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Lorenzo Dow

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Lorenzo Dow preached at the Agency October 9, 1811.
Featured in the June 2002 Tracer.
Inforfmation in July & October 2002.
1811 October 9 Moravian Diary

A certain preacher named Lorenzo Dow [spelled Loren Daws in the diary] came and demanded to preach here at the plantation, which the Colonel refused. Dow got up at midnight to preach in a Negro home where he sowed chaff among the black folks and left an impression of his character with one of the Negroes which greatly confused them. One came to me recently and said that Dow, according to his biography, had a rifle in his mouth for shooting them and wanted to know whether he could do that. I advised him neither to read the book nor listen to it being read.

(Lorenzo Dow was one of the best known and most eccentric traveling preachers of his day. His wife's journal, published with Dow's writings under the title History of Cosmopolite. (Cincinnati, 1855. see p. 652) tells of stopping at Hawkins' place in the fall of 1811. The reference to a rifle in his mouth was perhaps garbled by the slave who told it but such flamboyant language was not unusual for Dow.) Lorenzo Dow was born 16 Oct. 1777, in Coventry, Connecticut, of English ancestors. He was in poor health all his life, suffering from asthma, and had several serious illnesses. He died in D. C. on February 2, 1834. Of his 57 years, he spent 39 in the ministry. He began as a Methodist, and although never officially accepted as a Methodist minister, he was closely associated with Methodists, including Bishop Francis Asbury. Dow traveled in every state in the Union, seventeen at the time, Canada, England, Ireland, and Wales. His wife Peggy accompanied him on many of his travels. Their only child was born in Ireland, and died in England.

1811 October 13 Moravian Diary

None of the Negroes attended the liturgy and because none of them had attended the meetings in October, I feared that Dow had been responsible for it. It was all the more comforting for me when fourteen persons assembled at the afternoon meeting, at which I was able to speak of the love of Jesus. I came down with a fever which is prevalent here. Most of the residents on the plantation suffered intensely from the ailment.

July 2002 Tracer

LORENZO DOW VISITS GEORGIA IN 1803
The following is quoted from a rare book in the Washington memorial Library in Macon, Ga. Cover page missing. Potter, 1810.

"So to Petersburg in Georgia, where I arrived on the 2nd of February, 1803, having had some trials and experienced some providences by the way. I felt the want of credentials, as the Methodist for hundreds of miles had treated me cool. However, as soon as I entered Petersburg a lad knew me, and soon word flew over town that the walking preacher had got back, and I spoke to an assembly of magnitude that night. A society of Methodist was raised here when I was walking this country last year, though religion was cold. Now it seemed to flourish, my way was opened and I sent appointments and visited the country extensively as Providence enabled me to succeed.

At Rolem’s meeting house and at Thompson’s, Cunningham’s, Powelton, Sparty, Rehoboth, Washington, Sardis, Indian Creek, Gen. Steward’s, Burke’s, Gen. Dickson’s, Bakers, Carrell, Redwine’s, Pane’s, M’Daniel’s, Coldwater, Stenchcomb’s and Sest’s neighborhoods, & c, I held meetings.

A camp meting was held on Shoulder-bone Creek; where I arrived on the third day of its setting. About the dawn of it I spoke several times and the Lord was with us; ten persons came forward and testified that they had found the pardoning love of God, among whom was Judge Stith, who had been a noted Deist. In this quarter God gave me favor in the sight of the people, and some were raised up to supply my wants, among whom was Doctor B. and S. Roundtree, Doctor Lee, &c, and another gentleman who gave me a cloak; for these favors may God remember those who administered to my necessities.

I visited Handcock, Clark, Jackson, Oglethorpe, Franklin and Elbert Counties quite extensively; the congregations were exceeding large, so that I mostly spoke under trees, and the Lord overshadowed us with His Divine presence. The fruit of this visit I expect to see in a future world, though it was by a sweet drawing that I undertook to wander here by land; yet it was trying to my flesh and blood to leave my friends and acquaintance in the North and wander so may miles amongst strangers, considering what I had passed thro’ before among strangers; yet something within would say go, and you shall see peace, and I went and saw it, so I do not grudge all my toil. However, I was not without my trials here, considering the cause of God, for many of the Baptist supposed me to be a Baptist preacher when I was on foot through their quarter at first, and now flocked out by crowds to hear me as I had said but little about names or parties when here before, as I was coolly received by those whose friendship I wished to retain: the Baptist (of whom many are pious) were sorely disappointed in me by now, when they heard my doctrine or ideas on election and reprobation; and instead of owning me now for a Baptist, reprobated me to the highest pitch, and several church meetings were held on the subject, the result of which were, that they should hear me no more. Some of their Preachers spoke against me in public and in private behind my back; and some things I was informed they said which they could not prove; and all this because I endeavored to show the evil of that doctrine which had been such a curse to me, and for preaching up a free salvation, which caused brother Mead to say (as they now preached up eternal decrees more than usual) it will be the means of drawing out the cloven foot to cut off -- meaning it would cause the people to know their sentiments more fully, which frequently kept hid, and so deceived the people, by preaching an offer of mercy when only a few, the elect could possibly have it. And as some of them said that I preached or held to things that were false, brother Mead and a number of others advised me to prepare my thoughts for publication on different religious subjects.

I visited Augusta and found a good society formed there; also Wanesborough, Sandersville, and many other adjacent places, together with Louisville the capitol, where the governor offered me money which I did not feel free to accept; but was thankful for his good wishes.

March 25, 1803. Camp meeting came on at Jones’ meeting house and lasted until the 29th. Some were convinced of error of sentiment and some of sin, and a good number found peace in the blood of the Lamb; and the world’s people were brought to acknowledge that something out of the common course of nature must have produced the effect in one or two instances. I found the people here kind; for as Hope Hull mentioned to them that I was about to go to the western country and perhaps I might want some spending money, &c upwards of an hundred dollars were given me; so I found the Lord to provide who put it into the heart of Gen. John Stewart to get me a pass or parchment from the Governor under the seal of the state to pass through the Indian country.

My horse not being good for traveling, I sold him on credit, and a Methodist (so called) had one for sale, and offered him to me for an hundred and fifty dollars; and this man who was called a Methodist did not show me the kindness to wait as another man of no society and of no religion did; for the latter was bound to me though he had not seen me before, and he also carried the money a distance for nothing; so I see that the hearts of all men are in the hands of God, and he can and doth work by whom he pleaseth.

April 19, 1803. Being provided with necessaries I crossed the Oconee river, and there meeting some persons set of for Tombigby; but I had not proceeded an hundred yards before I found that one on whom we depended as a guide knew nothing about the road; of course must depend on my own judgment. I had procured a map of the road an hundred and thirty miles to the Chatahocha river, and a pocket compass, &c. A young man from Connecticut who was acquainted with some of my relations, was feeding mules in the woods, so we followed him a few miles then camped in the woods for the night. Next day a woman and a child got flung from a horse and thereby were ducked in the Oakmulgee river. So we proceeded on frequently seeing Indians (which a black woman of the company was much afraid off) till we came to the Flint river, where we hired an Indian to lead an horse thro’ and himself wade before it. Some of the land over which we passed was miserable, and some was preferable to any I had ever seen in the South. We frequently saw wild game, among which were deer and turkeys. The Indians frequently came to our camp, and while we had our evening devotion they would be solemn and mute. We could talk together only by signs, and I desired to know if they knew what we were about; they replied that we were paying our addresses to the great man above who is the author of breath, &c. Thus all intelligences have some idea of divinity, futurity, and rewards and punishments, and what causes such universal acknowledgment, but a universal teacher which must be God! I broke my umbrella and likewise lost my whip, the latter while buying corn and hiring a pilot.

