Evangelical male friendships in America's first age of reform.
Abstract: To read the current literature on nineteenth-century friendships is to walk away with the impression that they were far more demonstrative, emotionally as well as physically, than is the case today. This impression can be traced back to a seminal article by Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, and it repeats, with variants and caveats, in the literature on the same-sex friendships of nineteenth-century men. A closer look at the sources reveals that almost all of the people in question were Unitarian or Unitarian-leaning, and as such well outside the American mainstream. In this article I explore the phenomenon of evangelical male friendships, and come to three basic conclusions: (1) the conscientious evangelical placed his relationship with God above those with friends and family; (2) that relationship constrained his behavior, encouraging a reserve in all of his interactions; and (3) there is no reason to assume that his relationships with other men were emotionally more intense-and more fulfilling-than his relationship with his wife. The article questions asks whether romantic friendships were in fact a fleeting and isolated phenomenon in nineteenth-century America, and suggests that the reticence evangelicals observed in their friendships lent itself to a growing mistrust of non-familial relationships.
Article Type: Essay
Subject: Friendship (Religious aspects)
Men (Religious aspects)
Men (Social aspects)
Evangelistic work (Social aspects)
Evangelistic work (History)
Author: Warner, Jessica
Pub Date: 03/22/2010
Publication: Name: Journal of Social History Publisher: Journal of Social History Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: History; Sociology and social work Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Journal of Social History ISSN: 0022-4529
Issue: Date: Spring, 2010 Source Volume: 43 Source Issue: 3
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs
Organization: Organization: American Temperance Society
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 223732166
Full Text: When Signs published its first issue, back in 1975, it led with an article by a young historian named Carroll Smith-Rosenberg. (1) That article was "The Female World of Love and Ritual," and the claims it made, that the friendships of nineteenth-century women were particularly passionate and that the boundaries between passion and homoeroticism were by no means distinct, inevitably prompted a closer look at male friendships. Before long and without very much digging, historians were able to find men who were just as passionate about their male friends. (2) Longfellow had his Sumner, Garrison his May, Emerson his Gay, Daniel Webster his Bingham, Henry Ward Beecher his Newell and then his Tilton. And thanks to the efforts of historians like E. Anthony Rotundo, it is now clear that Smith-Rosenberg also read too much into the intimacies that characterized so many same-sex friendships of the time--the kisses, the weeping, the mawkish declarations of love, the nights spent in the same bed.

But for all the attention same-sex friendships have attracted in recent years, very little is said about a dimension that mattered a great deal to nineteenth-century Americans: experiential religion. Nancy Cott comes closest to the mark when she brings up the examples of girls whose friendships were heightened by having participated in the same religious revival. (3) Joyce Appleby alludes to the same phenomenon in Inheriting the Revolution. (4) Appleby also tells us that religiosity was an important factor in female friendships for the simple reason that religion mattered more to women than to men. The impression has been reinforced by a strong selection bias in the literature on male friendships, which is to say that it is top-heavy with men from the Unitarian intelligentsia. Based on this group alone, one might indeed conclude that religion was incidental to most male friendships, and that such charms as it had were of the bookish variety. Garrison and his inner circle could talk about religion and friendship in the same breath, but their attempt to blend the two in their own lives was not based on shared religious experiences: it was based on a highly romanticized notion of how the early Church operated. (5)

The odd man out in this survey is the evangelical male. What were his friendships like, and were they colored by his commitment to a faith that was both experiential and deeply held? Was he as demonstrative, physically as well as verbally, as his more secular peers? Did shared religious beliefs and experiences give his friendships an added--and deeper--dimension? In answering these questions my primary goal is to shed some light on the emotional world of evangelically-minded men. But my choice of this particular group betrays an ancillary agenda, and that is to ask whether historians have been paying too much attention to the friendships of a small--and not especially representative--stratum of nineteenth-century America.

The dataset and its everyman

The men discussed in this essay belonged to the American Temperance Society, which was founded in Boston in 1826. The society was the last of the trans-local organizations associated with the Evangelical United Front, the first, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, having been officially launched in 1810. If numbers alone are the measure, the American Temperance Society was easily the most successful of these organizations, growing from 119 closely knit members in 1827 to as many as a million just eight years later. Its successes, however, have not been enough to excite much interest among historians. The society is routinely mentioned in histories of the antebellum era, but almost always in passing. These accounts, moreover, are not without errors, the most common being the assertion that the society was from the very beginning opposed to all forms of drinking. (6) (This position was not formally adopted until 1835.) (7) There are, as far as I know, only three books that go into any detail and get the facts right: John Allen Krout's Origins of Prohibition, Robert Hampel's Temperance and Prohibition in Massachusetts, and Ian Tyrrell's Sobering up. Of these, Tyrrell's account is the best. (8)

The dataset is drawn from the society's first 119 members--the sixteen men who founded it, plus the 103 men they personally recruited within its first year of existence. (9) As Table 1 shows, most of these men were from New England. Just under two-thirds (seventy-one out of 119) were college graduates. The forty-nine clerical members, the focus of this essay, constituted the most educated sub-set within the society, with all but nine having attended a college or seminary. (10) They also happen to be the best documented sub-set. Thirty-one were the subject of a memoir, usually written for an evangelical audience, and forty-four were published authors in their own right, though most of their writings were of a theological nature, and as such shed little light on their personal lives. The most valuable single source for this group is Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit. What distinguishes Sprague's entries (nineteen in all) is that they include reminiscences from friends and acquaintances. The twenty-two Yale graduates in the group are well-served by Dexter's Biographical Sketches: not only are these entries rich in personal detail, they also tell us when pious undergraduates made a public profession of religion. (11)

In principle, the American Temperance Society welcomed all Protestants. Its membership included Calvinists of all stripes--Old Lights and New Lights, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Dutch Reformed--along with a smattering of clergymen from outside the Calvinist fold: four Episcopalians, three Baptists, two Quakers, and two Methodists. Only one Unitarian, however, joined the society, and that was Harvard's Dr. John Collins Warren. Warren's father had been one of five prominent Unitarians to join the Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance upon its founding in 1812, the other four being William Ellery Channing, Samuel Dexter, John Thornton Kirkland, and Charles Lowell, Sr. (12) Dexter died in 1816, but Channing, Kirkland, and Lowell were all very much alive when the American Temperance Society was founded in their backyard ten years later. They may have been put off by the new society's hard line (unlike its predecessor, the American Temperance Society insisted on absolute abstinence from distilled spirits) but the real obstacle was almost certainly the presence of so many zealots from the Congregationalists' new seminary in Andover. Twenty-three of the society's original members had ties to that orthodox stronghold, three as professors, eight as Visitors (trustees), and a dozen as alumni.

This brings me to my first point: the evangelical friendships that flourished within the American Temperance Society developed outside the social world of the Unitarians--and frequently in opposition to it. The society's members also rejected the literary conventions of that world, choosing substance over style, the Panoplist over the North American Review. Friends and admirers practically stumble over each other in their rush to assure us that the men they knew were indifferent stylists--Benjamin Blydenburg Wisner's writings were characterized by a "lack of fancy and imagination," James Richards's "discourses, though uniformly correct, could not be said to be marked by any special literary character," Francis Wayland did not "belong to the highest rank of letter writers" and that was because his mind "was usually too earnest, too serious, too little at liberty." (13) Jeremiah Evarts was "too intent on truth to regard with much solicitude the mere garb in which it was presented to others." (14)

This suspicion of literary surfaces, of writing that entertained rather than instructed, seduced rather than improved, makes it difficult to draw direct comparisons between evangelical friendships and those that were sustained by a constant exchange of carefully crafted letters. The problem is compounded by the fact that so many of the men in our group destroyed their more personal writings. Ebenezer Porter kept a journal when he was a young man, but later destroyed it. (15) Elias Cornelius left instructions that his journals and personal correspondence be destroyed upon his death. (16) A few months before he died, Samuel Hubbard destroyed his "old papers." (17) When Jeremiah Evarts set out on a journey to the American South, he "directed that, in case of his decease, certain packages of papers should be destroyed." When the friend entrusted with this request balked, Evarts "looked over his papers and committed many to the flames himself." (18) As for Eliphalet Nott, "He kept no copies of his correspondence, attaching seemingly no importance to it, beyond the purpose subserved for the time." (19) When Mark Howe set out to write a biography of Alonzo Potter, he found himself with very little to go on, for there was "no autobiography from which the facts of any portion of his life can be gleaned, no diary or note-book in which any of his daily impressions and feelings were put on record." Far from being discouraged, Howe took this as yet another sign of his subject's "real humility":

