Subject: INCIDENTS #29
Date: October 30, 1998



The Reverend John Elmore DuBois

Edited by Elizabeth A. DuBois
(c) 1998  DuBois Publishing Co, Simsbury, Connecticut. All rights

Camp Meetings

	Before closing my papers on Perry county incidents, it may not be amiss
to say a few words about camp meetings, for perhaps nothing has done
more to advance the cause of Methodism, to increase its members, to
develop its strength and to distinguish its piety than these.  Thousands
have been attracted to them by their novelty, that perhaps might never
have been brought under the influence of the Gospel in any other way. 
Some went through curiosity; others to criticise; while many of every
class were taken into the fold, and went away faithful Christians.  

	The time for the camp meeting was usually in the early part of the
fall; an idle season, just after the crops were "laid by" and before the
cotton had opened to any considerable extent.

	The spot was selected by a committee.  The preacher would announce that
on a certain day everybody that had an interest in the coming meeting
must assemble at this spot for the purpose of clearing off the grounds,
building the arbor and fixing the spring.  On the appointed day, in the
early dawn, the father of every family in the community that was to take
part in the meeting, would shout, "All aboard for the camp ground!" And
immediately the noisy boys and cheerful Negroes, with axes and ringing
hoe, responded; and soon the mule team or the ox wagon with its merry
group, was rattling along at rapid rate for the scene of action.

	After all have assembled a foreman is appointed, and the work begins. 
A short time reveals a beautiful spot, with a spacious brush arbor in
the center, while under the hill are deep tanks of sparkling water as
clear as crystal.  This done, the time had arrived for tent building. 
These were arranged in a circle, square or semi-circle around the arbor.

	The building of the tent then was no great labor.  Corner posts were
set up and bagging tacked around.  The cover was boards, pine bark or
brush, as best suited the convenience of the proprietor.  The arbor was
furnished with a rude stand for a pulpit.  The seats were split logs set
on blocks of wood with holes bored in them for the candle to rest in. 
The whole encampment was brilliantly lighted by rude stands covered with
sod on which glowed heaps of pine knots.  These rude contrivances far
outshone the flashing jets and gilded chandeliers of these more polite

[To be continued.]

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