowers, notes, teddy bears left at or near the site of the tragedy) as well as the evolution of the permanent memorials constructed.  Each chapter closes with a summation of what each memorial highlights as well as what each leave out.  This helps build her case that the larger more complicated historical narrative is missing.

Memorials will certainly get the reader thinking about national memory, the historical record, and how the two should connect.

The Public Universal Friend

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I was reading Catherine Brekus’ Strangers & Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America 1740-1845 as background for my thesis when I stumbled upon Jemima Wilkinson.  In October 1776, after a bout of typhus, Wilkinson believed she had died, gone to heaven, and returned “sinless spirit” neither female nor male.  Identifying herself as a Public Universal Friend, Wilkinson, often referred to herself in the third person and would only answer to Public Universal Friend not Jemima.  Following suit, several of her inner circle also stopped calling her Jemima which evidently led to convoluted references to her in the written record.

I have found two biographies of Jemima, Herbert Wisbey, Jr’s 2009, Pioneer Prophetess, Jemima Wilkinson the Public Universal Friend and Paul Moyer’s more recent (2015), The Public Universal Friend: Jemima Wilkinson and Religious Enthusiasm in Revolutionary America.  I find this interesting enough to follow up on after I finish my thesis.

New Year, New Job or Time Flies when Thesis Writing

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Look at that, two months to the day since my last post.  Time flies when you sink knee deep in Adventist history I guess.

So 2016 started off with a new job – I still work for Colonial Williamsburg but now in the School and Groups department.  The training is in-depth and lots of fun so 2016 has been excellent so far.

The thesis prods along at what seems like glacial speed sometimes.  The hardest part is the waiting time between submitting parts for comment/review and getting those comments back.  To avoid burnout I’ve been trying to write only on the weekends which, of course, slows the process.  In addition, I’ve ignored this blog but hope to get back to writing on a regular basis.

I spent some time going through my old book marked links and rediscovered this one.  It links to a 1922 article in Concrete Highway Magazine that talks bout a visit to Williamsburg by President Harding.  It also provides some info on the paving of the Duke of Gloucester Street.  Enjoy!

https://books.google.com/books?id=SWg_AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=duke+of+gloucester+street+paved+1922&source=bl&ots=al1qSXAtEH&sig=o9tGHB-9v2vNXW4ABnVsQI4TQ9s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQk8XX8uPKAhUJx2MKHQ1ZAUMQ6AEIMzAE#v=onepage&q=duke%20of%20gloucester%20street%20paved%201922&f=false

 

Virginia Forum

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I received great news this week!  A while back I submitted a paper proposal to the Virginia Forum.  The Virginia Forum is an annual conference that connects Historians, Museum Professionals, Teachers, and anyone interested in Virginia history to share research and experiences.  The paper I proposed, “Colonists’ Patsy or Vainglorious Opportunist? Lord Dunmore and His War.” has been accepted.  The conference will be March 3-5, 2016 in my own backyard as the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation will be our host.  I’ll post more information as the conference draws near.  To check out the Virginia Forum visit their website here.

Thesis – Literature Review

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I had to submit a short literature review (in a sense a historiography) as part of the thesis writing process.  This serves to make sure that I am keeping focused on my topic and not reading too far astray.  It also shows that I have given the topic some thought and did enough background reading so that I am not flying blind.  Below is a copy.

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Adventist history, while important within the denomination, is not a subject much researched and written about outside of denominational circles.  My thesis seeks to place the beginnings of Adventist denomination within the greater historical context of slavery and the American Civil War.  Consequently, the following sources broach a wide variety of topics starting with Adventist histories and continuing on to works covering the Antebellum and Civil War periods.

George Knight who is a history professor at Andrews University, an Adventist College and Seminary, specializes in Church History.  He has written several books and devotionals on the Bible but for our purposes his two series, the “Adventist Heritage Series” and other concerning Ellen White provide background for our topic.  Ellen White’s World: A Fascinating Look at the Times in Which She Lived provides a brief overview of the society during Ellen White’s day.  Knight has divided his topic into before the Civil War and after the Civil War periods, yet at 144 pages it is hardly a comprehensive study of the topic.  Meeting Ellen White: A Fresh Look at Her Life, Writings, and Major Themes again provides a brief introduction to the topic.  Starting with a short biographical sketch, Knight then outlines some of Mrs. White’s writings and overarching themes she presented to the church.  Reading Ellen White: How to Understand and Apply her Writings provides the reader with the background necessary to interpret the variety of Ellen White’s writings.