Such letters as survive have typically gone through two stages of censorship, the first undertaken by the writers themselves, the second by their evangelical biographers. Justin Edwards's biographer, the Reverend William Allen Hallock, suppressed his subject's letters to his family and friends because they were not "intended for the public eye." (21) Theodore Frelinghuysen's biographer, yet another well-meaning clergyman, cast a veil over letters containing "private details." (22) The Reverend Asa Cummings could understand why the subject of his biography (Edward Payson) might want to keep his diary secret: what he could not understand was why Payson did not destroy so personal a document before he died. (23)

These biographers were almost always the friends or children of the deceased, and while their accounts often include letters and journal entries, the selections are subsumed to a larger goal, and that is to set an example for other evangelicals to follow. The reader is meant to draw the same conclusion in each instance: that the subject of the biography was the "finished model of the affectionate husband, the tender father, and the cordial friend." (24) What is reflected is not the man himself but the religious ideals he attempted to live up to, including those that guided him in his friendships. My essay, by inference, is about ideals rather than actual practice, though the deeply held beliefs of this particular group would suggest that the gap between the two was never wide.

The charge I have leveled against the Unitarian intelligentsia, that they were not especially representative of antebellum America, can just as easily be leveled against the founders of the American Temperance Society. Most, after all, were college-educated, this at a time when few men were, while their commitment to an educated clergy marked them as members of a distinct and increasingly defensive minority. Overwhelmingly Federalist in their politics, (25) they were the natural enemies of men like Lorenzo Dow and Peter Cartwright, of "generally illiterate" preachers "often not possessed even of a good English education, and in some instances unable to read or write." (26) This much, however, the society's members did have in common with the evangelical masses: an obsessive and deeply personal relationship with God, one that inevitably cast a shadow over all of their other relationships.

If there was a typical member of the original American Temperance Society, his early history went something like this: he was born in rural or small-town New England shortly after the Revolutionary War. While his father was rarely college-educated, there was usually someone in the family--an uncle, a grandfather, an older brother--who was. His mother took charge of his religious upbringing, (27) drilling him in the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Samuel Green was invoking a familiar trope whenever he expressed "his deep sense of obligation to the instructions of a pious mother." (28) Bennet Tyler learned the rudiments of his faith from his mother Anne. (29) Jeremiah Evarts had not one but two women overseeing his religious upbringing: his mother and his grandmother. (30) Though Justin Edwards's mother died when he was just five, he could nonetheless remember her as a "devoted exemplary Christian, who had a word to speak for Christ as opportunity presented." Nor did he ever forget her many "instructions and prayers." (31) Whenever Leonard Wood's classmates at Harvard made fun of religion, he is supposed to have found comfort in the "recollection of his mother's kindling eye and animated features when the holy doctrines of salvation by grace were discussed ... " (32)

They were, in a word, mamma's boys, each hoping to get out from under their fathers by getting a college education. Harvard's reputation for liberalism, along with its high tuition (33) and urban location, inclined them to apply elsewhere--to Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown. If they lived in the upper reaches of the Connecticut River Valley, they gravitated toward the "hill-top" colleges that were just then opening their doors, to Williams, Middlebury, and Bowdoin.

In college they stood out for their homespun clothes and rustic manners. (34) They were Hawthorne's "Country graduates--rough, brown-featured, school-master-looking, half-bumpkin, half-scholarly figures, in black ill-cut broadcloth ... " (35) Where the typical Harvard undergraduate could expect to spend from $15 to $25 a year on clothes, Connecticut Yankees like Lyman Beecher were showing up at Yale in clothes made by their mothers and aunts. (36) Young Beecher looked like a farmer and acted like one, too, so much so that Nathaniel William Taylor, upon first meeting him in or around 1807, "supposed that he was a farmer from one of the neighboring towns, and that he had come to arrange with the doctor [Timothy Dwight] for his winter supply of potatoes." (37) What was the first thing a classmate from Yale remembered about Jeremiah Evarts? His homespun clothes. "There sat Evarts, in a plain rustic garb, with which fashion evidently had never intermeddled ... " (38) Charles Marsh, who did not come from a poor family, nonetheless wore the same surtout day in and day out at Dartmouth. It was the only one he had, he explained to his landlady. (39) Daniel Waldo, himself a member of the American Temperance Society, remembered that Calvin Chapin was considered "somewhat peculiar" while he was at Yale--"I may say, uncouth, in his appearance, though it was quickly apparent that he was not lacking either in good sense or good feeling." (40) Edward Payson's roommate at Harvard remembered an "unpolished country lad; exceedingly modest, unassuming, and reserved in his manners ... " (41)

They stood out in yet another way: in an age when college students routinely rioted, insulted their instructors, and otherwise bullied the people they came into contact with, they were tractable to the point of docility. Ebenezer Porter, who graduated from Dartmouth in 1792, was "distinguished for love of order, and a cheerful obedience to established regulations." (42) He also went on to be the class valedictorian. Caleb Jewett Tenney, another Dartmouth graduate, overcame the "temptations incident to a college life" by studying hard and maintaining "a most exemplary Christian character." (43) Jeremiah Evarts's classmates could always count on his being "on the side of law, order, respect for constituted authorities, for superiors in age and office, and for the principles of virtue." (44) Bennet Tyler, it was said, "would never neglect his lessons--never be absent from the recitations, never violate the rules of the college--never cause trouble to the governors and teachers--never do any thing to injure others--never do any thing to hinder the prosperity of the institution." (45) James Kendall, Leonard Woods's classmate at Harvard, was pleased to report that "neither of us was subjected to fine, to admonition, or the slightest reproof, even, for delinquency in our college studies, or disregard of the rules and requirements during our connection with the university." (46)

Naturally they were excellent students. Yale and Harvard both got their chapters of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1781, followed by Dartmouth in 1787, and in all three colleges the future members of the American Temperance Society were over-represented: thirteen out of a possible nineteen for Yale, eight out of a possible fifteen for Harvard, and eleven out of twelve for Dartmouth. (47) Brown, which did not get its own chapter until 1830, retroactively inducted five of the six graduates who later joined the original American Temperance Society. That same society also had more than its fair share of valedictorians (nine in all), (48) while another future member, Charles Marsh, would have been awarded the honor had he voted for himself. (49) And finally, eleven future members were asked to stay on at their colleges as tutors--a tribute to their scholarship as much as their ability to stay on the good side of their instructors. (50)

Not all of them were the poor sons of obscure men. Samuel Hubbard, the Boston Brahmin who ended up going to Yale, grew up in an old house with an "old grandmother," "old servants," and a "long-haired dog." (51) George Sullivan was the son of a general, John Collins Warren the son of a Harvard professor. Samuel Miller was "accustomed from early life to mingle much in refined society ... " (52) Nicholas Brown came from a wealthy mercantile family, while Stephen Van Renssellaer, Theodore Frelinghuysen, and Samuel Bayard, were also born into wealth. This group, however, was in a distinct minority, and none would appear to have been on particularly close terms with the society's other members.