One day a couple of us thought to get to the agent’s house before the company to get provisions, but had not gone far before an Indian alarmed us much by shooting a deer through and the ball struck near us, which made us suppose some hostile intention were against us till we saw the mistake. We left a man and a woman in the woods, who were going to trade with the Indians, as they traveled slow.

Hawkins the agent treated us cool, so we quit him and went on. Next day we missed our road, or rather Indian path, which we were convinced of by some swamps and water courses, and turning a little back, one of the company being a good woodsman, took the lead and striking across we came to a path, which divided the minds of the company at first, but at length we agreed to strike across it further through the woods and that afternoon found a path which proved to be the right one. We at length found a man hunting horses who piloted us to the first house in the settlement which we made in thirteen days and an half from the time we set out, having traveled about four hundred miles.

The company supposed that they could save thirty or forty miles travel by swimming across the Alabama river and forcing a swamp which the attempted to do and got detained by rain two days; but I left them and went down the river ten miles and stayed with a half breed Indian, who charged me a dollar and a half for the night. I then left an appointment for Sunday in the Tensaw settlement and went over the Alabama by the Cutoff to the west side of Tombigby, through a cane brake or swamp seven miles, and found a thick settlement and then a scattered one seventy miles in length, through which I sent a chain of appointments and afterwards fulfilled them; and the fruits I expect to see at a future day.

COMMENTS BY EDITOR John R. Adams, Sr.

I located a rare book at Washington Memorial Library in Macon Ga. on the travels of Lorenzo Dow in 1803. These old diaries are a rare find and paint a mental picture of how life was in years long gone. No history book of facts and figures can bring our past to life as good as this personal information.

Lorenzo Dow’s encounters with the Methodist and Baptist of early Georgia is a good example of how religion was in the forefront in earlier days. The meeting houses he attended were the same as many of our ancestors. Some of the names may be listed in the history of your family.

Col. Benjamin Hawkins was apparently living at Point Comfort at the time of Lorenzo Dow’s visit in 1803.

I know that Hope Hull is a familiar name to many of you. The Rev. Hope Hull, who has been called the father of Georgia Methodism, came to the Athens area from Wilkes County about 1802 and preached in a log cabin built for that purpose near Athens from about 1804 until his death in 1818. The Methodist movement in the area almost perished after his death, but was revived by Thomas Hancock and others who built the first church structure in the town of Athens in 1825.

Rev. Hope Hull Grant's Meeting House, the first Methodist Church building in Georgia, erected 5 miles E. in 1787. Rev. Hope Hull and Rev. Lorenzo Dow were among the famous pioneer Circuit Riders to hold revival meetings in Washington, Ga.

Rev. Hope HULL, b. 13 Mar 1763, d. 4 Oct 1818, bur Oconee Hill Cem.; served in MD Troops; res. Salisbury Dist., NC and Wilkes Co., Ga.


EARLY RELIGION
I will attempt to present some of the early religions in this issue. It is not my intent in presenting this information to make light of any religion. I believe strongly in freedom of religion and the right of anyone to worship their God in whatever way they choose. I just ask that they extend to me the same right. I cannot publish information on every religion in these few pages and I will limit my stories to information available to me at this time.

I ask that you reread the early issues on the Moravian Missionaries that were at the Creek Indian Agency at the time of Colonel Benjamin Hawkins. The diary of the two Moravian Missionaries, Johann Christian Burckhard and Karsten Peterson tell of their efforts to establish a Moravian Church in what is now Crawford Co., Ga. This church, or mission, is probably the first in this area of Georgia. There were also other preachers mentioned as well who visited the Creek Agency; Mr. Darnel, a Methodist minister from Milledgeville and one unnamed minister with him; a Baptist minister from South Carolina; there could have been others.

The most famous was Rev. Lorenzo Dow who was at the Creek Agency at least 4 times. I have included information on him in two other issues of the TRACER.

I purchased a book titled, History of Cosmopolite: or the writings of Rev. Lorenzo Dow: containing his experience and travels in Europe and America up to near his fiftieth year. Also, his Polemic Writings to which is added, The Journey of Life, by Peggy Dow. (1856)

I am including exerts of Rev. Lorenzo Dow’s book here for the history of his missionary work as well as his description of the land and people of the early 1800’s in Georgia. I am also including exerts from his wife, Peggy Dows’ Book, because she gave a very vivid description of the land and the effects of the wilderness on pioneers of this time period.


REV. LORENZO DOW
This begins where Rev. Lorenzo Dow had left Georgia in April, 1803, as I reported in the TRACER, July, 2002 page 30 & 31.

1803 October 28

After an absence of about seven months, I arrived back in Georgia, having travelled upwards of 4000 miles. When I left this state I was handsomely equipped for travelling, by some friends whom God had raised me up, in time of need, after my trials on my journey from New England. My equipment was as follows: My horse cost £45, a decent saddle and cloth, portmantau and bag, umbrella and lady's shove whip; a double suit of clothes, a blue broad cloth cloak, given me by a gentleman; shoes, stockings, cased hat, a valuable watch, with fifty-three dollars in my pocket for spending money, &c. But now, on my return, I had not the same valuable horse, and my watch I parted with for pecuniary aid to bear my expenses. My pantaloons were worn out; my riding chevals were worn through in several places.

I had no stockings, shoes nor moccasins (an Indian shoe) for the last several hundred miles; no outer garment, having sold my cloak in West Florida. My coat and vest were worn through to my shirt; my hat case and umbrella were spoiled by prongs of trees, whilst riding in the woods. Thus, with decency, I was scarce able to get back to my friends as I would. It is true, I had many pounds and handsome presents offered me in my journey, but I could not feel freedom to receive them, only just what would serve my present necessity, to get along to my appointments, as I was such a stranger in the country, and so many to watch me (as an impostor) for evil, and but few to lift up my hands for good.

As I considered that the success and opening of many years depended on these days, I was not willing to give any occasion for the gospel to be blamed, or any occasion to hedge up my way. For it was with seriousness and consideration that I took these journeys, from conviction of duty, that God required it at my hands. And knowing that impostors are fond of money, I was convinced that Satan would not be found wanting to whisper in the minds of the people, that my motives were sinister or impure..

Major John Oliver came and took me by the hand, calling me father, saying, "when you preached in Petersburg last, your text was constantly ringing in my ears, for days together, whether I would deal kindly and truly with the master, &c. So I had no peace till I set out to seek the Lord; and since, my wife and I have been brought to rejoice in the Almighty."

He gave me a vest, pantaloons, umbrella, stockings, handkerchief, and a watch, &c. Another gave me a pair of shoes and a coat; and a third a cloak, and a few shillings of spending money from some others. Thus I find that Providence, whose tender care is over all His works, by His kind hand is still preserving me; Oh! may I never betray His great cause committed to my charge!

I visited the upper counties and had refreshing seasons amongst my friends, from the presence of the Lord. General Stewart informed me of a remarkable circumstance, of a man who heard the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation preached up; the devil told him that he was one of the reprobates, which drove him to despair; so he put an end to his life by blowing out his brains. An A-double-L-part minister, who held the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation, preached up good works, saying it would do no good to preach his sentiments, which caused my spiritual father, in the gospel, to observe to him, "that a doctrine which is not fit to be preached is not fit to be believed."