A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists, the first of Knight’s Adventist Heritage Series, is an introduction to the history of the denomination.  Starting with Adventism’s Millerite roots and spanning the century plus until modern times, again Knight provides a brief 156 page overview.  A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs is similar to Knight’s History except that it explores the evolution of Adventist beliefs.  Particularly helpful in understanding Adventism’s Millerite roots is Chapter 3 “The Millerite Theological Foundation”.  Rounding out the series is Organizing to Beat the Devil: The Development of Adventist Church Structure.  This short 180 page work covers the structural evolution of the church from a loose collection of believers connected through publications to a modern denomination with a strong congregational structure organized into conferences, unions, and divisions.  

Knight has also written biographies of central figures in the Advent movement.  William Miller and the Rise of Adventism is the most recent biography of the man who predicted Christ’s return in 1843 and then 1844.  In, Joseph Bates: The Real Founder of Seventh-day Adventism, Knight puts forth the case that as Adventist’s first theologian and historian, he drove the movement from disappointed Millerites to Sabbatarian Adventism and the beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

George Knight is not William Miller’s only biographer.  God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World by Middle Tennessee State University history professor Davil L. Rowe, puts Miller’s life in context of the times.  In an age of religious ferment, Rowe argues that Miller is more mainstream than others portray him.  (Knight would argue his work is more comprehensive as he takes the reader from historical Millerism to the rise of the Advent movement.) 

Another leader in the Adventist church was James White.  Gerald Wheeler’s biography James White: Innovator and Overcomer focuses on his contribution to the evolving Seventh-day Adventist church.  More than just Ellen White’s husband, James was a man of vision and energy, but more importantly, Wheeler paints a picture of the human side of James White warts and all.  Gary Land presents Uriah Smith’s contributions to Adventism in Uriah Smith: Apologist and Biblical Commentator.  As editor of the Review and Herald and author of numerous pamphlets and books Smith was certainly a contributor to the development of SDA beliefs.    

As prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist church Ellen White has had several biographies written about her.  Paul B. Ricchiuti’s 1988 Ellen: Trail and Triumph on the American Frontier, much like Wheeler’s book on James White, tries to show Ellen White as a human being.  Ricchiuti is an Adventist so for him White is still a prophetess, but that does not deny her humanity.  By contrast, Rene Noorbergen’s Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny is a gushing biography that puts Ellen White up on the pedestal that Ricchiuti argues against.  Oxford University Press’ Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet, contains a series of essays on various aspects of the life of Ellen White.  Though published by a university press, this book contains numerous essays by Adventist scholars.  Of the eighteen essays, fifteen are written by scholars associated with the Seventh-day Adventist church. 

Two volumes of Arthur L. White’s five volume biography of his grandmother provide a near first hand account of the period.  Ellen White: The Early Years covers the “Great Disappointment” and beginnings of the Advent movement from 1827 to 1862.  Ellen White: The Progressive Years covers the years 1862 to 1876 with the initial chapters focusing on both the Civil War and the incorporation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Several works examine America on the eve of the Millennial movement.  Paul Jonson’s A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 provides insight into the changes occurring in the “burned over district” that sets the stage for religious revivals and northern reform movements.  Ronald Walters’ American Reformers 1815-1860 gives shape to that American reform movement.  The more recent America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election that Transformed a Nation by John Bicknell, follows the current trend in highlighting particular events in a given year.  It sets the background for the beginning of my study as the “Great Disappointment” occurs in October, 1844. 

Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial Role by Ernest Lee Tuveson examines the school of thought that sees the Unites States as chosen by God for some special mission.  James Brewer Stewart’s Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery and Southern Enterprize: The Work of National Evangelical Societies in the Antebellum South by John W. Kuykendall provide background material for religion and the abolitionist movement.