Friendship cliques within the original American Temperance Society

The closest ties among the original members of the American Temperance Society are to be found among its forty-nine clerical members, that is, among the men who used their undergraduate years to establish a reputation for seriousness and hard work. The yearly meetings of the two major denominations, the associations of the Congregationalists and the assemblies of the Presbyterians, obviously favored this cohesion, as did the custom of sending friendly observers to each other's meetings. (53) The General Association of New Hampshire's 1818 meeting was attended by three future members of the American Temperance Society: Samuel Walker for the General Association of Massachusetts Proper, Caleb Jewett Tenney for the General Association of Connecticut, and John Hubbard Church for the host state. (54) The General Association of Connecticut, by far the most active of the various state associations, regularly brought together future members of the American Temperance Society, as shown in Table 2. The General Association of Massachusetts Proper was yet another nexus, with Enoch Hale crossing paths with Thomas Snell in 1814, Daniel Huntington in 1818, and Heman Humphrey in 1819. Samuel Walker and Brown Emerson were both present in 1817. Donald Scott's observation, that the voluntary associations provided the clergy with still more points of contact, is also apropos. (55) The original membership of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions included two clergymen who went on to join the American Temperance Society. For the American Education Society the number was also two, compared to five for the American Bible Society and eleven for the American Tract Society. There was also a high overlap with Boston's Prison Discipline Society, founded just one year before the American Temperance Society, with nine clergymen belonging to both organizations." (56)

Professional contacts, of course, did not always blossom into friendships, and while the official minutes of the various evangelical associations paint a picture of harmony and unanimity of purpose, less guarded accounts make it clear that clerical gatherings sometimes had the opposite effect. Calvin Chapin, for example, made a scene at the gathering following John Marsh's ordination in 1818. Some thirty ministers were present, and Chapin, who was an early convert to temperance, started needling a colleague who was drinking brandy. Chapin continued in. this vein until "one of the Fathers, provoked beyond measure by this universal stop put to drinking custom, said, with a loud voice, 'Mr. C, do you let Brother K. alone and let him have his drink; you are a real pest, a genuine blackguard.'" (57) The liquor question also caused Lyman Beecher to lose his temper at the 1812 meeting of the General Association of Connecticut (the immediate trigger was the refusal of his fellow ministers to take the problem seriously). (58)

I mention these outbursts to make an obvious point: that the continuous gatherings of the clergy may have fostered habits of working together, but they did not necessarily lend themselves to close friendships. This seems to have been especially true when there was a significant difference in ages, or simply when the men involved were already old enough to he set in their ways. Calvin Chapin and Joel Hawes first met in 1818, when the latter was a candidate for the ministry. Hawes, who was Chapin's junior by twenty-six years, describes their subsequent relationship as "kindly" and even as "intimate," but at no point does he actually say that they were friends. (59) Heman Humphrey was closer in age to Alvan Hyde when they first met (the first was thirty-eight, the second forty-nine), but he, too, could only bring himself to call their relationship an "acquaintance." (60) Bennet Tyler and Caleb Jewett Tenney did not spend much time together until they were both in their fifties; the result was an "acquaintance" that was only "somewhat intimate" (Hyde's words). (61)

Perhaps the most striking feature of this group is how many of its members first met while in college, that is, before they had embarked on a career. This is illustrated in Table 3, which shows clusters of alumni within the American Temperance Society (the list excludes outliers like Benjamin Tallmadge, Yale class of 1773, and Edward Beecher, Yale class of 1822). Obviously, contacts and affinity were greatest between men in the same class, a pattern that was reinforced by the practice of eating together and taking the same classes. John Mitchell (discussed below) remembered the "almost telescopic distance" between freshmen and seniors at Yale, while skipping just one term in his freshman year made it that much harder for him to make friends. (62) It is also telling that the campus revivals, which spread through established friendship networks, tended to cluster within individual classes, typically in the upper classes. The Middlebury revival of 1821 was especially strong "among the professors of religion in the senior class." (63) Most of the Yale Students who converted during the revival of 1783 were seniors. So were those who were converted during the revivals of 1812 and 1813. (64) This pattern also held for the Yale graduates who went on to join the American Temperance Society. Of the six who made a profession of religion while at Yale, two (Calvin Chapin and Moses Stuart) did so while employed there as tutors, while the remaining four (Lyman Beecher, Bennet Tyler, Elias Cornelius, and Jeremiah Evarts) did so in their junior or senior years.

If the colleges were the nexus of evangelical friendships, the campus revivals were their anvil, forging an enormously powerful emotional bond among the men who were parties to each other's spiritual transformation. A graduate who had present at the Williams revival of 1812 remembered a "great increase in brotherly love." "Christians met each other with warm expressions of affection that could not be counterfeited," he wrote, and when the "strong ties of brotherly affection which bound the pious students to one another were about to be sundered" by graduation, we "hung upon each other and wept and wept and so closed the meeting, and went to our rooms to weep alone." (65) Peter Parker, who helped spearhead the Yale revival of 1830, had "seldom witnessed anywhere such brotherly love." (66) Another of Yale's pious graduates also had fond memories of the "social aspect" of the campus revivals. "People feel that they have never known and loved each other so widely and so well," he wrote. (67) Among the college graduates who went on to join the American Temperance Society, those who attended Yale or Dartmouth from 1799 on all lived through at least one campus revival, as flagged in Table 3. (68) The actual effect of those revivals obviously varied from person to person. In the case of the eleven Yale students who graduated between 1799 and 1813, two (Heman Humphrey and Gardiner Spring) made a profession of religion before entering college, four (Jeremiah Evarts, Bennet Tyler, Moses Stuart, and Elias Cornelius) while still at Yale, and two (Gardiner Spring and Samuel Hubbard) after graduating. Only three (Isaac Chapman Bates, Nathaniel Hewit, and Daniel Noyes) either made no such profession, or did so without drawing attention to themselves.

Evangelical and romantic friendships compared

E. Anthony Rotundo uses the term "romantic friendship" to describe the intense attachments of nineteenth-century American men. One of the hallmarks of those friendships was their youthful nexus, and to that extent the men of the American Temperance Society behaved much like the men Rotundo writes about. But evangelical friendships, I would argue, were distinctive in two basic ways. In the first place, they were more grounded than their secular counterparts, which is to say that shared religious values and experiences gave pious youths an additional dimension on which to bond. This attribute of evangelical friendships is wonderfully captured in one of Elias Cornelius's early letters to Joel Hawes, a fellow seminarian at Andover. Hawes has been remiss in his correspondence, and while Cornelius is clearly peeved, he comforts himself with the thought that the two friends are "united by ties stronger than this world can make":

Lyman Beecher and Nathaniel William Taylor were compatible on several levels--both had grown up on farms just outside New Haven, and both had been singled out by Timothy Dwight--but the most important thing they had in common was that they saw eye to eye on points of theology, with Beecher popularizing Taylor's brand of liberal Calvinism. (70) Leonard Woods and John Hubbard Church first met at Leicester Academy in 1792, but when they met again at Harvard they then and there "united together as companions and room-mates in the study of theology." (71)

The second difference follows from the first: where Rotundo's friendships began in youth and faded with its passing, the typical evangelical friendship would appear to have grown richer and stronger over time precisely because the men in question enjoyed more than just a passing social bond. Evangelical Friendships were, by extension, marked by an emotional fervor that was sustainable over the long term. Ebenezer Porter's best friend as an adult was his old roommate from Dartmouth, Zephaniah Swift. Both had been distinguished for their piety at the time, and both went on to be ministers. Joshua Bates first met John Codman when they were undergraduates at Harvard. The fact that they were among that school's few pious students created an instant bond, and in the years that followed, they made a habit of visiting each other on a regular basis. (72) Francis Wayland's best friend was Benjamin Blydenburg Wisner, his classmate from Union College. They were not particularly close at the time, but as the years passed their relationship deepened, and whenever they found themselves in the same place they made a habit of walking "together almost daily, comparing their readings and reflections, and debating every topic that interested the mind of either." Wayland's children, writing after both men were dead, attributed the attraction to the fact that they "were nearly of the same age, had many interests, associations, and acquaintances in common, and were united by the memory of reciprocal kind offices." When Wisner died, Wayland felt as though he had "lost a brother." (73)