(Editors Note: Again, the doctrine of election saith, all that was given from the father to the son, in the covenant of Grace, will be saved none that Christ died for can be lost. -- The bible saith Christ died for all, and A double L, does not spell part, nor some, nor few, but it means all: Well, now if all Christ died for will be saved, and none of them can be lost, then Universalism must be true, => and you cannot deny it. The bible saith, Christ gave himself for ALL. -- 1 Tim. ii. 4, 6; 1 John ii. 2. And A double L does not spell part, nor some, nor few, but it means all: "Rev. Lorenzo Dow"

Universalism is the teaching that God, through the atonement of Jesus, will ultimately bring reconciliation between God and all people throughout history. This reconciliation will occur regardless of whether they have trusted in or rejected Jesus as savior during their lifetime. This universal redemption will be realized in the future where God will bring all people to repentance. This repentance can happen while a person lives or after he has died and lived again in the millennium or some future state. Additionally, a few Universalists even maintain that Satan and all demons will likewise be reconciled to God.)

I held a meeting in a republican meeting house, i. e., one free for all denominations. I spoke on A-double-L-partism; and an A-double-L-part preacher present, being asked how he liked the preaching, he replied, that he held, and preached no contrary sentiments himself; but afterwards he did his uttermost to cut my doctrine to pieces, and blacken my character. I preached in Georgetown, and set out at eight at night for Augusta, and travelling nearly all night, I came to a camp where some negroes were toting tobacco to market; and I stopped with them until day, and one gave me some corn for my horse. The mode of toting tobacco to market, is by rolling it in casks, with a wooden axle through the midst, on the ends of which are fastened the shafts for the horse to draw it by; 15 or 16 hundred weight may thus be pressed and carried to market.

The next day, missing my road, I gave away my pocket handkerchief for a pilot.

1803 November 20

I arrived at camp meeting at Rehoboth; I took Master "I AM" for my text, with observing that he offered a great reward for runaways; whose marks I would describe. The auditory amounting to about 5,000, sunk into a solemn silence, whilst I described the diabolical marks of sinners, and the reward for their return.

About fifty souls were born to God. There were 44 tents; 8 wooden huts; 48 covered waggons, beside carriages, &c., of various sorts. Many I parted with here whom perhaps I shall never see more, and set off for St. Mary's, in company with several of the preachers; and as we hove in sight of town, I inquired its name, and felt an impulse to stop and hold meeting, which I did, intending to overtake my company next day; but leaving Warrington late at night, I rode several miles and stopped to inquire the road; the man within knew my voice, and persuaded me to alight and tarry until morning; when he accompanied me to meeting, in Bethel meeting house, where I was drawn particularly, to speak on the subject of murder and murderers; after which brother Mead observed, that two murderers were supposed to be present.

1803 November 23

I spoke in Louisville, to as many as could conveniently get into the State house. Brigadier General John Stewart was then present. I attacked a A-double-L-partism, and proposed a covenant to the auditory, to meet me at the throne of grace, for a limited period of time; which the gentlemen observing General Stewart to rise, followed his example, as a sign of their compliance with the proposal, which I observed they were bound by the principles of honor and veracity to keep.

Whilst I was preaching, I pointed out the duty of rulers, as stewards of God and guardians to the people, that vice might be suppressed, and virtue encouraged. Whilst speaking also, I perceived the chair on which I stood on the writing table, to move twice or thrice, the cause of which I could not then ascertain; but sat down to prevent my falling. After meeting a young German having observed a Baptist preacher to put his foot on my chair twice or thrice apparently with a deign to tilt me over and set the house in a laughter, [who was an A-double-L-part man] went and shook his fist in his face, intimating that [if he had him out of doors] he would pay him for his insult to the stranger.

The A-double-L-part man being a member of the Legislature, complained of the young man to the house for having insulted him. The House ordered the young man to prison, and the next day to trial; as no member might be insulted whilst sitting in the House. The young man pleaded that the member was not sitting at the time, and so was acquitted. This cost him about 50 dollars, and the State about 600; as the trial lasted two days. It was a few days after this, that I received a recommendation, as a preacher of the gospel to the world of mankind, signed by the Governor, Secretary, and twenty-eight members of the Legislature, with the great seal of the State.

Bishop Asbury's appointments being given out, and it being uncertain whether he would attend; Stith Mead, who was presiding elder of the district, thought proper to send me on his own appointments, to St. Mary's Quarterly meeting, whilst he intended to take the bishop's plan.

1803 November 25

The high waters retarded; but to prevent disappointing the people, in my circuitous route I made the greatest speed; and a gentleman traveller, supposing [from my speed] that I was some murderer, clapped spurs to his horse and pursued me to a meeting, where God's power was manifested among us.

1803 November 26

I held a two days meeting at Union meeting-house, where there was some quickening; but the A-double-L-part people were in this part raking my character.

Hence to Kenootchy creek; and so to Tabor's creek; and Captain Mitchell [in whose house I held meeting] so interrupted, that we removed into the street; then he ordered me down from the stage: so we retired to a neighboring plantation; but he took his norse and pistols, and interrupted us here also. Oh! the sin of drunkenness, which leads to murder!

My evening appointment was not given out, near the Goose-ponds and I found it almost impossible to get a place to lodge.

1803 December 3

I crossed the Altamaha, and met brother Isaac Cooke, who came missionary from Conference here; the most dismal marshy part where I was in, I found he had good success; though he was not without his enemies; but God for his indefatigable labors gave him upwards of an hundred members this year; and he had two meeting houses erected for the connexion.

A clear conscience, is like a clear sky without a cloud; Oh! may I never live to be useless: I remember Doctor Johnson said, "thou hast an ulcer or defect in thy liver, with which thou wast born into the world; and if thou livest high or intemperate, or bringest slight condemnation or burden on thy mind; or dost not labor hard, &c., &c., the nature of thy disorder is such thou wilt be in danger of being suddenly cut off; but if thou art prudent, &c., thou mayest live as long as most others, unless some contagious disorder shall lay hold on thee;" the propriety of these remarks, I am convinced of from experience.

We took our departure from Savannah, where we parted, and I spent a few days. The curse of God seems to rest about here since the days in which they treated John Wesley ill, and confiscated the property of George Whitfield, which was appropriated to religious and charitable purposes.

Hence to Tuckissaking, where old father Boston lived, who received me as I left Savannah the first time I came to Georgia.- Last night as brother Cooke was preaching, a black woman was struck under conviction, with the power of God; her body was cold as a corpse, and laid aside sixteen hours as in a sweet sleep or state of insensibility, and no symptoms of life except a regular pulse. Some thought that she would never come to; however she revived, praising God. I spoke and we had a refreshing time in the woods.

I sent an appointment to Lanear's ferry on the Ogeechee river; on my arrival I found a stage erected in the woods, and a vast concourse of people, few of whom had ever seen me before.

As I began meeting, I perceived a man uneasy; he got up and sat down, and up and down again, and walked round; which denoted some unusual uneasiness in his mind.

After meeting I set off for my evening's appointment; several were going the same way. I abruptly spoke to one; "are you not sorry you came to meeting?" [not recollecting him to be the above man.] He replied, "Yes; and I believe it would have been better for me to have stayed at home and my horse eating grass." I understand said he, you can tell fortunes: and if you can tell what is to come, you can tell what is past: tell me, did I ever kill any body? If I did I'll confess it before the people!

Thus he twice or thrice strove to make me answer the question; it made a solemn impression on my mind, so that I did not speak: but looking him in the face as we rode a distance, viewing it necessary to be guarded in my conduct as the company were strangers to me; I inquired his name as we parted at the forks of the road, however it made such an impression on my mind, that I could not but relate it to the congregation in Springfield court house; after meeting, the gentleman where I lodged informed me that this Squire H- was supposed to be concerned in a murder, with a man who was under sentence of death; it appears from the best accounts I could collect that this H- was an A-double-L-part man, and believed, once in grace and always in grace; which brought me to reflection, [from the horrible circumstance,] what dangerous sentiments these are; not only in a religious point of view, to lull people to sleep, but also in a civil and political respect; for if one falls into public scandal and retaining an idea of being secured unchangeably in the favor of God, he cannot be under the influence of the principles of honor, nor yet the idea of future reward and punishment; and of course he is a dangerous person to society-seeing civil, nor honorable, nor moral obligation will restrain him from his evil designs.- This is the truth, and cannot be confuted.

