The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Book Reviews

ROBERT C. COTNER, Editor
Frontier Mission: A History of Religion West of the Southern Ap-
palachians to x86z. By Walter Brownlow Posey. Lexington (Uni-
versity of Kentucky Press), 1966. Pp. 436. Index. $9.oo.
The author has put us in debt by writing this very comprehensive
survey of a topic accurately indicated in the title. The publisher's
boast on the inside front jacket is no doubt justified: this is "the first
major study of religion in the South," especially in its placing along-
side each other the "major denominations," and comparing their atti-
tudes and actions in the face of frontier conditions and evolving cul-
tures. The region studied is that now embraced in the states of Ken-
tucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and
Missouri, and the churches under study are the Methodist, Baptist,
Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Roman Catholic, and Protestant
Episcopal. This method of study is helpful; especially so is the con-
sideration of the Roman Catholic Church alongside the others, in a
region and in a period formative for the development of American
expressions of the Christian faith, particularly in the South.
While Texas does not occupy much space in the work, understand-
ably, since in the major part of the period studied it was Spanish or
Mexican, and sparsely settled, the developments within the states
from which Texas was to draw the vast majority of its Anglo-Saxon
immigrants is of the greatest importance to the study of religion in
the Republic and State of Texas.
Posey begins his study with an account of the earliest Christian
work of each of the churches in the vast Mississippi basin, moves on
to an account of the camp meeting era, then to the splintering of
some of the denominations, the birth of two new ones (Cumberland
Presbyterian and Disciples of Christ), then to the local practices
and government of the churches. He then considers two mission
fields, the Indians and the Negroes. Catholic expansion is treated in
another chapter; the comparative treatment is resumed in the con-
sideration of educational media, reform, and discipline, the problem
of slavery before 1840, crises and divisions arising out of this, the
situation on the eve of the Civil War, and a concluding chapter

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed August 21, 2014.