Wayland's cri de coeur raises the most interesting question of all, and that is whether evangelical friendships were as demonstrative as those Rotundo and other historians write about. The short answer is that they were, which is to say that it is easy enough to find examples of evangelical males behaving in ways that were common enough at the time. (74) When Elias Cornelius showed Lyman Beecher a letter from a "long-chosen, long-tried friend and brother," the "tears flowed copiously." (75) With his old friend Taylor, Beecher seemed to have no inhibitions at all. According to Thomas Davies, a mutual friend and one of Dwight's last proteges, Beecher was forever rushing to Taylor's house, (76) while Taylor's daughter tells the story of the "two D.D.'s hugging and kissing each other," this after a particularly long separation. When Taylor died, Beecher was inconsolable, exclaiming, "Ah, why did Taylor die, and why do 1 live?" Sensing the imminence of his own death, Beecher made a remarkable request of Taylor's widow: that he be buried alongside his old friend in New Haven's Grove Street Cemetery. (77) Beecher is the outsized member of the group, the titan whose every tic and utterance were greedily recorded by his family and admirers, but the ardor with which he expressed himself was hardly unusual in evangelical circles. For Leonard Woods, John Hubbard Church was an "uncommonly excellent and lovely man," the person he turned to whenever he was perplexed or depressed. Church's death (in 1840) affected him deeply, and of all the funeral sermons he was called on to preach, this one was the most painful. He had known "many beloved brethren," but in vain did he "look for one with whom I have had such an uninterrupted and entire friendship for so many years, as I enjoyed with this excellent brother." It was, he added, one of the "choicest blessings of my life, that I had such a friend and brother." (78) "Dear H.," writes Cornelius to Hawes, "how sweet is the remembrance of our prayers and our songs, which we have mutually offered; how pleasing the reflection upon the affectionate conversations, retired walks, and many evening meetings which we once enjoyed." (79)

What is less clear is whether these outpourings were entirely acceptable in evangelical circles. There are two reasons for thinking that they were not. The first is the premium evangelicals placed on restraint and self-control. This goal was evident first and foremost in the steps evangelical educators took to keep the campus revivals, that hotbed of evangelical friendships, from descending into emotional chaos. Chauncey Goodich, writing about the Yale revival of 1802, was pleased to report that there was only one convert "in whose conduct any thing of a wild or irrational character appeared." (80) Princeton's Asahel Green was relieved that the revival he promoted (in 1815) was "remarkably free from extravagance and enthusiasm." (81) Roswell Shurtleff ran afoul of Dartmouth's administration when the students he converted became emotionally unbalanced. (82)

Even more to the point is just how guarded evangelical educators were on the subject of college friendships. Their advice to pious students is littered with rules and cautionary tales, all underscoring the perils of becoming too attached to one's peers. The most popular of these advice books was John Todd's Student's Manual, first published in 1839. Todd's life story, told in overwhelming detail in his autobiography, reads much like that of the original members of the American Temperance Society: he was poor when he entered Yale (in 1818) and pious when he left it, having been caught up in the campus revivals of 1821 and 1822. Upon graduating, he enrolled in the Andover Theological Seminary, where he studied theology under Woods, Porter, and Stuart. It is a safe bet, in other words, that Todd's advice on friendship represented the ideal, if not the practice, of the evangelicals who had come before him at Yale and Andover. Todd was clearly drawing on his own experiences as an undergraduate when he advised students to choose their friends not for their "humor and wit" but for the "good qualities of the heart," even if this meant associating with people who were less than brilliant. It is also telling that Todd pooh-poohed the idea that friends should completely let down their guard with each other. To illustrate the point he tells the story of two room-mates who "agreed that, every night, they would tell each other every thing, which they had seen during the day, which was in the least degree out of the way." This, alas, was "too much for poor human nature," and the two friends soon went their separate ways. (83)

John Mitchell, whose time at Yale and Andover overlapped with Todd's, makes much the same points in his Reminiscences of Scenes and Characters in College (1847). 1 include Mitchell's book because its real goal was to show pious undergraduates how one of their own was able to succeed at Yale. Like Todd, Mitchell had an instinctive mistrust of wit and the people who used it to charm and impress others. And while he went out of his way to be friendly, he chose his friends carefully, having first satisfied himself that their character and religious views met his own high standards. If he doubted himself, if he wavered in his choice of friends, he had only to open his Bible to 2 Corinthians 6:14 ("Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"). (84)

Friendships occupy an even more tenuous position in Samuel Miller's Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits (1827). Miller's comments are especially apropos, as he happened to be one of the original members of the American Temperance Society. While he himself had only attended college for a year, enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania as a senior in 1788, he could legitimately claim to be something of an authority on student life, having served as a trustee both at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) and King's College (Columbia). In 1813, he was appointed to a professorship at the new seminary in Princeton. Miller had a reputation for being less than sociable (friends remembered his aversion to the "habit of too indiscriminate worldly intercourse"), and it is this side of his personality that is on display in his advice on how to act with friends. (85) One senses that he would have been perfectly happy if young men made no friends at all. "Be thankful for friends," he writes,

These warnings repeat in Miller's Letters from a Father to his Sons in College (1847), and once again Miller errs on the side of caution--"Be not in haste to form intimacies," "Guard against the error of having too many intimates," "Not one friend in a thousand is fit to be entrusted with the private concerns of others, and especially with those personal secrets which it is the interest of everyone to conceal from the public." (87)

The emphasis may have varied--make just a few friends, avoid too many disclosures, make religion the focal point of the relationship--but behind each piece of advice was the idea that the pious should keep their emotions and impulses from getting the better of them, both in their private moments and in their relationships. That is the first reason for thinking that the evangelical ideal of friendship was less than passionate. The second lies in what we know about the temperaments of the men who occupied leadership positions in organizations like the American Temperance Society. If the evangelical biographies are to be believed, almost all of them were models of restraint and self-control, virtues that just happened to dovetail with their commitment to promoting temperance. For every Calvin Chapin, that irrepressible teller of jokes, there was an Alvan Hyde, a man who "seldom laughed, and hardly ever, I believe, loud enough to be heard in the next room." (88) Or a Justin Edwards, of whom it was sometimes wished that "he had been less reserved, and more familiar with his children and others, especially in expressing his own feelings ... " (89) Ebenezer Porter could be "facetious, but never frivolous; never unbecoming his sacred office, nor inconsistent with strict decorum." (90) Elijah Hedding, a Methodist bishop, "never indulged at any approach to levity, never forgot, for a moment, his character as a Christian, and as a high office bearer in the Church." (91) Samuel Miller could be a "genial and cheerful companion, abounding in rich and appropriate anecdotes," but at no point did he ever utter "any thing unbecoming a Christian or a minister of the Gospel." (92)

Competing relationships

Why this reticence? Part of the answer is to be found in the emergence, at about this time, of an etiquette that stressed self-control in one's comportment and inter-personal dealings. (93) Middle-class standards of conduct underwent a similar transformation in Victorian Britain, and in both cases this change went hand in hand with the rapid growth of the evangelical denominations. (94) That still begs the question of why evangelicals placed such a high premium on self-control. William Andrus Alcott, the author of innumerable self-help books for the evangelically-minded, provides the clearest answer: because the Christian's first duty was always to an ever-watchful God. To act on this principle, to know that every action, no matter how small, might affect one's all-consuming relationship with God, was to go through the day with an almost crippling self-consciousness. If the readers of The Young Husband (1838) learned just one thing, it was to "Do and say nothing ... which you would not he willing to say and do if you saw, with the common organ of vision, the Lord Jesus Christ himself standing by and manifesting his approbation or disapprobation of every action." (95) This same halting relationship with one's environment pervades the seventy-seven maxims Sampson Wilder penned for the benefit of his grandsons--"Think twice before you speak once, and tell not all you think, nor taste all you desire, nor say all that you know, nor give credence to all you hear," "Do nothing that will not, with a clear conscience, bear a retrospective, self-approving view," "A man ought to let circumspection characterize all his actions." (96)

