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As it happens a reading of The Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1850) waylaid my inspection of the Employment of Women this week. On account of the many preposterous comparisons made by Fifth Wave defenders to S.Truth and Rosa Parks, specifically, to "Auntie" Oprah's prophetic Golden Globes speech.
Isabelle van Wagener's narrative sharply reminded me of the several Great Awakenings (four, tho' the last being contested by academics too close to contemporary partisan analyses). My desire to "visualize" these "organic" periods in relation to foreign and domestic wars caused me to take up exercises in plotting time[!] lines by both R and Excel methods. But I digress.
Sojourner inadvertently reported her own part in the proselytizing hysteria of the second tide (1800-1840 or so) over New York and Connecticut states. While one today may express skepticism about the authenticity of her transcription of her story, her part as peripatetic impresario of the virtues of utter abnegation and penury is indisputable. Among several remarkable episodes of evangelical "cult" activities she encountered, there is THE MATTHIAS IMPOSTURE.
He repeatedly urged his wife to accompany him on a mission to convert the world, declaring that food could be obtained from the roots of the forest, if not administered otherwise. At this time he assumed the name of Matthias, called himself a Jew, and set out on a mission, taking a western course, and visiting a brother at Rochester, a skillful mechanic, since dead. Leaving his brother, he proceeded on his mission over the Northern States, occasionally returning to Albany.... Her faith was at first staggered by his declaring himself a Jew; but on this point she was relieved by his saying, 'Do you not remember how Jesus prayed?' and repeated part of the Lord's Prayer, in proof that the Father's kingdom was to come, and not the Son's. She then understood him to be a converted Jew, and in the conclusion she says she 'felt as if God had sent him to set up the kingdom.'
Subsequently, she was defrauded of what little cash she'd saved by his 'disciples', but of course.
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