I left my horse and cloak, expecting they would be sent to me, and with difficulty I reached the town of Augusta, where the conference was beginning to sit.

Here I met Dr. Coke; he replied, "how do you do, Brother Dow? I am glad to see you; your warning to the people of Dublin, had like to have proved too true."

Here Stith Mead brought me the parchment of recommendation from the Governor, &c., and I gave him a testimonial of my sincerity and attachment to the Methodist body, and my approbation of the general tenor of their conduct, &c. Here I was talked over in conference; and after some conversation the Doctor observed, that I had done the Methodist societies no injury that he knew of, but in sundry instances to the reverse.

Bishop Asbury directed the preachers to publish for me to preach in the meeting house during the setting of conference; which was done, and I gave my farewell to the people; and also my thoughts on different religious subjects; (which were published under the title of, "The Chain of Lorenzo" by the request of his friends as his farewell to Georgia) as a present to the meeting house which was in debt.

The cause of this publication originated from the false reports, and dust which the A-double-L-part people had raised against me; but my friends advised me to it, that the unprejudiced might judge for themselves, where the truth lay, and so thus the cloven foot be drawn out, and cut clear off: that when God had killed the old stock, there should be none to carry the news, and thus A-double-L-partism be driven from the land; which concern had driven me from Ireland that precious souls might escape as from the snare of the fowler.

I sold my watch to pay for printing some religious handbills, "Rules for Holy Living," which I distributed around town, and got some also printed on silk for the higher class [lest paper would be too much neglected;] one of which I had framed, and the Doctor tied it up for me in a paper and superscribed it For His Excellency the Governor, which I left with an attorney to deliver, as I delivered one of my silk bills. Thus I left the conference, who had agreed not to hedge up my way, with weeping eyes and aching heart; and took my departure to South Carolina.

1804 February

I had heard about a singularity called the jerks or jerking exercise, which appeared first near Knoxville, in August last, to the great alarm of the people; which reports I considered at first, as vague and false; but at length like the Queen of Sheba, I set out to go and see for myself; and sent over these appointments into this country accordingly.

When I arrived in sight of this town I saw hundreds of people collected in little bodies; and observing no place appointed for meeting, before I spoke to any, I got on a log and gave out an hymn, which caused them to assemble round, in solemn attentive silence. I observed several involuntary motions in the course of the meeting, which I considered as a specimen of the jerks. I rode seven miles behind a man across streams of water; and held meeting in the evening, being ten miles on my way.

In the night I grew uneasy, being twenty-five miles from my appointment for the next morning at eleven o'clock; I prevailed on a young man to attempt carrying me with horses until day, which he thought was impracticable, considering the darkness of the night, and the thickness of the trees. Solitary shrieks were heard in these woods, which he told me were said to be the cries of murdered persons; at day we parted, being still seventeen miles from the spot, and the ground covered with a white frost. I had not proceeded far before I came to a stream of water, from the spring of the mountain, which made it dreadful cold; in my heated state I had to wade this stream five times in the course of about an hour, which I perceived so affected my body, that my strength began to fail. Fears began to arise that I must disappoint the people, till I observed some fresh tracks of horses which caused me to exert every nerve to overtake them, in hopes of aid and assistance on my journey, and soon I saw them on an eminence; I shouted for them to stop, till I came up; they inquired what I wanted; I replied, I had heard there was meeting at Seversville by a stranger, and was going to it; they replied that they had heard that a crazy man was to hold forth there, and were going also; and perceiving that I was weary, they invited me to ride; and soon our company was increased to forty or fifty, who fell in with us on the road, from different plantations. At length 1 was interrogated, whether I knew any thing about the preacher? I replied, I have heard a good deal about him, and had heard him preach, but I had no great opinion of him; and thus the conversation continued for some miles before they found me out, which caused some color and smiles in the company; thus I got on to meeting; and after taking a cup of tea gratis, I began to speak to a vast audience; and I observed about thirty to have the jerks; though they strove to keep still as they could; these emotions were involuntary, and irresistible, as any unprejudiced mind might discern. Lawyer Porter, who had come a considerable distance, got his heart touched under the word, and being informed how I came to meeting, voluntarily lent me a horse to ride near one hundred miles, and gave me a dollar, though he had never seen me before.

Hence to Marysville, where I spoke to about one thousand five hundred; and many appeared to feel the word, but about fifty felt the jerks. At night I lodged with one of the Nicholites, a kind of Quakers, who do not feel free to wear colored clothes. I spoke to a number of people at his house that night. Whilst at tea I observed his daughter, who sat opposite to me at table, to have the jerks, and dropped the tea cup from her hand in the violent agitation. I said to her, "Young woman, what is the matter?" She replied, "I have got the jerks." I asked her how long she had it. She observed, "A few days," and that it had been the means of the awakening and conversion of her soul, by stirring her up to serious consideration about her careless state. (The Nicholite movement was founded by Joseph Nichols about 1760. One major difference between Quakers and Nicholites was evident however. While Quakers were great believers in education and operated schools for that purpose, Nicholites saw evil in too much education and seldom had their children taught beyond the ability to read and write.)

1804 February 19, Sunday

I spoke in Knoxville to hundreds more than could get into the court house the governor being present. About one hundred and fifty appeared to have the jerking exercise, among whom was a circuit preacher, (Johnson) who had opposed them a little before, but he now had them powerfully; and I believe he would have fallen over three times had not the auditory been so crowded that he could not, unless he fell perpendicularly.

After, meeting I rode eighteen miles to hold meeting at night. The people of this settlement were mostly Quakers; and they had said, as I was informed, the Methodists and Presbyterians have the jerks because they sing and pray so much, but we are a still, peaceable people, wherefore we do not have them. However, about twenty of them came to meeting to hear one, as was said, somewhat in a Quaker line; but their usual stillness and silence was interrupted; for about a dozen of them had the jerks as keen and as powerful as any I had seen, so as to have occasioned a kind of grunt or groan when they would jerk. It appears that many have undervalued the great revival, and attempted to account for it on natural principles; therefore it seems to me, from the best judgment I can form, that God hath seen proper to take this method to convince people that he will work in a way to show his power; and sent the jerks as a sign of the times, partly in judgment for the people's unbelief, and yet as a mercy to convict people of divine realities.

I have seen Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, Baptists, Church of England, and Independents, exercised with the jerks; gentleman and lady, black and white, the aged and the youth, rich and poor, without exception; from which I infer, as it cannot be accounted for on natural principles, and carries such marks of involuntary motion, that it is no trifling matter. I believe that those who are most pious and given up to God, are rarely touched with it; and also those naturalists, who wish and try to get it to philosphize upon it are excepted; but the lukewarm, lazy, half-hearted, indolent professor is subject to it; and many of them I have seen, who, when it came upon them, would be alarmed and stirred up to redouble their diligence with God; and after they would get happy, were thankful it ever came upon them. Again, the wicked are frequently more afraid of it than the small pox or yellow fever; these are subject to it; but the persecutors are more subject to it than any, and they sometimes have cursed and swore, and damned it, whilst jerking. There is no pain attending the jerks except they resist it, which if they do, it will weary them more in an hour than a day's labor, which shows that it requires the consent of the will to avoid suffering.