While we are on the subject of competing loyalties, I should also say something about marriage, if only because Smith-Rosenberg's claims for the institution have passed unchallenged. Toward the end of her remarkable essay she wonders aloud whether the closeness of same-sex friendships was a function of the distance between the sexes. The implication is that marriage could never aspire to the true intimacy friends of the same sex enjoyed. For many individuals, and even some within the American Temperance Society, this was no doubt true. Elias Cornelius, a man who spent most of his adult life on the road raising funds for the American Education Society, was one such individual. "1 gave up my wife and children to [the] blessed Redeemer," he wrote in 1827, and nowhere in his surviving letters to them does one find the warmth that characterized his correspondence with Hawes (it was perhaps fitting that he died not in his own home, surrounded by his wife and children, but in Hawes's). (97) Cornelius, however, was in a distinct minority, at least among the husbands who heeded the call of the American Temperance Society. There is, in other words, little reason to believe that the typical male in this group was less intimate and less affectionate with his wife than he was with his male friends, and much reason to believe that just the opposite was true. Edward Payson put off marriage for several years because he was afraid that he might "love a wife too much or too little." His fears would appear to have been justified, for when he finally married, in 1811, he erred on the side of loving too much, carrying his wife's letters with him when he traveled and urging her to send him still more ("your letters will always be precious while they continue to utter the language of affection"). (98) Bennet Tyler accepted the prospect of his own death with the cheerful resignation expected of the truly devout, but nonetheless dared to hope "that, if it were God's will, he might be spared a little longer to watch over his feeble wife." (99) Justin Edwards, for all his aloofness, regretted his frequent absences from home, writing to his wife, in 1826, "The longer I am absent from you, the more I learn how much I love you and the dear little children, and the more, I trust, I feel my obligations to God for such precious blessings." (100) Calvin Chapin was devastated by the death of his wife in 1850. "She made my home the pleasantest spot to me on earth," he said, "and now that she is gone, my worldly loss is perfect." (101) Leonard Woods, the primum mobile of both the American Temperance Society and the Andover Theological Seminary, was positively uxorious, building a wheelchair for his paralyzed wife and taking her for outings in it. (102) "I began to love you when you were in the bloom of youth," he wrote on her on her last birthday, "and I love you none the less now that you are in feeble health and advanced in life. Nay, my love is deeper, and I believe purer, than it was in former years." (103)

But even with Woods there was always an insistent voice reminding him to place his relationship with God above all others. This was brought home most vividly in the sermon he preached when John Hubbard Church suddenly found himself a widower. Woods used the occasion to remind his old friend that all earthly attachments, theirs included, could never aspire to transcendence:

At its heart, Alvan Hyde's sermon on marriage was a discourse on the different types of love--the love husbands and wives owed each other, and the even greater love they owed their Savior. (105) And as much as Edward Payson loved his wife, he could never give her--or anyone else--his undivided attention:


Let me conclude with two caveats and an obituary. The first caveat concerns the work that has been done on the same-sex friendships of nineteenth-century men. In making the case for an evangelical model of friendship I am not disputing the existence of a more passionate--and more secular--model. I am merely saying that the romantic ideal was by no means universal in middle-class circles. Its popularity, I suspect, was greatest among people with literary inclinations, among those who enjoyed putting their feelings into words and who then took the trouble of preserving what they had written. Both modes were alien to the men who founded the American Temperance Society, and their penchant for self-censorship, both in their correspondence and in their comportment, would suggest that many nineteenth-century friendships were notable not for their passion but for their reticence. The second caveat, already noted above, is that my focus has been on the ideals thoughtful evangelicals brought to their friendships--and not on how they actually behaved. The warnings that repeat in the proscriptive literature make it clear that evangelical men were perfectly capable of rushing headlong into passionate friendships. So do the effusions and endearments that surface in evangelical biographies, the best efforts of their authors notwithstanding. My point is simply that the romantic ideal of friendship cannot be readily reconciled with the evangelical's unblinking focus on God. For the men and women who had been most touched by the Second Great Awakening, this was always the relationship that mattered most.

Now for the obituary. Rotundo's romantic friendships were strictly a phenomenon of the nineteenth century, and their passing, at that century's close, just happened to coincide with the rise of muscular Christianity and its message that men should toughen up and keep their feelings to themselves. But evangelical friendships of the sort I have described would appear to have faded at an even earlier date, the victims of a growing primness among middle-class evangelicals. John Todd alludes to this new formality in a letter he wrote shortly after Leonard Woods's death in 1854. In it he recalls how he first met Woods at Jeremiah Evarts's house, and no sooner does the scene come back to him than he is struck by its incongruity, exclaiming as much as lamenting, "oh, how much warmer friends were then, than it is fashionable to be now." (107)

One is left to wonder how much of this change was rooted in new fears about the unexpected twists and turns sexuality might take. If these fears were the crucial factor, which they almost certainly were, then evangelicals can take most of the credit for the demise of romantic friendships. At the very least, they were trendsetters, establishing, over the course of the nineteenth century, new and more restrictive ways of interacting with people of the same sex. Frances Willard, the revered president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, behaved much like the women Smith-Rosenberg writes about, entering into a series of obsessive relationships with other women, and frequently crossing the line between simple affection and homoeroticism. (108) But already by 1862 she was doubting the propriety of her behavior. "I love women so curiously," reads a journal entry from that year, "I am sorry that I do. I am so careful of them--feel as if no one had the right to be familiar with them--I'm ashamed to put it down, but here it is,--part of the Great Deep--Me." (109) A decade later, and we have John Harvey Kellogg telling parents that little boys should not share their beds with other little boys and that the "the close friendships which are formed between girls of the same age are often highly detrimental in character." (110) Many things worried Kellogg about girlish friendships, not the least being their potential for homoeroticism, but what concerned him most was the threat they posed to the special relationship that was supposed to exist between mother and daughter. This suspicion of non-familial relationships repeats in the advice dispensed by Mary Wood-Allen, the superintendent of the purity department of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union. What should girl A say when girl B attempted to impart the facts of life as she understood them? That "I would rather you would not tell me about it. I will ask my mother and she will tell me. Mother tells me everything that I ought to know and she tells it to me in such a way that makes it very sweet to me, and so I have my little secrets with mother, and not with other girls." (111)

To recapitulate: romantic friendships did exist, and they clearly meant a great deal to the people who entered into them. But they existed side by side with a competing ideal, one that steadily gained in strength over the nineteenth century. The real question is which ideal was closer to the norm in nineteenth-century America. There is, of course, no real way of answering this question, but if one looks at the sheer size of the evangelical denominations (by 1865, more than three-fourths of all American Protestants answered to the label of evangelical), then romantic friendships were an anomaly, and a fleeting one at that. (112)

33 Russel Street

Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1



This article has been supported by a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and its views do not necessarily reflect those of the funder.

(1.) Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, "The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations between Women in Nineteenth-Century America," Signs 1, no. 1 (1975): 1-29.

(2.) Including Jeffrey Richards, '"Passing the love of women': Manly Love and Victorian Society," in Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800-1940, ed. J.A. Mangan and James Walvin (Manchester, 1987), 92-122; E. Anthony Rotundo, "Romantic Friendship: Male Intimacy and Middle-Class Youth in the Northern United States, 1800-1900," Journal of Social History 23, no. 1 (1989): 1-25; Karen V. Hansen, '"Our eyes behold each other': Masculinity and Intimate Friendships in Antebellum New England," in Men's Friendships, ed. Peter Nardi (Newbury Park, 1992), 35-58; Frederick J. Blue, "The Poet and the Reformer: Longfellow, Sumner, and the Bonds of Male Friendship, 1837-1874," Journal of the Early Republic 15, no. 2 (1995): 273-297; and Anya Jabour, "Male Friendship and Masculinity in the Early National South: William Wirt and his Friends," Journal of the Early Republic 20, no. 1 (2000): 83-111.

(3.) Nancy F. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood: 'Woman's Sphere' in New England, 31 780-1835 (New Haven, 1977), 178-181.

(4.) Joyce Oldham Appleby, Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans (Cambridge, MA, 2000), 180.

(5.) Donald Yacovone, "Abolitionists and the 'Language of Fraternal Love'," in Meanings for Manhood: Constructions of Masculinity in Victorian America, ed. Mark Christopher Carnes and Clyde Griffen (Chicago, 1990), 85-95; Rotundo, "Romantic Friendship," 8-9.

(6.) As in Robert H. Abzug, Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination (New York, 1994), 90; and Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (New York, 2007), 167-168.

(7.) Report for 1835, in Permanent Temperance Documents of the American Temperance Society, vol. 1 (Boston, 1835).

(8.) John Allen Krout, The Origins of Prohibition (New York, 1925), 104-112; Robert L. Hampel, Temperance and Prohibition in Massachusetts, 1813-1852 (Ann Arbor, 1982), 25-32; Ian R. Tyrrell, Sobering Up: From Temperance to Prohibition in Antebellum America, 1800-1860 (Westport, 1979), chapter two ("Men of Moderation").

(9.) Count taken from the First Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance Society: For the Year Ending Nov. 1827 (Andover, 1828).