Religion in conjunction with the Civil War is a subject that is just beginning to be studied.  Several works provide excellent background material for my examination.  C.C. Goen’s Broken Churches, Broken Nation: Denominational Schisms and the Coming of the Civil War addresses the role of churches in the years leading up to the Civil War.  Almost as a prelude to the splitting of the nation over slavery, the Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches split.  A Shield and Hiding Place: The Religious Life of the Civil War Armies by Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr. while focusing on the revivals and clergy in the two armies, does provide a nice overview of the state of religious thought on the eve of war, as well as sermons given related to the war. 

A Visitation of God: Northern Civilians Interpret the Civil War by Sean A. Scott looks at the religious thought of the northern home front during the war.  It helps provide the background against which Adventist attitudes will be measured.  Also contributing to this background is George C. Rable’s God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War.  Rable’s which examines religion on both sides of the conflict. 

The official publications of the fledgling and then incorporated Seventh-day Adventist Church are The Midnight Cry and the Review and Herald.  Ellen White’s visions for the church and the American Civil War are contained in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1.  Sermons given by non-Adventist preachers provide insight as to the attitudes and beliefs of other denominations toward the war.  God the Giver of Victory and Peace: A Thanksgiving Sermon, Reverses Needed: A Discourse Delivered on the Sunday after the Disaster of Bull Run, and the article “The Victory of Manassas Plain” fall into this category. 

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Atkinson, Joseph M. God the Giver of Victory and Peace: A Thanksgiving Sermon.

Raliegh, NC, 1862.

Brooklyn Eagle. November 21, 1842.

Bushnell, Horace. Reverses Needed: A Discourse Delivered on the Sunday after the Disaster of Bull Run. Hartford, CT: L.E. Hunt, 1861.

Miller, William. Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, About the Year 1843. Boston: Joshua V. Himes, 1842.

“The Battle of Bull Run – Gen. McDowell’s Report,” The New York Times. August 9, 1861.

Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference Archives. The Midnight Cry.

http://docs.adventistarchives.org//documents.asp? CatID=134&SortBy=1&ShowDateOrder=True.

Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference Archives. Review and Herald.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/documents.asp? CatID=27&SortBy=1&ShowDateOrder=True.

Smith, Uriah. The United States in the Light of Prophecy; or, An Exposition of Rev 13:11-17. Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1874.

Smyth, Thomas. “The Victory of Manassas Plain,” The Southern Presbyterian Review Vol. XIV No. 4 (January 1862).

White, Ellen G. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1948.

Secondary Sources

Aamodt, Terrie Dopp ed. Ellen Harmon White: American Prophet. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Bicknell, John. America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election that Transformed the Nation. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, 2015.

Johnson, Paul E. A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1978.

Goen, C. C. Broken Churches, Broken Nation: Denomination Schisms and the Coming of the Civil War. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1985.

Knight, George. A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999.

__________. A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2000.

__________. Ellen White’s World: A Fascinating Look at the Times in Which She Lived. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1998.

__________. Joseph Bates: The Real Founder of Seventh-day Adventism. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2004.

__________. Meeting Ellen White: A Fresh Look at Her Life, Writings, and Major Themes. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996.

__________. Organizing to Beat the Devil: The Development of Adventist Church Structure. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2001.

__________. Reading Ellen White: How to Understand and Apply Her Writings. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1997.

__________. William Miller and the Rise of Adventism. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2010.

Kuykendall, John W. Southern Enterprize: The Work of National Evangelical Societies in the Antebellum South. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982.

Land, Gary. Uriah Smith: Apologist and Biblical Commentator. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2014.

Noorbergen, Rene. Ellen G White: Prophet of Destiny. Brushton, NY: TEACH Services, Inc., 2001.

Rable, George C. God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A religious History of the American Civil War. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Ricchiuti, Paul B. Ellen: Trial and Triumph on the American Frontier. Dodge Center, MN: The Upward Way, 1988.

Rowe, David L. God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008.

Shattuck, Jr., Gardiner H. A Shield and Hiding Place: The Religious Live of the Civil War Armies. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987.