1804 February 20, Monday

I passed by a meeting house, where I observed the undergrowth had been cut down for a camp meeting, and from fifty to one hundred saplings left breast high, which to me appeared so slovenish that I could not but ask my guide the cause, who observed they were topped so high, and left for the people to jerk by. This so excited my attention that I went over the ground to view it; and found where the people had laid hold of them and jerked so powerfully that they had kicked up the earth as a horse stamping flies. I observed some emotion, both this day and night among the people; a Presbyterian minister, with whom I stayed, observed, "Yesterday whilst I was preaching, some had the jerks, and a young man from N. Carolina mimicked them, out of derision, and soon was seized with them himself, which was the case with many others; he grew ashamed, and on attempting to mount his horse to go off, his foot jerked about so that he could not put it into the stirrup; some younsters seeing this, assisted him on, but he jerked so that he could not sit alone, and one got up to hold him on, which was done with difficulty. I observing this, went to him and asked him what he thought of it. Said he, "I believe God sent it on me for my wickedness, and making so light of it in others;" and he requested me to pray for him.

I observed his wife had it; she said she was first attacked with it in bed. Dr. Nelson said he had frequently strove to get it, in order to philosophize upon it, but could not; and observed they could not account for it on natural principles.


REV. LORENZO DOW’S 1804-1805
TRIP THROUGH GEORGIA
1804 December 22, Saturday.

I met some people from Georgia; at night I was taken with a strong fever, but drank some water and coffee, and got a good night's rest.

1804 December 23, Sunday

Feel somewhat better, it snowed some, and the sun hath shone scarcely ten minutes during these five days.

1804 December 24, Monday

We rode about forty miles through Sixtown of the Choctaws, and whilst we were passing it, I observed where they scaffold the dead, and also the spot where the flesh was, when the bonepicker had done his office. The friends of the deceased weep twice a day for a term, and if they cannot cry enough themselves, they hire some to help them; it was a weeping time, and their cries made our horses caper well. I was informed of an ancient custom which at present is out of date among them; when one was sick a council was held by the doctors, if their judgment was that he would die, they being supposed infallible, humanity induced the neck-breaker to do his office. An European being sick, and finding out his verdict, to save his neck, crept into the woods, and recovered, which showed to the Indians the fallibility of the doctors, and the evil of the practice. Therefore to show that the custom must be totally abolished, they took the poor neck breaker and broke his neck.

1804 December 25, Tuesday

We came to Densmore's, agent for Indian affairs, our provisions were gone, and with difficulty we procured relief. Some people who were dancing in a neighboring house, came in to hear me talk; I held a meeting with them, and then lay down to rest.

1804 December 26, Wednesday

After breakfast we came near the trading road, from the Chicasaws to Mobile, where we encamped near a spring and cane brake; the leaves of the cane are food for cattle, &c.

1804 December 27, Thursday

We started betimes and came to the first house on the Tombigbee settlement, within four miles of fort St. Stephen, where there is but one family, but it will be a place of fame in time. We had met the man of the house where we stayed, who told us to call, his wife made a heavy charge, we paid her, and S. M. said, "tell your husband never any more to invite travellers to be welcome for his wife to extort." The river was high, and swamp not fordable, which necessitated us to go down the river about seventy miles to the Cut-off, which is a channel from the Tombigbee to the Alabama river, about seven miles from their junction, where they form the Mobile. The island contains about sixty thousand acres, which are commonly overflowed by the spring flood, as Egypt is by the Nile. I held meeting during the six days of tarrying in the settlement, and took my departure for Georgia, but was necessitated to keep on the dividing ridge, between the streams, to prevent being intercepted by creeks. There were ferries at the above rivers. In the settlement there was not a preacher of any society; my appointments were given out in Georgia, with the days and hours fixed. In consequence of the high waters we had to lose much travelling.

1805 January 4, Friday

We fell in with a camp of whites, where we were informed of some whites having been murdered by Indians and one Indian killed by a white, and another wounded, the wounded Indian was determined to kill some white in revenge. These whites had hired a chief to pilot them around to avoid the danger; but my time being limited obliged me to take the nearest cut, which was through the village, where the wounded Indian lived. Here we parted from all the company, and set off by ourselves, having four hundred miles to go.

1805 January 8, Tuesday

We fell in with an Indian trader, who was out of provisions; we gave him some, and tarried at his habitation that night; he made us some return next day, then we pursued our journey. This being in the Creek nation, we had some difficulty in finding our way, there, being so many Indian by-paths; however, we came to Hawkins's old place that night.

1805 January 10, Thursday

Our charges were eleven shillings, though I think not worth the half. We left the place about an hour by sun, having the prospect of a pleasant day before us, but we had not gone many miles before it gathered up and began to rain and sleet, which made it tremendous cold; so we stopped to let our horses feed, and pitching our tent, kindled up a fire, to warm us; but the weather appearing more favorable, we proceeded on through a bad swamp, meeting two travelers by the way. At length we perceived it began to grow dark, which convinced us that it was later than we thought; we halted, hobbled out our horses immediately, finding some grass on the hill, and proceeded to kindle up a fire, but every thing being so wet, and covered with a sleet, and our limbs benumbed with cold, it was next to an impossibility to accomplish it. Things appeared gloomy, the shades of a dark night fast prevailing, death appeared before. In consequence of my being robbed I had no winter coat, but only my thin summer one at this time; however, we at length succeeded in getting prepared for the night, our tents spread, which kept off the falling weather, and a good fire at the door soon dried the ground.

We prepared our kettle of coffee, and partook with gratitude, and found we here could sing praises to God, not without a sense of the Divine favor, considering our situation a little before; we lay down to rest as under the wing of the Almighty in this desert, inhabited only by wild beasts, whilst the wolves were howling on every side. Next day we passed the settlement where we considered the danger was, and continued our course till we came to Hawkins‘, on flint river, having seen an Indian point his gun at us by the way. We stayed with Hawkins a night; he was kind and hospitable, and has had some success, though with difficulty, in introducing civilization and cultivation among the Indians. First, they despised labor, saying, we are warriors, and threatened him with death if he did not depart, (they being prejudiced, supposing him to be their enemy, as if to make slaves of them like the blacks) and cast all the contempt on him imaginable; but being afraid of Long-knife, i. e., congress, refrained from violence. However, they would not accept of tools or implements of agriculture, but would go directly opposite to his advice, e. g., he said scatter and raise stock, but they would live more compact. Two years elapsed with less rain than usual, causing the crops to fail, some died with hunger; a chief asked, "Have you power with the Great Man above, to keep off the rain?" Hawkins replied, no; but the Great Man sees your folly and is angry with you. Hawkins wanted pork and corn; the Indians accustomed to sell by lump would not sell him any by weight or measure, apprehending witchcraft or cheatery. A girl bringing to him a hog to sell, asked one dollar and three quarters, which they call seven chalks, he weighing the pig gave her fourteen, she supposed the additional seven were to buy her as a wife for the night, it being their custom to marry for a limited time, as a night, a moon, &c. Another girl bringing a larger hog, demanded fourteen chalks, which came to twenty-eight, which the other girl observing, supposed herself cut out, began to murmur, and flung: down the money; but an old chief seeing the propriety of the weight, explained the matter; this gave rise to its introduction and reception among them. An old squaw receiving by measurement more than her demand for corn, laughed at the Indians who had refused to sell in this manner. Thus measures were introduced.

I met some travellers, who showed me a paper containing the advertisement of my appointments, published by brother Mead, beginning six days sooner than I appointed.

1805 January 17, Thursday

We reached the settlement of Georgia, near Fort Wilkinson, and falling in with Esquire Cook, whom I knew, we went home with him, and had a meeting. He lent me a horse, and I went on to camp meeting, and got there the very day I had fixed some time before.