(10.) The clerical members were:

Thomas Andrus

Henry Axtell, Jr.

Joshua Bates

Edward Beecher

Lyman Beecher

Lucius Boles

Abraham Bronson

Calvin Chapin

John H. Church

Elias Cornelius

Jeremiah Day

Luther F. Dimmick

Justin Edwards

John W. Ellingwood

Brown Emerson

Warren Fay

Jonathan Going

Samuel Green

Alexander V. Griswold

Enoch Hale

Joel Hawes

Elijah Heckling

Nathaniel Hewit

Sylvester Holmes

Heman Humphrey

Daniel Huntington

Alvan Hyde

Charles Jenkins

William Jenks

Nathan Lord

Thomas McAuley

Timothy Merritt

Samuel Miller

Eliphalet Nott

Edward Payson

Ebenezer Porter

Alonzo Potter

James Richards

Thomas H. Sinner

Thomas Snell

Gardiner Spring

Moses Stuart

Caleb J. Tenney

Bennet Tyler

Samuel Walker

Francis Wayland

William White

Benjamin B. Wisner

Leonard Woods

The lay members were:

William B. Banister

Oliver Bartlett

William Bartlett

Isaac Chapman Bates

Samuel Bayard

James Brown

Moses Brown

Nicholas Brown

James P. Chaplin

Noah Clafflin

Richard Cobb

Pliny Cutler

B.Y. Deming

Samuel Emlen

Jeremiah Evarts

Samuel Farrar

Levi Farwell

Theo. Frelinghuysen

William P. Green

Enoch Hale

Henry Alexander

William Hilliard

Henry Homes

John Hooker

Samuel M. Hopkins

Samuel Hubbard

Ansel Wilmot Ives

Joseph Jenkins

William Jenkins

Samuel Lathrop

Heman Lincoln

John Lindsey

Charles Marsh

Marcus Morton

Edmund Munroe

Edward A. Newton

Daniel Noyes

George Odiorne

Albion K. Parris

David Patten

William Phillips

William P. Preble

John C. Proctor

Robert Ralston

William Reed

Hardy Ropes

William Ropes

Ether Shepley

John Cotton Smith

Seth Sprague

Lewis Strong

Samuel Strong

George Sullivan

Bradford Sumner

Benjamin Tallmadge

Arthur Tappan

John Tappan

Henry Thatcher

Israel Eliot Trask

Abraham Van Dyck

Steph. Van Rensellaer

Roberts Vaux

John Vose

Daniel Wadsworth

Daniel Waldo

Samuel Hall Walley

John Collins Warren

Theophilus Wheeler

Sampson V. Wilder

Joseph Woodbridge

(11.) Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History, vol.s 3-6 (New York, 1903-1912).

(12.) Edward Warren, The Life of John Collins Warren, M.D.: Compiled Chiefly from His Autobiography and Journals, vol. 1 (Boston, 1860), 223; Constitution of the Massachusetts Society for the Suppression of Intemperance and Report of the Board of Counsel Prepared for the Anniversary of the Society, May 28, 1813 (Boston, 1813). Discussion in Marshall Foletta, Coming to Terms with Democracy: Federalist Intellectuals and the Shaping of an American Culture (Charlottesville, 2001), 137-142.

(13.) "Benjamin Blydenburg Wisner," in Annals of the America Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen, vol. 2, ed. William B. Sprague (New York, 1857), 687; Francis Wayland and H.L. Wayland, A Memoir of the Life and Labors of Francis Wayland, D.D., L.L.D. (New York, 1867), 96-97; "James Richards," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 4 (New York, 1858), 107.

(14.) Ebenezer Carter Tracy, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts Esq. Late Corresponding Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Boston, 1845), 16.

(15.) Lyman Matthews, Memoir of the Life and Character of Ebenezer Porter, D. D.: Late President of the Theological Seminary, Andover (Boston, 1837), 157-158.

(16.) Bela Bates Edwards, Memoir of the Rev. Elias Cornelius, Secretary to the American Education Society (Edinburgh, 1834), vi.

(17.) Elizabeth Greene Buck, Memoir of Samuel Hubbard (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1881), 14.

(18.) Tracy, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts, 4.

(19.) Cornelius Van Santvoord and Tayler Lewis, Memoirs of Eliphalet Nott, D.D. L.L.D. for Sixty-Two Years President of Union College (New York, 1876), 290.

(20.) Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe, Memoirs of the Life and Services of the Rt. Rev. Alonzo Potter, Ll.D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1871), 14.

(21.) William Allen Hallock, "Light and Love": A Sketch of the Life and Labors of the Rev. Justin Edwards. D.D. (New York, 1855), 8.

(22.) Talbot Wilson Chambers, Memoir of the Life and Character of the Late Hon. Theo. Frelinghuysen, LL.D. (New York, 1863), 193.

(23.) Asa Cummings, ed. Memoir, Select Thoughts, and Sermons of the Late Rev. Edward Payson, D.D., Pastor of the Second Church in Portland, vol. 1 (Philadelphia, 1858), 439-440.

(24.) Richard Salter Storrs, Memoir of the Rev. Samuel Green, Late Pastor of Union Church, Boston (Boston, 1836), 200.

(25.) Albion Keith Parris and Morton Marcus were notable exceptions to this rule. Marcus's travails as a Democrat in Massachusetts are the subject of a chapter in Jonathan Earle's Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854 (Chapel Hill: 2004).

(26.) Lyman Beecher, An Address of the Charitable Society for the Education of Indigent Pious Young Men, for the Ministry of the Gospel (New Haven, 1814?), 5.

(27.) Consistent with what Appleby observes in Inheriting the Revolution, 174-176.

(28.) Storrs, Memoir of the Rev. Samuel Green, 16.

(29.) Nahum Gale, A Memoir of Rev. Bennet Tyler, D.D., Late President and Professor of Christian Theology in the Theological Institute of Connecticut (Boston, 1860), 14.

(30.) Tracy, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts, 9.

(31.) Hallock, "Light and Love": A Sketch of the Life and Labors of the Rev. Justin Edwards, 9.

(32.) Harriette Newell Woods Baker, Reminiscences and Records of my Father, Rev. Leonard Woods, D.D., of Andover: By his Daughter (Boston, 1887), 24.

(33.) At $20 a year in 1807 and $50 in 1827, Harvard was the second-most expensive college in the country (Virginia was first). From Samuel Eliot Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard (Cambridge, MA, 1936), 201. When room and board were added in, the cost of attending Harvard came to well over $100 a year.

(34.) Which is to say that they fit the profile of the pious collegians we read about in David F. All-mendinger, Paupers and Scholars: The Transformation of Student Life in Nineteenth-Century New England (New York, 1975); Steven J. Novak, The Rights of Youth: American Colleges and Student Revolt, 1798-1815 (Cambridge, MA, 1977); and, most recently, Nicholas L. Syrett, The Company he Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities (Chapel Hill, 2009).

(35.) Sophia Hawthorne, ed. Passages from the American Note-Books of Nathaniel Hawthorne (Boston, 1883), 163-164.

(36.) Ronald Story, The Forging of an Aristocracy: Harvard and the Boston Upper Class, 1800-1870 (Middletown, CT, 1980), 111; Barbara M. Cross, ed. The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher, vol. 1 (Cambridge, MA, 1961), 16.

(37.) Rebecca Taylor Hatch, Personal Reminiscences and Memorials (New York, 1905), 27.

(38.) Tracy, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts, 11.

(39.) James Barrett, Memorial Address on the Life and Character of the Hon. Charles Marsh, LL. D., Read before the Vermont Historical Society (Montpellier, VT, 1871), 18.

(40.) "Calvin Chapin," in Annals of the America Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen, vol. 2, ed. William B. Sprague (New York: 1857), 326.

(41.) Memoir, Select Thoughts, and Sermons of the Late Rev. Edward Payson, vol. 1, 22.

(42.) Matthews, Memoir of the Life and Character of Ebenezer Porter, 32.

(43.) "Caleb Jewett Tenney," in Annals of the America Pulpit; or Commemorative Notices of Distinguished American Clergymen, vol. 2, ed. William B. Sprague (New York, 1857), 472.

