shopping_cart
Ohio University Press · Swallow Press · www.ohioswallow.com

The Autobiography of Daniel Parker, Frontier Universalist

By Daniel Parker
Edited by David Torbett

“David Torbett’s research for this project has been nothing short of staggeringly impressive. He has immersed himself in the major currents of religious history, especially the history of Universalism, but also topics such as the Mormon church and sectarianism. He shows broad knowledge on the background of colonization, anti-slavery and abolitionism, other reform movements including temperance and women’s rights as well as the ‘cult of true womanhood,’ Native American history, the history of the War of 1812, aspects of travel, frontier, and the history of inventions. His astoundingly extensive notes bear witness to a scholar determined to complete thorough and meticulous research and thus give proper context to the autobiography.”

Ann Lee Bressler, author of The Universalist Movement in America, 1770–1880

“David Torbett has mined nearly every piece of historical ore out of The Autobiography of Daniel Parker. His research is flawless, his interpretation insightful. This book is an important read for anyone wishing to understand the development of abolitionist thought in the Midwest.”

Brian L. Hackett, associate professor of public history, Northern Kentucky University

A vastly informative and rare early-American pioneer autobiography rescued from obscurity.

In this remarkable memoir, Daniel Parker (1781–1861) recorded both the details of everyday life and the extraordinary historical events he witnessed west of the Appalachian Mountains between 1790 and 1840. Once a humble traveling salesman for a line of newly invented clothes washing machines, he became an outspoken advocate for abolition and education. With his wife and son, he founded Clermont Academy, a racially integrated, coeducational secondary school—the first of its kind in Ohio.

However, Parker’s real vocation was as a self-ordained, itinerant preacher of his own brand of universal salvation. Raised by Presbyterian parents, he experienced a dramatic conversion to the Halcyon Church, an alternative, millenarian religious movement led by the enigmatic prophet Abel Sarjent, in 1803. After parting ways with the Halcyonists, he continued his own biblical and theological studies, arriving at the universalist conclusions that he would eventually preach throughout the Ohio River Valley.

David Torbett has transcribed Parker’s manuscript and publishes it here for the first time, together with an introduction, epilogue, bibliography, and extensive notes that enrich and contextualize this rare pioneer autobiography.

Daniel Parker (1781–1861) was among the early migrants from New England to settle in Ohio. He was a preacher of the millenarian Halcyon Church and later a traveling washing machine salesman before settling on a lifelong career as an itinerant Universalist evangelist. He was also an abolitionist and cofounder of the racially integrated Clermont Academy.   More info →

David Torbett is an associate professor of religion and history at Marietta College in Ohio. He is the author of Theology and Slavery: Charles Hodge and Horace Bushnell.   More info →

Order a print copy

Hardcover · $29.56 ·
Pre-Order

Retail price: $36.95 · Save 20% ($29.56)

Cover of The Autobiography of Daniel Parker, Frontier Universalist

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Review Copy

This book is not yet available for desk or examination copy requests. Please check back soon.

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Related Subjects

Click or tap on a subject heading to sign up to be notified when new related books come out.

Formats

Hardcover
978-0-8214-2429-2
Retail price: $36.95, T.
Release date: December 2020
40 illus. · 312 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Electronic
978-0-8214-4723-9
Release date: December 2020
40 illus. · 312 pages
Rights:  World

Related Titles

Cover of 'Creating a Perfect World'

Creating a Perfect World
Religious and Secular Utopias in Nineteenth-Century Ohio
By Catherine M. Rokicky

Powerful currents of religious revival and political and social reform swept nineteenth-century America. Many people expressed their radical religious and social ideals by creating or joining self-contained utopian communities. These utopianists challenged the existing social and economic order with alternative notions about religion, marriage, family, sexuality, property ownership, and wage labor.Between 1787 and 1919, approximately 270 utopian communities existed in the United States.

American History, Midwest · Religion, Politics, and the State · Christianity · 19th century · Ohio · Ohio and Regional

Cover of 'Religion in Ohio'

Religion in Ohio
Profiles of Faith Communities
Edited by Tarunjit Singh Butalia and Dianne P. Small

Religion in Ohio tells the story of Ohio’s religious and spiritual heritage going back to the state’s ancient and historic native populations, the development of a wide variety of faith traditions in the years preceding the mid-twentieth century, and the arrival of many newer immigrants in the last fifty years.

American History · Americas · North America · United States · Midwest · Ohio · History · Sociology · Ohio and Regional · Religion

Cover of 'Enchanted Ground'

Enchanted Ground
The Spirit Room of Jonathan Koons
By Sharon Hatfield

In a fascinating work of religious history and cultural inquiry, Hatfield brings to life the true story of a nineteenth-century farmer-spiritualist, Jonathan Koons, whom thousands traveled to Ohio to see. As heirs to the second Great Awakening, he and his followers were part of a larger, uniquely American moment that still marks the culture today.

American History, Midwest · History of Religion · Popular Culture · Spiritualism · Ohio · Ohio and Regional · Creative Nonfiction · American Studies · Appalachian Studies

Sign up to be notified when new Ohio and Regional titles come out.

We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.