We had a good time. Brigadier General John Stewart and his brother, the captain, in Virginia, had agreed to join society, which the latter had done, and as brother Mead had taken him and their wives into class, the General, to the surprise of the people, came forward in public, and requested to be taken under care also. Many had heard of my marriage, but did not credit it, until they had it from my own mouth, the particulars of which, to prevent fruitless and needless conversation, I related in public; for many said, "I wonder what he wants with a consort?" I replied as above, to enable me to be more useful on an extensive scale. Hence I spoke at the Rock meeting house, Comb's meeting house and Washington.

1805 January 25, Friday

I spoke at Scott's meeting house, and Jones' at night. Here Smith Miller fell in with me again. In my sleep I viewed myself as at Papa Hobson's with my companion, and shortly separated at a great distance, and found myself with a horse upon a high hill from whence I could espy the place where she was, although there intervened a wilderness with great rivers flooded into the swamps; I felt it a duty to require my presence there, and descended the hill the right way for that purpose! after I had set my compass; however, I soon got into the dale, on a winding circuitous road, where I could not see before me. Discouragements seemed almost insurmountable, yet conviction said I must go; faith said it might be accomplished by patient diligence, resolution, and fortitude, as well as some other things I had succeeded in.

I had a similar dream upon this, from which I inferred that some severe trials are at hand, but by the grace of God, through faith, I may surmount them.

1805 January 27, Sunday

I spoke three times at Augusta, and had some refreshing seasons. I found the first cost of my Journals would amount to between two and three thousand dollars; the profits of it I designed to aid in erecting a meeting house in Washington, the Federal City. A person had promised me the loan of one thousand dollars, to assist, if necessary, but found it inconvenient to perform; also about two hundred guineas' worth of books were missent and not accounted for about this time; so that my prospects for pecuniary means were gloomy.

1805 January 28, Monday

Bidding farewell to Georgia, I spoke at Jetter's meeting house, and twice at Edgefield court house


EARLY RELIGION
I will attempt to present some of the early religions in this issue. It is not my intent in presenting this information to make light of any religion. I believe strongly in freedom of religion and the right of anyone to worship their God in whatever way they choose. I just ask that they extend to me the same right. I cannot publish information on every religion in these few pages and I will limit my stories to information available to me at this time.

I ask that you reread the early issues on the Moravian Missionaries that were at the Creek Indian Agency at the time of Colonel Benjamin Hawkins. The diary of the two Moravian Missionaries, Johann Christian Burckhard and Karsten Peterson tell of their efforts to establish a Moravian Church in what is now Crawford Co., Ga. This church, or mission, is probably the first in this area of Georgia. There were also other preachers mentioned as well who visited the Creek Agency; Mr. Darnel, a Methodist minister from Milledgeville and one unnamed minister with him; a Baptist minister from South Carolina; there could have been others.

The most famous was Rev. Lorenzo Dow who was at the Creek Agency at least 4 times. I have included information on him in two other issues of the TRACER.

I purchased a book titled, History of Cosmopolite: or the writings of Rev. Lorenzo Dow: containing his experience and travels in Europe and America up to near his fiftieth year. Also, his Polemic Writings to which is added, The Journey of Life, by Peggy Dow. (1856)

I am including exerts of Rev. Lorenzo Dow’s book here for the history of his missionary work as well as his description of the land and people of the early 1800’s in Georgia. I am also including exerts from his wife, Peggy Dows’ Book, because she gave a very vivid description of the land and the effects of the wilderness on pioneers of this time period.

REV. LORENZO DOW
This begins where Rev. Lorenzo Dow had left Georgia in April, 1803, as I reported in the TRACER, July, 2002 page 30 & 31.

1803 October 28

After an absence of about seven months, I arrived back in Georgia, having travelled upwards of 4000 miles. When I left this state I was handsomely equipped for travelling, by some friends whom God had raised me up, in time of need, after my trials on my journey from New England. My equipment was as follows: My horse cost £45, a decent saddle and cloth, portmantau and bag, umbrella and lady's shove whip; a double suit of clothes, a blue broad cloth cloak, given me by a gentleman; shoes, stockings, cased hat, a valuable watch, with fifty-three dollars in my pocket for spending money, &c. But now, on my return, I had not the same valuable horse, and my watch I parted with for pecuniary aid to bear my expenses. My pantaloons were worn out; my riding chevals were worn through in several places.

I had no stockings, shoes nor moccasins (an Indian shoe) for the last several hundred miles; no outer garment, having sold my cloak in West Florida. My coat and vest were worn through to my shirt; my hat case and umbrella were spoiled by prongs of trees, whilst riding in the woods. Thus, with decency, I was scarce able to get back to my friends as I would. It is true, I had many pounds and handsome presents offered me in my journey, but I could not feel freedom to receive them, only just what would serve my present necessity, to get along to my appointments, as I was such a stranger in the country, and so many to watch me (as an impostor) for evil, and but few to lift up my hands for good.

As I considered that the success and opening of many years depended on these days, I was not willing to give any occasion for the gospel to be blamed, or any occasion to hedge up my way. For it was with seriousness and consideration that I took these journeys, from conviction of duty, that God required it at my hands. And knowing that impostors are fond of money, I was convinced that Satan would not be found wanting to whisper in the minds of the people, that my motives were sinister or impure..

Major John Oliver came and took me by the hand, calling me father, saying, "when you preached in Petersburg last, your text was constantly ringing in my ears, for days together, whether I would deal kindly and truly with the master, &c. So I had no peace till I set out to seek the Lord; and since, my wife and I have been brought to rejoice in the Almighty."

He gave me a vest, pantaloons, umbrella, stockings, handkerchief, and a watch, &c. Another gave me a pair of shoes and a coat; and a third a cloak, and a few shillings of spending money from some others. Thus I find that Providence, whose tender care is over all His works, by His kind hand is still preserving me; Oh! may I never betray His great cause committed to my charge!

I visited the upper counties and had refreshing seasons amongst my friends, from the presence of the Lord. General Stewart informed me of a remarkable circumstance, of a man who heard the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation preached up; the devil told him that he was one of the reprobates, which drove him to despair; so he put an end to his life by blowing out his brains. An A-double-L-part minister, who held the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation, preached up good works, saying it would do no good to preach his sentiments, which caused my spiritual father, in the gospel, to observe to him, "that a doctrine which is not fit to be preached is not fit to be believed."

(Editors Note: Again, the doctrine of election saith, all that was given from the father to the son, in the covenant of Grace, will be saved none that Christ died for can be lost. -- The bible saith Christ died for all, and A double L, does not spell part, nor some, nor few, but it means all: Well, now if all Christ died for will be saved, and none of them can be lost, then Universalism must be true, => and you cannot deny it. The bible saith, Christ gave himself for ALL. -- 1 Tim. ii. 4, 6; 1 John ii. 2. And A double L does not spell part, nor some, nor few, but it means all: "Rev. Lorenzo Dow"

Universalism is the teaching that God, through the atonement of Jesus, will ultimately bring reconciliation between God and all people throughout history. This reconciliation will occur regardless of whether they have trusted in or rejected Jesus as savior during their lifetime. This universal redemption will be realized in the future where God will bring all people to repentance. This repentance can happen while a person lives or after he has died and lived again in the millennium or some future state. Additionally, a few Universalists even maintain that Satan and all demons will likewise be reconciled to God.)

I held a meeting in a republican meeting house, i. e., one free for all denominations. I spoke on A-double-L-partism; and an A-double-L-part preacher present, being asked how he liked the preaching, he replied, that he held, and preached no contrary sentiments himself; but afterwards he did his uttermost to cut my doctrine to pieces, and blacken my character. I preached in Georgetown, and set out at eight at night for Augusta, and travelling nearly all night, I came to a camp where some negroes were toting tobacco to market; and I stopped with them until day, and one gave me some corn for my horse. The mode of toting tobacco to market, is by rolling it in casks, with a wooden axle through the midst, on the ends of which are fastened the shafts for the horse to draw it by; 15 or 16 hundred weight may thus be pressed and carried to market.