(44.) Tracy, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts, 13.

(45.) Gale, A Memoir of Rev. Bennet Tyler, 22.

(46.) Baker, Reminiscences and Records of my Father, Rev. Leonard Woods, 30-31.

(47.) Based on Catalogue of the Members of the Connecticut Alpha of the Phi Beta Kappa, (New Haven: Religious Intelligencer Office, 1818); Dartmouth College and Associated Schools General Catalogue 1769-1940 (Hanover, NH: 1940); and David T.W. McCord, ed. Catalogue of the Harvard College Chapter of Phi Beta kappa Alpha of Massachusetts with the Constitution: An Annotated List of Orators & Poets and with an Essay on the Orations and Poems (Cambridge, MA: 1970). The one Yale member to graduate after 1814, Edward Beecher, was inducted into the society in 1819. Existing members of the society selected new members, usually the top third of any given class. They did so without the benefit of grades, making the process subjective at best. Background in Richard Nelson Current, Phi Beta Kappa in American Life: The First Two Hundred Years (New York: 1990), 20-21.

(48.) Samuel Bayard, John Collins Warren, Leonard Woods, Justin Edwards, Ebenezer Porter, Moses Stuart, Isaac Chapman Bates, Joshua Bates, and Gardiner Spring.

(49.) Barrett, Memorial Address on the Life and Character of the Hon. Charles Marsh, 19-20.

(50.) Calvin Chapin, William Pitt Preble, Thomas McAuely, Moses Stuart, Samuel Green, Jeremiah Day, Charles Jenkins, Benjamin Blydenburg Wisner, Francis Wayland, Alonzo Porter, and Edward Beecher.

(51.) Buck, Memoir of Samuel Hubbard, 4.

(52.) "Samuel Miller," in Annuls of the America Pulpit, vol. 3 (New York, 1858), 609.

(53.) Charles Roy Keller, The Second Great Awakening in Connecticut (New Haven, 1942), 10; George M. Marsden, The Evangelical Mind and the New School Presbyterian Experience: A Case Study of Thought and Theology in Nineteenth-Century America (New Haven, 1970), 10-11; Jonathan D. Sassi, A Republic of Righteousness: The Public Christianity of the Post- Revolutionary New England Clergy (New York, 2001), 137-138.

(54.) Minutes of the Proceedings of the General Association of New-Hampshire, at their Session at Dover, September 15, 1818, (Concord. NH, 1818), 3.

(55.) Donald M. Scott, From Office to Profession: The New England Ministry, 1750-1850 (Philadelphia, 1978), 66.

(56.) Comparisons based on Minutes of the First Annual Meeting of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (Boston, 1810); Constitution & Address of the American Society for Educating Pious Youth (1816); Constitution of the American Bible Society, Formed by a Convention of Delegates, Held in the City of New-York, May, 1816 (New York, 1816); The Address of the Executive Committee of the American Tract Society to the Christian Public: Together with a Brief Account of the Formation of the Society, its Constitution and Officers (New York, 1825); and Reports of the Prison Discipline Society, Boston: 1826-1835 (Boston, 1855).

(57.) John Marsh, Temperance Recollections: Labors, Defeats, Triumphs. An Autobiography (New York, 1866), 15.

(58.) The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher, vol. 1, 180.

(59.) "Calvin Chapin," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 328.

(60.) "Alvan Hyde," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 303.

(61.) "Caleb Jewett Tenney," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 474.

(62.) John Mitchell, Reminiscences of Scenes and Characters in College: By a Graduate of Yale, of the Class of 1821 (New Haven, 1847), 30, 202.

(63.) Joshua Bates, "Revivals of Religion in Middlebury College," American Quarterly Register, February 1840, 311.

(64.) Chauncey Goodrich, "Narrative of Revivals of Religion in Yale College, from its Commencement to the Present Time," Journal of the American Education Society 10 (1838), 294, 300-301.

(65.) Albert Hopkins, "Revivals of Religion in Williams College," American Quarterly Register, February 1841, 351.

(66.) George Barker Stevens and William Fisher Markwick, eds., Life, Letters, and Journals of Rev. and Hon. Peter Parker, D.D.: Missionary, Physician and Diplomatist, the Father of Medical Missions and Founder of the Opthalmic Hospital in Canton (Boston, 1896), 41.

(67.) Mitchell, Reminiscences of Scenes and Characters in College, 171-172.

(68.) Harvard had no religious revivals during this time, as noted in Morison, Three Centuries of Harvard, 219.

(69.) Edwards, Memoir of the Rev. Elias Cornelius, 15.

(70.) Douglas A. Sweeney, Nathaniel Taylor, New Haven Theology, and the Legacy of Jonathan Edwards (New York, 2003), 45-47.

(71.) "John Hubbard Church," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 446.

(72.) William Allen and Joshua Bates, Memoir of John Codman, D. D. (Boston, 1853), 169-170.

(73.) "Benjamin Blydenburg Wisner," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 685; Wayland, A Memoir of the Life and Labors of Francis Wayland, 148-149, 420-421.

(74.) Nor does this group appear to have felt any self-consciousness about sharing their beds with other men. For several weeks Edward Beecher shared his with Asahel Nettleton, a minister who was standing in for his father Lyman. More than three decades later, in 1856, the younger Beecher had fond memories of "the wakeful hours of the night I spent in free and familiar conversation with him." Then there is the story of Samuel Green, the Congregationalist minister who asked a young man whether they could share a bed and then proceeded to spend the better part of the night preaching to him. Examples from "Asahel Nettleton," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 552; and Storrs, Memoir of the Rev. Samuel Green, 56.

(75.) Edwards, Memoir of the Rev. Elias Cornelius, 175.

(76.) The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher, vol. 1, 282.

(77.) Hatch, Personal Reminiscences, 32-34.

(78.) Leonard Woods, "A Sermon Delivered at the Funeral of the Rev. John Hubbard Church, D.D.," in The Works of Leonard Woods, D.D., vol. 5 (Boston, 1851), 335.

(79.) Edwards, Memoir of the Rev. Elias Cornelius, 17.

(80.) Goodrich, "Narrative of Revivals of Religion in Yale College," 295.

(81.) Ashbel Green, A Report to the Trustees of the College of New Jersey; Relative to a Revival of Religion among the Students of Said College, in the Winter and Spring of the Year 1815 (Philadelphia, 1815), 15. Background in Mark A. Noll, Princeton and the Republic: The Search for a Christian Enlightenment in the Era of Samuel Stanhope Smith (Princeton, 1989), chapter thirteen.

(82.) Novak, The Rights of Youth, 141-142.

(83.) John Todd, Student's Manual: Designed, by Specific Directions, to Aid in Forming and Strengthening the Intellectual and Moral Character and Habits of the Student, twenty-fourth ed. (Northampton, 1859), 100, 102, 103-104.

(84.) Mitchell, Reminiscences of Scenes and Characters in College, 97, 101-102, 178.

(85.) "Samuel Miller," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 3, 603.

(86.) Samuel Miller, Letters on Clerical Manners and Habits; Addressed to a Student in the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, N. J. (Philadelphia, 1852), 375.

(87.) Samuel Miller, Letters from a Father to his Sons in College (Philadelphia, 1852), 180-181.

(88.) "Alvan Hyde," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 305.

(89.) Hallock, 'Light and Love": A Sketch of the Life and Labors of the Rev. Justin Edwards, 540.

(90.) Matthews, Memoir of the Life and Character of Ebeneter Porter, 315.

(91.) "Elijah Heading," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 7 (New York, 1861), 559.

(92.) "Samuel Miller," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 3, 608.

(93.) Background in John F. Kasson, Rudeness and Civility: Manners in Nineteenth-Century Urban America (New York, 1990); and Peter N. Steams, Battleground of Desire: The Struggle for Self-Control in Modern America (New York, 1999).

(94.) Examples in Ford K. Brown, Fathers of the Victorians: The Age of Wilberforce (Cambridge, 1961), 438-443; Ian C. Bradley, The Col! to Seriousness: The Evangelical Impact on the Victorians (London, 1976): and Michael Mason, The Making of Victorian Sexuality (Oxford, 1994), 34, 125, 147. American denominational numbers in Timothy L. Smith, Revivalism and Social Reform: American Protestantism on the Eve of the Civil War (New York, I 965), 20. British numbers, in William R. Ward, The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge, 1992), 354.

