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Forty years of pioneer life;: Memoir of John…
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Forty years of pioneer life;: Memoir of John Mason Peck, D.D. Edited from… (1864)

by J. M. Peck

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This is the memoir of a Baptist missionary in nineteenth century Missouri and Illinois, plus extensive biographical commentaries by editor Rufus Babcock. Of interest to Baptists, but also a primary source of American history. People and places are described, usually in religious or moral terms. The first few chapters are about his youth and preparations in Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Arriving in Missouri in 1817, John Mason Peck witnessed and experienced frontier American history over several decades, from the point of view of an itinerant preacher. His memoir is mostly about church business: where he went and what he did in spreading the gospel. The people he met, the churches and seminaries he founded. The Bible study societies he started, sermons he preached, periodicals he published, books he wrote. Theological issues among Baptists. His attempts to evangelize the West wherever it was “destitute” of piety or religious instruction.

Peck’s travels took him as far south as New Orleans and as far east as Massachusetts, from his base in Illinois. Some of the people he met on his travels: John Adams, Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, Charles Dickens.

Three stars for the up-close and personal history. Add two stars if you are interested in the Baptist church and its history. ( )
  pjsullivan | Nov 26, 2014 |
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