Stewart, James Brewer. Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1976.

Tuveson, Ernest Lee, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial Role. Chicagi, Il: The University of Chicago Press, 1968.

Walters, Ronald G. American Reformers 1815-1860. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 1978.

Wheeler, Gerald. James White: Innovator and Overcomer. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2003.

White, Arthur L. Ellen G. White: The Early Years. Washington, D.C.:  Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985.

__________. Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years. Washington, D.C.:  Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985.

Richmond Civil War Show

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This morning began the way I would have thought Friday the 13th should have begun.  As Mrs. Historian was taking a shower I awakened to the smoke detector in the hall beeping it’s “the battery is dead, come change me beep”.  (As I later found out it had been beeping since about 5 AM making Mrs. Historian insanely jealous of my ability to sleep through anything.)  While searching for a 9-volt I managed to drop a light bulb into the washing machine reducing it to about a thousand shards of glass.  Now by into the washing machine I mean INTO the washing machine.  Yep, right into the tub/agitator thing.

The good news was that I was off today so I could run a thousand empty loads through the machine in an attempt to clear out any broken glass that I missed with the vacuum cleaner.  The reason I was off was so that I could go to the “Capital of the Confederacy Civil War Show” in Richmond.  I used to go to the Nashville show years ago when I ran the bookstore at Chickamauga, missed it, and decided to go to the Richmond one.

Truth is I don’t collect relics much, but have purchased some Chickamauga / Chattanooga related items over the years.  Today I was really going for the books.  There were several vendors there, a few that I expected but didn’t see, and I fairly well enjoyed myself.  It seemed like it was smaller than I remember the Nashville show being, but of course this is a nearly twenty year old memory.

I ended up buying a few books from The Confederate Reprint Company and I’ll blog more on them as I read them.

The Thesis Proposal

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As I have mentioned before I am finishing up my second Masters degree and working on my thesis.  This is a copy of the proposal submitted.

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I.

Tentative Title

The title of this thesis shall be, “Everything is to be shaken that can be shaken: Slavery, Seventh-day Adventists, and the Civil War.”

II.

Thesis Statement

Though Adventists like to think that they had a unique view of the American Civil War, the historical record show that their views, experiences, and even the “prophecies” of Ellen White were quite mainstream.

III

Prospectus

A.

Research Problem

During the American Civil War leaders of Christian denominations had to decide how best to council their members on their participation in the war.  The Seventh-day Adventist Church had the advantage of a prophetess, Ellen G White, to turn to.  In all she had three visions concerning the Civil War.  For believers these visions are stunning and impressive; critics point to the fact that some predictions did not come true and claim she is a false prophet.  While it is beyond the scope of this paper to investigate spiritual matters, there are some questions worth asking.

Supporters and detractors of Ellen White point to parts of the visions which either did, or did not come true.  Unfortunately, those interested in theology are the ones doing the questioning not historians, or on some cases Adventist historians, both of which have an obvious bias.  Furthermore, many Christian denominations citing 1 Peter 2:9 see themselves as unique (peculiar) and view their particular history as just that: different from other Christians.  This is true in the Adventist denomination especially in light of their view of the Three Angels Messages in Revelation.  Consequently, several questions are left unexplored.  I propose to answer the question, “Was the Adventist view of the American Civil War similar to, or different from other Northern denominations?”  In addition, I propose to investigate Ellen White’s visions against the wider historical record.  I will also be asking the following questions:  How does what Ellen White predict compare with what others in the country are saying?  Are her “visions” consistent with what the secular world is predicting?  How do Seventh-day Adventists respond to her visions?  How do these visions impact the fledgling Seventh-day Adventist Church as a whole?

My hypothesis is that the Adventist church including Ellen White’s “visions” are not too far outside the mainstream when compared to other denominations in the North.  They are general enough and plausible enough that she does not garner a reputation which would dissuade her followers from following her.  For those who were skeptical anyway her visions would have had to have been impeccably accurate to convince them.  For the fiercely loyal, the accurate parts would reinforce their loyalty and they would see a way to explain the inaccurate parts.  While her prophecies are not radical, they do serve the church in that they reinforce her leadership which is important since in 1861 the church is seeking to become a legal entity.

