Methodism and Millerism: White’s Early Religious Influences

Methodism and Millerism: White’s Early Religious Influences

Ellen White was born Ellen Gould Harmon on November 26, 1827, in a village near Portland, Maine, where her family moved when she was a few years old. White was the youngest of eight children—six daughters and two sons. Her father, Robert Harmon, was a hatter and occasional farmer by occupation, but also a lay preacher. In her autobiographical writings, White describes him as “one of the pillars of the Methodist Church” in their church, Portland’s Chestnut Street Methodist Episcopal Church. White’s “devoted mother,” Eunice Harman, shared his strong theological convictions.[1] Their religious beliefs and her upbringing in the Methodist Church were certainly major influences on White’s theology and manner of religious worship and experience.

However, Ellen White recounts two key formative experiences as a child in her autobiographical writings that have little to do with her social or familial background. They do, however, connect to the two major themes that emerged in her prophecies: millennialism and health reform. First, she recalls being “seized with terror” after stumbling upon a scrap of paper about an English preacher who was predicting the end of the world.[2] While such a reaction might seem unfounded and over-enthusiastic by today’s standards, in which doomsday has become a popular feature of entertainment, White emerged in an environment of pervasive millennialism that was taken more seriously. As millennial scholar Ernest R. Sandeen famously noted, “America in the early nineteenth century was drunk on the millennium.”[3] Soon after this incident, when White was about 10 years old, she was severely injured when a classmate threw a rock at her head on the way to school. The injury left her unable to continue her schooling and physically frail for the rest of her life, which directed her to her eventual dedication to health reform work.[4]

Though millennialism (and more broadly, apocalypticism) may have been particularly present in the nineteenth century, it has a long history in American culture, dating back to before the period of discovery and settlement and continuing through the nineteenth century, and still today. Many new religious movements in seventeenth and eighteenth century America were centered around millennial belief.[5] Two groups that illustrate this warrant specific mention: the Shakers and The Society of United Friends. Both groups were founded by female religious figures who make useful points of comparison to Ellen White, and White is often mentioned in the context of these predecessors.

Mother Ann Lee is considered the founder of the Shakers, officially organized under the name “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming.” The group’s religious doctrine was based in her teachings; principally, they were committed to practicing celibacy in order to usher in the millennium. Mother Ann Lee, who was responsible for transplanting the religion from England to America in 1774, was elevated to the role of divine messenger and posthumously considered by some to have been a reincarnation of Christ.[6] Around the same time, in 1776, Jemima Wilkinson began to preach in Rhode Island and the New England region, and soon separated from her Quaker upbringing. Wilkinson, like Mother Ann Lee, advocated celibacy. By 1780, she had a distinct group of followers who called themselves “The Society of United Friends.” Wilkinson and her followers referred to her as the genderless “Universal Friend.” Scholars have argued that this “pronoun/ced gender deconstruction” (which manifested itself in dress and appearance as well) was enabled by the group’s belief in the imminent millennium.[7]  As with Mother Ann Lee, millennial culture and belief allowed Wilkinson to achieve a position of power and leadership.

Though White’s knowledge of and familiarity with either of these women is unknown, Mother Ann Lee and Wilkinson provide historical examples of the way millennial culture provided opportunities for female leadership within religious life, an expanded space for women White came to occupy. More broadly, as historian Whitney Cross writes, these groups’ “early manifestations of enthusiasm may in some cases have been direct inspirations for ensuing developments. More certainly they provide a gauge to measure early steps of a more general phenomenon: the growing appetite of the region for exhibitions of zeal.”[8] Though such groups may have been small and short lived, and as such, existed on the fringes of society, millennial traditions in American culture helped to inform their religious conviction. Though they were considered fanatical for their belief in celibacy, in their belief in the imminent millennium they are hardly distinguishable from the larger community of millennialism in America.[9]

Historians and scholars have commonly used two categories to distinguish between millennial movements in the United States: pre-millennial and post-millennial. These terms describe the theology of the religious groups they are used to categorize: pre-millennialism is the belief that Christ’s return will precede the earthly millennium; in contrast, post-millennialism is the belief that the advent will follow the earthly millennium. As used by historians and scholars, the dichotomy between pre- and post-millennialism includes characteristics beyond the basic belief that birthed the terms. Pre-millennial versus post-millennial also signifies “pessimistic versus optimistic, declension versus progress, divine intervention versus human activity, and cataclysm versus gradualism.”[10] The Millerite movement has been used as the textbook pre-millennial movement, and the so-called Second Great Awakening, led by prominent preachers including Charles Finney, has been characterized as the textbook post-millennial movement, especially as the early nineteenth century is the time period in which scholars have drawn the greatest distinction between the two categories.[11]