The next day, missing my road, I gave away my pocket handkerchief for a pilot.

1803 November 20

I arrived at camp meeting at Rehoboth; I took Master "I AM" for my text, with observing that he offered a great reward for runaways; whose marks I would describe. The auditory amounting to about 5,000, sunk into a solemn silence, whilst I described the diabolical marks of sinners, and the reward for their return.

About fifty souls were born to God. There were 44 tents; 8 wooden huts; 48 covered waggons, beside carriages, &c., of various sorts. Many I parted with here whom perhaps I shall never see more, and set off for St. Mary's, in company with several of the preachers; and as we hove in sight of town, I inquired its name, and felt an impulse to stop and hold meeting, which I did, intending to overtake my company next day; but leaving Warrington late at night, I rode several miles and stopped to inquire the road; the man within knew my voice, and persuaded me to alight and tarry until morning; when he accompanied me to meeting, in Bethel meeting house, where I was drawn particularly, to speak on the subject of murder and murderers; after which brother Mead observed, that two murderers were supposed to be present.

1803 November 23

I spoke in Louisville, to as many as could conveniently get into the State house. Brigadier General John Stewart was then present. I attacked a A-double-L-partism, and proposed a covenant to the auditory, to meet me at the throne of grace, for a limited period of time; which the gentlemen observing General Stewart to rise, followed his example, as a sign of their compliance with the proposal, which I observed they were bound by the principles of honor and veracity to keep.

Whilst I was preaching, I pointed out the duty of rulers, as stewards of God and guardians to the people, that vice might be suppressed, and virtue encouraged. Whilst speaking also, I perceived the chair on which I stood on the writing table, to move twice or thrice, the cause of which I could not then ascertain; but sat down to prevent my falling. After meeting a young German having observed a Baptist preacher to put his foot on my chair twice or thrice apparently with a deign to tilt me over and set the house in a laughter, [who was an A-double-L-part man] went and shook his fist in his face, intimating that [if he had him out of doors] he would pay him for his insult to the stranger.

The A-double-L-part man being a member of the Legislature, complained of the young man to the house for having insulted him. The House ordered the young man to prison, and the next day to trial; as no member might be insulted whilst sitting in the House. The young man pleaded that the member was not sitting at the time, and so was acquitted. This cost him about 50 dollars, and the State about 600; as the trial lasted two days. It was a few days after this, that I received a recommendation, as a preacher of the gospel to the world of mankind, signed by the Governor, Secretary, and twenty-eight members of the Legislature, with the great seal of the State.

Bishop Asbury's appointments being given out, and it being uncertain whether he would attend; Stith Mead, who was presiding elder of the district, thought proper to send me on his own appointments, to St. Mary's Quarterly meeting, whilst he intended to take the bishop's plan.

1803 November 25

The high waters retarded; but to prevent disappointing the people, in my circuitous route I made the greatest speed; and a gentleman traveller, supposing [from my speed] that I was some murderer, clapped spurs to his horse and pursued me to a meeting, where God's power was manifested among us.

1803 November 26

I held a two days meeting at Union meeting-house, where there was some quickening; but the A-double-L-part people were in this part raking my character.

Hence to Kenootchy creek; and so to Tabor's creek; and Captain Mitchell [in whose house I held meeting] so interrupted, that we removed into the street; then he ordered me down from the stage: so we retired to a neighboring plantation; but he took his norse and pistols, and interrupted us here also. Oh! the sin of drunkenness, which leads to murder!

My evening appointment was not given out, near the Goose-ponds and I found it almost impossible to get a place to lodge.

1803 December 3

I crossed the Altamaha, and met brother Isaac Cooke, who came missionary from Conference here; the most dismal marshy part where I was in, I found he had good success; though he was not without his enemies; but God for his indefatigable labors gave him upwards of an hundred members this year; and he had two meeting houses erected for the connexion.

A clear conscience, is like a clear sky without a cloud; Oh! may I never live to be useless: I remember Doctor Johnson said, "thou hast an ulcer or defect in thy liver, with which thou wast born into the world; and if thou livest high or intemperate, or bringest slight condemnation or burden on thy mind; or dost not labor hard, &c., &c., the nature of thy disorder is such thou wilt be in danger of being suddenly cut off; but if thou art prudent, &c., thou mayest live as long as most others, unless some contagious disorder shall lay hold on thee;" the propriety of these remarks, I am convinced of from experience.

We took our departure from Savannah, where we parted, and I spent a few days. The curse of God seems to rest about here since the days in which they treated John Wesley ill, and confiscated the property of George Whitfield, which was appropriated to religious and charitable purposes.

Hence to Tuckissaking, where old father Boston lived, who received me as I left Savannah the first time I came to Georgia.- Last night as brother Cooke was preaching, a black woman was struck under conviction, with the power of God; her body was cold as a corpse, and laid aside sixteen hours as in a sweet sleep or state of insensibility, and no symptoms of life except a regular pulse. Some thought that she would never come to; however she revived, praising God. I spoke and we had a refreshing time in the woods.

I sent an appointment to Lanear's ferry on the Ogeechee river; on my arrival I found a stage erected in the woods, and a vast concourse of people, few of whom had ever seen me before.

As I began meeting, I perceived a man uneasy; he got up and sat down, and up and down again, and walked round; which denoted some unusual uneasiness in his mind.

After meeting I set off for my evening's appointment; several were going the same way. I abruptly spoke to one; "are you not sorry you came to meeting?" [not recollecting him to be the above man.] He replied, "Yes; and I believe it would have been better for me to have stayed at home and my horse eating grass." I understand said he, you can tell fortunes: and if you can tell what is to come, you can tell what is past: tell me, did I ever kill any body? If I did I'll confess it before the people!

Thus he twice or thrice strove to make me answer the question; it made a solemn impression on my mind, so that I did not speak: but looking him in the face as we rode a distance, viewing it necessary to be guarded in my conduct as the company were strangers to me; I inquired his name as we parted at the forks of the road, however it made such an impression on my mind, that I could not but relate it to the congregation in Springfield court house; after meeting, the gentleman where I lodged informed me that this Squire H- was supposed to be concerned in a murder, with a man who was under sentence of death; it appears from the best accounts I could collect that this H- was an A-double-L-part man, and believed, once in grace and always in grace; which brought me to reflection, [from the horrible circumstance,] what dangerous sentiments these are; not only in a religious point of view, to lull people to sleep, but also in a civil and political respect; for if one falls into public scandal and retaining an idea of being secured unchangeably in the favor of God, he cannot be under the influence of the principles of honor, nor yet the idea of future reward and punishment; and of course he is a dangerous person to society-seeing civil, nor honorable, nor moral obligation will restrain him from his evil designs.- This is the truth, and cannot be confuted.

I left my horse and cloak, expecting they would be sent to me, and with difficulty I reached the town of Augusta, where the conference was beginning to sit.

Here I met Dr. Coke; he replied, "how do you do, Brother Dow? I am glad to see you; your warning to the people of Dublin, had like to have proved too true."

Here Stith Mead brought me the parchment of recommendation from the Governor, &c., and I gave him a testimonial of my sincerity and attachment to the Methodist body, and my approbation of the general tenor of their conduct, &c. Here I was talked over in conference; and after some conversation the Doctor observed, that I had done the Methodist societies no injury that he knew of, but in sundry instances to the reverse.

Bishop Asbury directed the preachers to publish for me to preach in the meeting house during the setting of conference; which was done, and I gave my farewell to the people; and also my thoughts on different religious subjects; (which were published under the title of, "The Chain of Lorenzo" by the request of his friends as his farewell to Georgia) as a present to the meeting house which was in debt.

