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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Camp Meeting Plan, 1809

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Benjamin H. Latrobe, PLAN OF THE CAMP, AUGUST 8, 1809 (1809). Courtesy The Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland.

Creator Benjamin Henry Latrobe
Context Revivals were carefully planned.
Audience Revival leaders
Purpose To help organize and plan the revival

Historical Significance

Camp meetings were commonplace in recently settled areas of the United States from the Carolinas to New York state around the turn of the nineteenth century. The revivals occurred outdoors, as no buildings were large enough to accommodate the thousands of attendees. They featured several preachers, as well as more recent converts who urged their audience to turn to Jesus, to embrace a more intense form of Christianity. Attendees commonly shouted, fell to the ground, and jerked about as the Holy Spirit filled them.

This sketch of an 1809 Methodist camp meeting in Fairfax County, Virginia, suggests that these gatherings were more orderly than they seemed.

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