The binary opposition created by the terms pre- and post-millennialism is helpful for understanding basic characteristics of and differences between millennial groups. The Millerite group can accurately be described as pessimistic, seeing a world in decline, and anticipating a cataclysmic divine intervention. As Sandeen explains, they “did not believe that they could do anything to hasten, much less to bring about, the second advent of Christ.” [12]  In contrast, post-millennialists, such as the Finneyites, saw “the upward-tending spirit of the age as the dawning of God’s millennial glory.”[13]

However, the terms pre- and post-millennial have been challenged by recent scholars for their limited usefulness. The terms fail to describe many fringe apocalyptic religions: neither Mother Ann Lee’s Shakers nor Jemimah Wilkinson’s Universal Friends could be exclusively categorized as pre- or post-millennial. More important, the categories also don’t aptly convey the nuances of the groups these terms have been used to categorize. Even for post-millennialists, or “optimistic millennialists” such as Finney and his followers, “affliction often accompanied and impeded progress.”[14] Millennial scholar Stephen J. Stein also points to reform activism of Millerite leaders, especially Himes, and White’s leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with a commitment to health reform as evidence for the limited usefulness of describing the Millerites as pre-millennial. Reform by its very nature optimistically anticipates a future, conflicting with the absolute pessimism associated with the term pre-millennialism.[15] Stein proposes new categories for describing variant forms of millennialism that are “descriptively rich but value-free.”[16] Though he suggests the categories of ‘religious apocalyticism’ and ‘secular apocalyticism,’ his assertion of the importance of reform among leaders of the Millerites and the Seventh-day Adventist Church that emerged from the Millerite movement support the suitability of the term benevolent millennialism in this specific case.

Caution against drawing too strong a distinction between their different brands of millennialism helps further an understanding of Ellen White. Her world was not shaped exclusively by Millerite millennialism, which has been the focus of much of the scholarship on her. It was also shaped by the influence of Finney and optimistic post-millennialism of the revivalism led by him and similar evangelical preachers—though the Millerite group certainly had a more demonstrable impact. Even White herself wrote “I could not give the glory to Methodism, when it was Christ and the hope of his soon coming that had made me free.”[17] Despite this, and the dichotomy in the historiography of Millerites and Finneyites, it is possible to see the way revivalism also influenced the historical and culture context of White’s life and work by providing a precedent of female religious leadership, and shaped a world in which White could foster for herself a position of religious leadership.

While Mother Ann Lee and Jemimah Wilkinson provide two prominent examples of American female religious leadership prior to White, there was a larger historical precedent for women to take prominent roles in religious life, including evangelizing and even preaching themselves. Female preachers who were neither middle-class Calvinists nor more fanatical, famous leaders such as Mother Ann Lee or Jemimah Wilkinson were at first neglected by historians. However, female preaching was widespread in the first few decades of the nineteenth century, fostered by the spirit of revivalism, still in full swing at the time of White’s birth.[18] Indeed, revivalism reached its peak during White’s childhood, as its height is often defined as Finney’s 1831 campaign in western New York.[19] There is disagreement as to whether or not Finney’s support for an active role for women in religious life—he is oft quoted as saying “the Church that silences the woman is shorn of half its power”—led to a new surge of female religious leadership or simply allowed this tradition to continue. [20] Regardless, there is ample evidence of women preachers in the northeastern United States in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

White’s profile very much matches the collective profile of these women. White was young when she began to exhort and then prophecy. She had a common school education, as universal education was customary at this time in New England, though White’s injury ended her schooling much earlier than it would have otherwise. Geography and class also played an important role in this profile. Much has been written about the “burned-over district:” the part of New York State west of the Adirondacks and Catskills. It was so called because this area was being newly settled by Americans and was home to habitual revivalism at the time, thus its name is an appropriate reference to “the prevailing western analogy between the fires of the forest and those of the spirit.”[21] The region was given this name by the title of the seminal text by Whitney Cross, and historians have followed The Burned-over District with studies on how specific cities and areas of the region fit into that history.[22] There are very few general histories of Portland, Maine, and none that examine the city within the specific context of nineteenth century revivalism. However, Portland was certainly similar to areas in the burned-over district in that it was a small-scale, recently settled, and fast-growing Protestant world. Originally a colonial town called Falmouth, it was burned to the ground during the Revolutionary War. It was rebuilt, and renamed Portland in 1786. Though the city did not grow as fast as other cities in the region—certainly not as fast as the cities of the burned-over district—it did experience a solid growth in population between 1790 and 1850. The rate of growth was particularly high in the decade White was born: the population grew almost 50% between 1820 and 1830 to 12,601, a rate higher than the average for the state and country. The population continued to grow, reaching 20,879 by 1850, an increase of 66% between 1830 and 1850, the time period in which the White family moved to and lived in Portland.[23]