(95.) William Andrus Alcott, The Young Husband, or Duties of Man in the Marriage Relation, third ed. (Boston, 1839), 254.

(96.) Records from the Life of S.V.S. Wilder (New York, 1865), 375, 378.

(97.) Edwards, Memoir of the Rev. Elias Cornelius, 204.

(98.) Memoir, Select Thoughts, and Sermons of the Late Rev Edward Payson, vol. I, 151, 339.

(99.) Gale, A Memoir of Rev Bennet Tyler. 106.

(100.) Hallock, "Light and Lore": A Sketch of the Life and Labors of the Rev. Justin Edwards, 213.

(101.) "Calvin Chapin," in Annals of the America Pulpit, vol. 2, 329.

(102.) Sarah Stuart Rabbins, Old Andover Days: Memories of a Puritan Childhood (Boston, 1909), 144446.

(103.) Baker Reminiscences and Records of my Father, Rev. Leonard Woods, 76-77.

(104.) Leonard Woods, The Mourning Husband: A Discourse, at the Funeral of Mrs. Thankful Church, Late Consort of the Rev. John H. Church, Pastor of the Church in Pelhum, N.H. April 15, 1806 (New-butypott, 1806), 14.

(105.) Alvan Hyde, The Conjugal Relation Made Happy and Useful; a Sermon, Delivered at Lee, Massachusetts, December 24th, 1815 (Stockbridge, MA, 1816), 15.

(106.) Memoir. Select Thoughts, and Sermons of the Lute Rev Edward Payson, vol. 1, 57.

(107.) Contra Ian R. Tyrrell. Woman's World/Woman's Empire: The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in International Perspective, 1880-1930 (Chapel Hill, 1991), 116-117.

(108.) Gifford, Carolyn De Swarte, ed. Writing out Mo Heard Selections from the Journal of Frances E. Willard, 1855-96 (Urbana, 1995), 162.

(109.) John Harvey Kellogg, Plain Facts for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History of Hygiene of Organic Life (New York, 1974), 237, 407.

(110.) Mary Wood-Allen, What a Young Girl Ought to Know (Philadelphia, 1897), 110-111.

(111.) Baker, Reminiscences and Records of My Father, Rev. Leonard Woods, 125.

(112.) Smith, Revivalism and Social Reform, 20

By Jessica Warner

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Table 1

Overview of the first 119 members of the American Temperance Society

Place of birth          Massachusetts                          30
(where known)

                        Connecticut                            19

                        New York                                7

                        New Hampshire                           4

                        Vermont                                 4

                        Maine                                   4

                        Pennsylvania                            3

                        Rhode Island                            1

                        New Jersey                              1

                        North Carolina                          1

                        Ireland                                 2

Higher education        Yale                                   22

                        Harvard                                15

                        Dartrmouth                             12

                        Brown                                   6

                        College of New Jersey (Princeton)       5

                        Union                                   3

                        Bowdoin                                 2

                        Williams                                2

                        University of Pennsylvania              2

                        Middlebury                              1

                        Hamilton                                1

Postgraduate education  Andover Theological Seminary           12

                        Litchfield Law School                   3

                        Harvard Medical School                  2

                        University of Pennsylvania School of    1

                        Princeton Seminary                      1

Professions             Clergy                                 49

                        Law                                    32

                        Medicine                                6

* Compiled from General Catalogue of the Theological Seminary, Andover,
Massachusetts, 1808-1908 (Boston, 1909); Edward Howell Roberts,
Biographical Catalogue of the Princeton Theological Seminary 1815-1932
(Princeton, 1933); Catalogue of the Alumni of the Medical Department of
the University of Pennsylvania: 1765-1877 (Philadelphia, 1877);
Catalogus Senatus Academici Collegii Harvardiani (Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 1869); and the Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School
(Litchfield, 1900).

I would not venture the invidious remark or implication that whoever
  transcribes himself is impelled by his vanity, but I may say that the
  real humility of Bishop Potter's spirit and the thorough earnestness
  of his life combined to restrain him from the effort to perpetuate
  personal experience, which seemed to him of little moment in the
  great aggregate of human interests. (22)

Table 2

Table 2: Annual meetings of the General Association of Connecticut
attended by two or more future members of the American Temperance

                   1808     1809     1810     1811

Calvin Chapin      [check]  [check]  [check]
Ebenezer Porter    [check]
Moses Stuart       [check]
Heman Humphrey     [check]  [check]
Gardiner Spring    [check]
Bennet Tyler       [check]
Lyman Beecher
Henry Axtell. Jr.
Enoch Hale

                   1812     1816     1819
Calvin Chapin
Ebenezer Porter
Moses Stuart
Heman Humphrey              [check]
Gardiner Spring
Bennet Tyler       [check]
Lyman Beecher      [check]  [check]
Henry Axtell. Jr.                    [check]
Enoch Hale                           [check]

Table 3: Overlap between college classes, 1782 to 1813, and the
original membership of the American Temperance Society

Class  Yale                 Harvard              Dartmouth

1782   John Hooker          Stephen Van

1783   John Cotton Smith



1786                                             Charles Marsh


1788   Calvin Chapin                             Alvan Hyde

1789   James Richards

1790                        George Sullivan

1791   Samuel M. Hopkins

1792   Samuel Lathrop                            Ebenezer Porter

1793                                             Joseph Woodbridge

                                                 Daniel Waldo


1795   Jeremiah Day                              Thomas Snell

                                                 John Vose


1797   Lyman Beecher        Samuel Farrar        William B. Banister

                            William Jenks

                            John Collins Warren

1798                        Leonard Woods

                            John Hubbard Church

1799   Moses Stuart *

1800                        Joshua Bates

1801                                             Caleb Jewett Tenney *

1802   Isaac Chapman                            Brown Emerson *
       Bates *

       Jeremiah Evats *

       Samuel Hubbard *

1803                        Edward Payson

                            Lewis Strong

1804   Bennet Tyler *

1805   Gardiner Spring *                         Samuel Walker *

       Heman Humphrey *

1806                        William P. Preble    Albion Keith Parris

1807   Daniel               Warren Fay
       Huntington *

1808   Nathaniel Hewit *



1811                                             Ether Shepley *

1812   Daniel Noyes *

1813   Elias Cornelius *    John C. Proctor

Class  Brown            Union























1804   Marcus Morton    Thomas McAuley



1807   John Lindsey

1808   Sumner Bradford

1809   Jonathan Going

1810   William Reed



1813   Joel Hawes       Benjamin B. Wisner

... although your distance from me might possibly have caused you to
  forget me, which I must confess your neglecting to write gives some
  ground to believe, yet distance cannot obliterate the remembrance of
  you from my mind. Had my acquaintance with you been only of a worldly
  nature, I confess that might have been the case. But, dear H., are we
  not united by ties stronger than this world can make? (69)

love them; be grateful to them; and be always ready with fidelity to
  serve them. But recollect that you ought to guard quire as vigilantly
  against their indiscretion, their folly, and their selfishness, as
  against the malice of your enemies. That general who wishes to
  succeed in his great military movements, must often conceal his
  purposes quite as carefully from his own army, as from that of the
  enemy. So it is, to a great extent, with every public man. Never
  commit delicate matters to many in number, even of your best
  friends; and never forget, that you are in quite as much danger from
  the tongues of those who love you most, as from the hostility of your
  bitterest opposers. (86)

Though you can behold the face of your partner no more; you may, with
  diviner joy, behold the glory of the Redeemer, who is infinitely more
  comely, than the sons or the daughters of men. Though you can no more
  enjoy her company and friendship; you may enjoy the presence and
  friendship of her Savior. Happy will it he, if he renders this
  painful bereavement the means of bringing you to a more constant and
  blissful enjoyment of himself. (104)

... when I go into company, if it is pleasant and agreeable, it has a
  tendency only to fix my thoughts on earth, from which it is my duty
  and my desire to turn them--to give me a distaste for serious duties,
  especially prayer and meditation and to render me desirous of the
  applause and approbation of those with whom I associate. (106)
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.