Wandering Souls: Protestant Migrations in America, 1630-1865

Wandering Souls: Protestant Migrations in America, 1630-1865

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by S. Scott Rohrer
     
 

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Popular literature and frontier studies stress that Americans moved west to farm or to seek a new beginning. Scott Rohrer argues that Protestant migrants in early America relocated in search of salvation, Christian community, reform, or all three.

In Wandering Souls, Rohrer examines the migration patterns of eight religious groups and finds that

Overview

Popular literature and frontier studies stress that Americans moved west to farm or to seek a new beginning. Scott Rohrer argues that Protestant migrants in early America relocated in search of salvation, Christian community, reform, or all three.

In Wandering Souls, Rohrer examines the migration patterns of eight religious groups and finds that Protestant migrations consisted of two basic types. The most common type involved migrations motivated by religion, economics, and family, in which Puritans, Methodists, Moravians, and others headed to the frontier as individuals in search of religious and social fulfillment. The other type involved groups wanting to escape persecution (such as the Mormons) or to establish communities where they could practice their faith in peace (such as the Inspirationists). Rohrer concludes that the two migration types shared certain traits, despite the great variety of religious beliefs and experiences, and that "secular" values infused the behavior of nearly all Protestant migrants.

Religion's role in transatlantic migrations is well known, but its importance to the famed mobility of Americans is far less understood. Wandering Souls demonstrates that Protestantism greatly influenced internal migration and the social and economic development of early America.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Scott Rohrer has made his point well.—Goerings.com

An ingeniously conceived book…. Rohrer has demonstrated beyond doubt that internal migration of the faithful is a major theme in American history with abundant opportunities for further study.—The American Historical Review

Wandering Souls offers new insights into the quite complex role of religion in the history of the American settlement and is well worth reading.—Journal of Moravian History

Rohrer adds complexity and depth to the historiography of American migrations. . . . A useful introduction to Protestantism's role in influencing population movement and a welcome addition to the historiography.—Maryland Historical Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807895870
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
03/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
328
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
This engagingly written study makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of religion as an ongoing motive for migration in American history.—Virginia DeJohn Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder

Meet the Author

S. Scott Rohrer, an independent scholar, is author of Hope's Promise: Religion and Acculturation in the Southern Backcountry.

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Wandering Souls: Protestant Migrations in America, 1630-1865 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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