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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

Book Reviews

three of them his 'young men of narrow circumstances and good
genius.' " Andrew Jackson was one of these.
By deciding upon a double focus for the study-Blount as
business man and as politician-and then by consistently working
out the consequences, Masterson has produced a full-bodied biog-
raphy replete with information. It forms one of that growing series
dealing with business men of our agrarian era, and is a most
valuable contribution. The reviewer could wish that the several
local backgrounds of relevance to the principal character had
been sketched in more fully.
The University of Texas
The Frontier Camp Meeting. By Charles A. Johnson. Dallas
(Southern Methodist University Press), 1955. Pp. ix+325.
Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $5.00.
That unique religious outcropping of the frontier, the back-
woods camp meeting, often has been a center of controversy.
Some church historians have extolled its virtues while ignoring
or denying its drawbacks. Meanwhile, scoffers have overplayed
its bizarre features-the shouting, jerking, and rolling-and the
furtive whisky peddling and seduction that sometimes took place
in the woods on the fringe of the camp. Now Charles A. Johnson
has made a thorough and objective study of the early camp
meeting. The outcome is a clear and fascinating picture of this
turbulent social institution.
The author has done an almost exhaustive search of eyewitness
accounts. He limits the scope of his book to the meetings held be-
tween the Alleghenies and the Mississippi from 18oo to 1840o.
While this excludes the militant camps held later in Texas and
other western sections, it covers the beginning of the movement
and its climactic period. The camp meeting came in with the
Great Revival of 1800-1805. Its sponsors were Presbyterians and
Methodists. But soon most of the Presbyterians withdrew, leaving
the camp meeting as an almost exclusively Methodist institution.
Mr. Johnson makes no attempt to gloss over the foibles and
attendant evils of the camp meeting in its early days. He shows,
from Methodist sources, that some of the early camps brought


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 2, 2016.

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