To test this hypothesis, I will use primary and secondary sources to compare Adventist experience and Ellen Whites  “visions” with what other religious and secular leaders are saying.  I will also be looking at the Review and Herald, the official paper of the soon to be Seventh-day Adventist church for thoughts and comments by church members and other church leaders.  I will also be looking at church histories and biographies of church leaders to provide further information.

B.

Definition of Terms

“Conditional Prophecy”:  A prophecy that does not come true is still an accurate prophecy.  It is considered “conditional” because the course of human action can change the “prophecy”.

“Prophecy”:  God foretelling of future events

“Sabbath”:  In the 1860s most denominations used “Sabbath” to mean “Sunday” or “the day of worship”.  In the Seventh-day Adventist Church “Sabbath” refers specifically to the period of time from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday.

“Sabbatarian Adventists”:  The forerunner of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Not all who followed William Miller went on to become Seventh-day Adventists.  Millerism cut across denominational lines and after the “Great Disappointment” some continued with their denominations, while some split into different “Advent” groups.                                                                                     

C.

Background

Christian nations at war present an interesting moral dilemma.  No matter how righteous the reason, no matter how noble the cause, one of the tenants of Christianity is “Thou shall not kill”.  The American Civil War was no exception.  Slavery and secession not only divided a country and pitted brother against brother, it split Christian denominations as well.  As the nation headed toward war, Christian leaders had to guide their constituents through this moral morass. 

In 1861, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was just organizing itself into a legal entity.  Born from the Millerite Movement, on the eve of the Civil War this fledgling organization, barely 16 years old, had to struggle with its position on the war.  Sabbatarian Adventists (as followers were called before official organization) looked to their spiritual leaders for guidance.  Ellen White was one of the founders and the prophetess of the Advent movement.  As prophetess, her “visions” would guide Adventist leaders through this period and beyond.  In all, Ellen White had three visions concerning the Civil War.

By 1863 the recently formed Seventh-day Adventist Church had about 3500 members and 30 ministers which would look to church leadership to answer the questions: Should Adventist men serve in the military? And if yes, should they bear arms and kill others? 

This paper will examine Ellen White’s “visions” in regards to the Civil War and will compare them to the historical record. 

Adventists have created an interesting theory called “conditional prophecy”, which stacks the deck in favor of the alleged prophet.  In sum the belief is that God only reveals what COULD happen so if events do not unfold according to “prophecy” that does not diminish a prophet’s status.

However, if one examines mainstream thought for the period and finds that a prophecy fits in with what others believe or are saying this will serve to undermine the “prophet’s” claim to exclusivity.  For example if Ellen White’s “prophecies” do not run crosscurrent to mainstream thought but she is instead merely repeating what everyone else is saying, her claims to having special prophetic insight are diminished.   Comparing Ellen White’s sayings, teachings, and “prophecies” with contemporary Christian thought in regards to the Civil War will help us understand Adventism’s place among other denominations of the period as well as its relationship with its members.   

Currently, little work by historians have been done in this area.  Discussion of Ellen White’s visions and the American Civil War have been limited to three general types of works:  biographers, supporters and detractors, and church histories.  Some historians have looked at Adventists in connection with the notion of conscientious objectors serving in the military, but these works do not discuss Ellen White’s prophecies.

IV

Working Bibliography

Primary Sources

Atkinson, Joseph M. God the Giver of Victory and Peace: A Thanksgiving Sermon. Raliegh, NC, 1862.

Brooklyn Eagle. November 21, 1842.

Bushnell, Horace. Reverses Needed: A Discourse Delivered on the Sunday after the Disaster of Bull Run. Hartford, CT: L.E. Hunt, 1861.

Miller, William. Evidence from Scripture and History of the Second Coming of Christ, About the Year 1843. Boston: Joshua V. Himes, 1842.

“The Battle of Bull Run – Gen. McDowell’s Report,” The New York Times. August 9, 1861.

Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference Archives. The Midnight Cry. http://docs.adventistarchives.org//documents.asp?CatID=134&SortBy=1&ShowDateOrder=True.

Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference Archives. Review and Herald. http://www.adventistarchives.org/documents.asp?CatID=27&SortBy=1&ShowDateOrder=True.

Smith, Uriah. The United States in the Light of Prophecy; or, An Exposition of Rev 13:11-17. Battle Creek, MI: Steam Press, 1874.

Smyth, Thomas. “The Victory of Manassas Plain,” The Southern Presbyterian Review Vol. XIV No. 4 (January 1862).

White, Ellen G. Testimonies for the Church, Volume 1. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1948.

Secondary Sources

Bicknell, John. America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election that Transformed the Nation. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press, 2015.

Jordan, Anne Devereaux. The Seventh-day Adventists: A History. New York, NY: Hippocrene Books, 1988.

Knight, George. A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999.

__________. A Search for Identity: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2000.

__________. Organizing to Beat the Devil: The Development of Adventist Church Structure. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2001.

McPherson, James M. The Battle Cry of Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Morgan, Douglas. “Following the Prince of Peace in a Time of War.” Adventist Review, 14 June 2007, 13.

Nichol, Frances D. Ellen G. White and Her Critics. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herlad Publishing Association, 1951.

Noorbergen, Rene. Ellen G. White: Prophet of Destiny. Brushton, NY: Teach Services, Inc., 2001.

Scott, Sean A. A Visitation of God: Northern Civilians Interpret the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Shattuck, Jr., Gardiner H. A Shield and Hiding Place: The Religious Live of the Civil War Armies. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987.

Wheeler, Gerald. James White: Innovator and Overcomer. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2003.

White, Arthur L. Ellen G. White: The Early Years. Washington, D.C.:  Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985.

__________. Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years. Washington, D.C.:  Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985.

Catching Up

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It has been a few days since my last post so I thought I’d catch everyone up with what has been going on since I last ruminated about working on my thesis.

So far I’ve read two good books as background for my thesis America 1844 by John Bicknell is an excellent read that provides a background for where my thesis starts – with the Millerite movement and the Great Disappointment of 1844.  Bicknell does a great job outlining the struggles of westward migration and outlining the year leading up to the 1844 presidential election.  For my purposes I found he did an outstanding job of covering William Miller, the Great Disappointment, and the genesis of what would evolve into the Adventism.

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A Visitation of God by Sean A. Scott by contrast provides an overview of Northerners view of God in relation to the Civil War.  Sadly, the book does contain a pet peeve of mine.  In several places throughout the book Scott refers to the ROSECRANS family.  General William S. Rosecrans led the Army of the Cumberland most notably at the battles of Stones River and Chickamauga.  His brother Sylvester was a Catholic Bishop.  Unfortunately, in the book their name has been changed to ROSENCRANS – including in the Index.  A minor peeve perhaps, but one would think that an academic press like Oxford University Press would take more care in proofing their work.

I have also discovered a new website: TheHistoryReader.com.  Connected to St. Martin’s Press, TheHistoryReader.com provides articles and author interviews that span a wide variety of historical topics.  Check them out if you please!

Everything is to be Shaken that can be Shaken: Slavery, Seventh-day Adventists, and the Civil War

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If you are Twitter follower you might have seen my tweet on Tuesday, “Working title: Everything is to be Shaken that can be Shaken: Slavery, Seventh-day Adventists, and the Civil War….not sure, still thinking”.  As I am now winding down my second Masters degree it is time to write a thesis and this is the topic I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now.  The collection of books you see in the picture above is just a little bit of background material related either religion and the Civil War, or Adventist founders/Adventist movement.  (And yes, you’ll note that I use the Dewey Decimal system to keep track of books that have made it into my permanent library – by the end of this project they will all probably be so marked.)

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Some years ago I was interviewed for the documentary WAR IN HEAVEN, WAR ON EARTH: The Birth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church During the American Civil War which I blogged about on USHistoryfiles here.  It was an excellent experience and I’ve long thought of doing a written study of the intersection of the church, slavery, and the war.  This promises to be an interesting project and I am curious to see where this leads as these types of things often don’t end up where you think that they will.

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