Talk:Burned-over district

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Duplicate pages[edit]

Isn't this the same as Burnt-over district? (unsigned, but it's User:JoeyDay Apr 20, 2005 )

  • Now merged. In the future: this is what [[Template:Merge]] and [[Template:Merge from]] are for. -- Jmabel | Talk 05:55, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)

Did Finney coin the phrase? I also question the meaning they give to it. Usually I've heard it explained as the region being "burned over" by the fires of revivalism The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 22 Nov 2005.

I've also heard other origins of the phrase. When I leared about it, I was told it was from the 'Hell-fire' speeches the ministers gave. Could someone clear this up? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 26 September 2006.

According to historian David M Kennedy the "Burned-Over District" was indeed so called due to the preaching of hellfire and damantion. He gives no mention as to a lack of people willing to convert, but does say that Millerites were from this region.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 26 November 2006.

Historian John Wigger at the University of Missouri Columbia attributes the phrase to Charles Finney because Finney stated that , "So many revival fires swept across the district, it was burnt over." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12 December 2006.

Sounds like a very good lead; can you indicate where he said that, so that we have a citation? - Jmabel | Talk 22:25, 16 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The quote comes from Finney's Autobiography of Charles G. Finney page 78. The relevent paragraph is as follows (my bolded emphasis). Hope this helps: "I have spoken of cases of intensified opposition to this revival. One circumstance, I found, had prepared the people for this opposition, and had greatly embittered it. I found that region of country what, in the western phrase, would be called, a 'burnt district.' There had been, a few years previously, a wild excitement passing through that region, which they called a revival of religion, but which turned out to be spurious. I can give no account of it except what I heard from Christian people and others. It was reported as having been a very extravagant excitement; and resulted in a reaction so extensive and profound, as to leave the impression on many minds that religion was a mere delusion. A great many men seemed to be settled in that conviction. Taking what they had seen as a specimen of a revival of religion, they felt justified in opposing anything looking toward the promoting of a revival." --JCrocombe (talk) 13:55, 15 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

End of the world[edit]

This article says William Miller predicted the end of the world for August 19, 1844. Millerites gives a different date. I believe there were several dates along the way. In any case, this should be sorted out. - Jmabel | Talk 00:37, 12 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Millerites gives the date of the expected return of Jesus, not the Apocolypse, these are two different events in the paradigm of Christian eschatology. -- Zosodada

There actually were several dates. First between 21 March 1843 and 21 March 1844 and then, when that failed, October 22, 1844. 16:58, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dead link[edit]

I cut The Burned-Over District from the external links, because it appears dead. No idea whether it is worth tracking down whether it may be out there somewhere: the description was not exactly informative, all it amounts to is a claim that it is on-topic. - Jmabel | Talk 09:08, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The link to the .pdf file in the external links "Michael Hendricks, Consequences of Religious Excitement in the Burned-over District, March 24, 2004 apparently a self-published, but sourced, paper." has been removed as it seems to no longer exist. --JCrocombe (talk) 15:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Western New York"? Although Whitney Cross may have focussed in this sector, the Oneida Community, mentioned, was at Oneida, NY, which is east of Syracuse--certainly in central, not western, New York. If the Burned-over district is to be related to abolition and other reform movements of the period (which it should be), the movements occurred prominently in central New York as well. Syracuse was said to be "the great central depot on the Underground Railroad." Seneca Falls and Skaneateles likewise are in central rather than western New York.

Yeah, I'll change that if no one else has. As a Long Islander born & bred, it didn't catch my eye (to me, Westchester is upstate). - Jmabel | Talk 20:26, 4 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Am looking into strong revivalism and "benevolence" activities in New York connected with Finney revivals at Utica and throughout the Cent. NY Erie Canal area to the Canadian border. The geographic positing of this in the west is distracting since it leaves out the people I am studying, but in the 1820s this place definitely burned with the spirit of live-your-religion-with-every-breath dedication.

Also, it should be noted that there was a strong link to Am. Indian missions and to education. The Sunday School, the Am Education Society, the Am. Board of Comm. for Foreign Missions local auxiliaries (and other denominational mission auxiliaries), and the maternal associations were all in full action mode. There was a large publishing industry here and it produced materials for evangelical religion, including foreign language religious pieces and church music material. Thomas Hastings and family were centered near Utica. I believe that the Stockbridge Indians and their missionaries fit into this story too, just haven't sorted it all out.

Gerritt Smith was at Peterboro and he appears to have forced a non-sectarian religious complexion onto his soiree of intellectual friends and community, but his influence was important to the bigger story.

I think it's important for readers, esp. for people new to this topic, to emphasize that the mainstream religious denominational activities of the area were overwhelmingly stronger than the "fringe" or less typical religious activities. The Presbyterians and Congregationals and Baptists and Methodists were there in large numbers and it was their activities that were the main financial support for the burning desire to participate actively in religion. Small towns sprang up throughout New York and there was outreach to give them pastors or at least occasional preaching. Money flowed from New England to provide this until a community could stand on its own financial feet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 18 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 18 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Mormonism (whose main branch is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Joseph Smith, Jr. lived in the area and was led by the angel Moroni to golden plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon near Palmyra, New York."

Why not say "allegedly"? It is appropriate here. How about: "claimed to have been led by..."

That he lived in the area is a well-established fact. That he was led by an angel is a matter of faith, not of fact, I think. Wanderer57 23:51, 10 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your wording is exactly correct and to leave it as it was would not be NPOV. I've updated the wording to reflect a neutral position. There is no question that the Latter-day Saint Movement was started by Joseph Smith and that he lived in the aforementioned region. His claims, however, are outside the purview of this article and therefore should not be addressed. Said claims are thoroughly covered in other sections relating to the faith in question. 16:51, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I wonder if a map, particularily one reflecting the era in question, would be of some value. 16:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indeed, provided, albeit after some time! AndrewRT(Talk) 01:46, 16 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was surprised to see the map. Living in Rochester, I was under the impression that the Burned-Over District was more of a strip following the Erie Canal from Albany west and was influenced by movements originating in Massachusetts. Also had the impression that the "Southern Tier" of counties had a distinctly different history (except maybe for Chautauqua). I will try to figure out where I got these impressions and let you know. Madinpursuit (talk) 11:57, 8 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Madison and Oneida counties included... next?[edit]

I have added Madison and Oneida counties to both the list of counties under the heading "Location" and to the map used in the article, as both counties are described as being part of the burned-over district in one of the books about the region cited in the article; the communities of Rome and Utica, both in Oneida County, are mentioned on p. 35, and Madison County is mentioned by name. I suspect that other counties between the Madison-Oneida "island" and the main body of included counties should also be included, but don't have a source handy that substantiates that, so I've left Madison and Oneida included but isolated. —GrammarFascist contribstalk 20:58, 9 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

contradiction in language ?[edit]

this statement "The District can be broadly described as the area in New York State between the Finger Lakes and Lake Erie" seems to contradict the map at the start of the article — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:43, 14 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]