The cause of this publication originated from the false reports, and dust which the A-double-L-part people had raised against me; but my friends advised me to it, that the unprejudiced might judge for themselves, where the truth lay, and so thus the cloven foot be drawn out, and cut clear off: that when God had killed the old stock, there should be none to carry the news, and thus A-double-L-partism be driven from the land; which concern had driven me from Ireland that precious souls might escape as from the snare of the fowler.

I sold my watch to pay for printing some religious handbills, "Rules for Holy Living," which I distributed around town, and got some also printed on silk for the higher class [lest paper would be too much neglected;] one of which I had framed, and the Doctor tied it up for me in a paper and superscribed it For His Excellency the Governor, which I left with an attorney to deliver, as I delivered one of my silk bills. Thus I left the conference, who had agreed not to hedge up my way, with weeping eyes and aching heart; and took my departure to South Carolina.

1804 February

I had heard about a singularity called the jerks or jerking exercise, which appeared first near Knoxville, in August last, to the great alarm of the people; which reports I considered at first, as vague and false; but at length like the Queen of Sheba, I set out to go and see for myself; and sent over these appointments into this country accordingly.

When I arrived in sight of this town I saw hundreds of people collected in little bodies; and observing no place appointed for meeting, before I spoke to any, I got on a log and gave out an hymn, which caused them to assemble round, in solemn attentive silence. I observed several involuntary motions in the course of the meeting, which I considered as a specimen of the jerks. I rode seven miles behind a man across streams of water; and held meeting in the evening, being ten miles on my way.

In the night I grew uneasy, being twenty-five miles from my appointment for the next morning at eleven o'clock; I prevailed on a young man to attempt carrying me with horses until day, which he thought was impracticable, considering the darkness of the night, and the thickness of the trees. Solitary shrieks were heard in these woods, which he told me were said to be the cries of murdered persons; at day we parted, being still seventeen miles from the spot, and the ground covered with a white frost. I had not proceeded far before I came to a stream of water, from the spring of the mountain, which made it dreadful cold; in my heated state I had to wade this stream five times in the course of about an hour, which I perceived so affected my body, that my strength began to fail. Fears began to arise that I must disappoint the people, till I observed some fresh tracks of horses which caused me to exert every nerve to overtake them, in hopes of aid and assistance on my journey, and soon I saw them on an eminence; I shouted for them to stop, till I came up; they inquired what I wanted; I replied, I had heard there was meeting at Seversville by a stranger, and was going to it; they replied that they had heard that a crazy man was to hold forth there, and were going also; and perceiving that I was weary, they invited me to ride; and soon our company was increased to forty or fifty, who fell in with us on the road, from different plantations. At length 1 was interrogated, whether I knew any thing about the preacher? I replied, I have heard a good deal about him, and had heard him preach, but I had no great opinion of him; and thus the conversation continued for some miles before they found me out, which caused some color and smiles in the company; thus I got on to meeting; and after taking a cup of tea gratis, I began to speak to a vast audience; and I observed about thirty to have the jerks; though they strove to keep still as they could; these emotions were involuntary, and irresistible, as any unprejudiced mind might discern. Lawyer Porter, who had come a considerable distance, got his heart touched under the word, and being informed how I came to meeting, voluntarily lent me a horse to ride near one hundred miles, and gave me a dollar, though he had never seen me before.

Hence to Marysville, where I spoke to about one thousand five hundred; and many appeared to feel the word, but about fifty felt the jerks. At night I lodged with one of the Nicholites, a kind of Quakers, who do not feel free to wear colored clothes. I spoke to a number of people at his house that night. Whilst at tea I observed his daughter, who sat opposite to me at table, to have the jerks, and dropped the tea cup from her hand in the violent agitation. I said to her, "Young woman, what is the matter?" She replied, "I have got the jerks." I asked her how long she had it. She observed, "A few days," and that it had been the means of the awakening and conversion of her soul, by stirring her up to serious consideration about her careless state. (The Nicholite movement was founded by Joseph Nichols about 1760. One major difference between Quakers and Nicholites was evident however. While Quakers were great believers in education and operated schools for that purpose, Nicholites saw evil in too much education and seldom had their children taught beyond the ability to read and write.)

1804 February 19, Sunday

I spoke in Knoxville to hundreds more than could get into the court house the governor being present. About one hundred and fifty appeared to have the jerking exercise, among whom was a circuit preacher, (Johnson) who had opposed them a little before, but he now had them powerfully; and I believe he would have fallen over three times had not the auditory been so crowded that he could not, unless he fell perpendicularly.

After, meeting I rode eighteen miles to hold meeting at night. The people of this settlement were mostly Quakers; and they had said, as I was informed, the Methodists and Presbyterians have the jerks because they sing and pray so much, but we are a still, peaceable people, wherefore we do not have them. However, about twenty of them came to meeting to hear one, as was said, somewhat in a Quaker line; but their usual stillness and silence was interrupted; for about a dozen of them had the jerks as keen and as powerful as any I had seen, so as to have occasioned a kind of grunt or groan when they would jerk. It appears that many have undervalued the great revival, and attempted to account for it on natural principles; therefore it seems to me, from the best judgment I can form, that God hath seen proper to take this method to convince people that he will work in a way to show his power; and sent the jerks as a sign of the times, partly in judgment for the people's unbelief, and yet as a mercy to convict people of divine realities.

I have seen Presbyterians, Methodists, Quakers, Baptists, Church of England, and Independents, exercised with the jerks; gentleman and lady, black and white, the aged and the youth, rich and poor, without exception; from which I infer, as it cannot be accounted for on natural principles, and carries such marks of involuntary motion, that it is no trifling matter. I believe that those who are most pious and given up to God, are rarely touched with it; and also those naturalists, who wish and try to get it to philosphize upon it are excepted; but the lukewarm, lazy, half-hearted, indolent professor is subject to it; and many of them I have seen, who, when it came upon them, would be alarmed and stirred up to redouble their diligence with God; and after they would get happy, were thankful it ever came upon them. Again, the wicked are frequently more afraid of it than the small pox or yellow fever; these are subject to it; but the persecutors are more subject to it than any, and they sometimes have cursed and swore, and damned it, whilst jerking. There is no pain attending the jerks except they resist it, which if they do, it will weary them more in an hour than a day's labor, which shows that it requires the consent of the will to avoid suffering.

1804 February 20, Monday

I passed by a meeting house, where I observed the undergrowth had been cut down for a camp meeting, and from fifty to one hundred saplings left breast high, which to me appeared so slovenish that I could not but ask my guide the cause, who observed they were topped so high, and left for the people to jerk by. This so excited my attention that I went over the ground to view it; and found where the people had laid hold of them and jerked so powerfully that they had kicked up the earth as a horse stamping flies. I observed some emotion, both this day and night among the people; a Presbyterian minister, with whom I stayed, observed, "Yesterday whilst I was preaching, some had the jerks, and a young man from N. Carolina mimicked them, out of derision, and soon was seized with them himself, which was the case with many others; he grew ashamed, and on attempting to mount his horse to go off, his foot jerked about so that he could not put it into the stirrup; some younsters seeing this, assisted him on, but he jerked so that he could not sit alone, and one got up to hold him on, which was done with difficulty. I observing this, went to him and asked him what he thought of it. Said he, "I believe God sent it on me for my wickedness, and making so light of it in others;" and he requested me to pray for him.

I observed his wife had it; she said she was first attacked with it in bed. Dr. Nelson said he had frequently strove to get it, in order to philosophize upon it, but could not; and observed they could not account for it on natural principles.


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Virginia Crilley.

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