The population growth, while partly fueled by an influx of foreign immigrants, especially from Ireland, was also largely due to the rise of a new merchant class.  This group was invested in the success of their “enterprising little metropolis,” and fueled Portland’s “antebellum renaissance” as one of America’s premier nineteenth century harbors.[24] They helped to build the town up into cosmopolitan city: by the 1830s the landscape of Portland included well-funded public buildings and a bustling downtown. White’s family, hard working and of modest means, was part of this emerging middle class, a group infused with “a millennial, Whiggish spirit.”[25] As one Portland historian recently wrote, “Portland with America marched forward toward the millennium.”[26] Both Falmouth and Gorham, the small town outside Portland where White was born, had been home to Shaker communities, giving the geographical locations where White was born and raised a history of millennialism (though there is no direct connection between these communities and the millennial spirit of Portland’s middle class). [27]

Beyond the fact that White matches the generalized profile for female religious leaders of the time, the direct effects of Finney and general female religious leadership on White are hard to measure. There is no evidence to suggest anything beyond the fact that they informed the larger cultural environment in which White developed. Examining the role of women in the Methodist Church, however, provides more specifically applicable evidence of the influence of female religious leadership on White.

Women made up the majority of membership in all Protestant denominations at the time. However, the early Methodist church was a sect apart from most other Protestant denominations as it did not only allow women to publically “witness,” “exhort” and “testify,” but actively encouraged it. [28] Indeed, there was a female exhorter in a Maine Methodist Episcopal church, Fanny Newell, who preceded White by a few decades.[29] Like all other Protestant groups, the Methodist church didn’t ordain female preachers and had a strictly male institutional hierarchy. However, exhorting (or witnessing or testifying) was different from preaching in that it was spontaneous and informal rather than authoritative, and “it did not require women to explicate biblical texts, but only to tell their own personal stories of repentance and salvation.”[30] This created considerable room for women to evangelize, and there were a significant number of unofficial Methodist female preachers in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, supported by some individual male church leaders, although not officially recognized in the Methodist Church.[31]

The Methodist Church was relatively new and unorganized in the early nineteenth century, though growing rapidly. White’s birth in 1827 preceded the official organization of the Methodist Church by a year, and her childhood coincided with the second half of the Church’s incredible growth. Between 1776 and 1850 the Methodists rose from less than 3 percent of all church members to more than 34 percent, “making them far and away the largest religious body in the nation and the most extensive national institution other than the Federal government.”[32] The first Methodist sermon in Marine was in 1783; the Portland circuit was established the following year. The Chestnut Street Episcopal Church, which White and her family attended, was established in 1804, moved to its location on Chestnut Street in 1811, and was finally incorporated in 1821.[33] The youth and initial lack of organization of the sect, along with its presence in small towns and new settlements (like Portland) led to a blurring of the line between informal witnessing and authoritative preaching.[34] This allowed women to speak in expanded spaces, with women (and laymen) often exhorting informally during formal services when they felt divinely inspired.[35] It was this expanded space that White sought to occupy.

White’s Methodist heritage played an important role in shaping her beliefs not only because it encouraged a prominent role for women but also because, initially, it allowed for the integration of adventist belief, and encouraged the enthusiastic style of worship White used in the early development of Seventh-day Adventism. The Chestnut Street Methodist Episcopal Church was part of the shout tradition, in which churchgoers express their religious ecstasy vocally and loudly. The shout tradition made White particularly receptive to adventism.[36] In her analysis of the visionary experience in American religion, Ann Taves argues convincingly that it was the Methodist shout tradition that gave White “an initial sense of the form that an experience of the divine presence might take.” The temple, the trumpet, and shouts of triumph are prominent images in the Methodist shout tradition, and appear frequently in White’s writing.[37] In White’s first short book published in 1851, A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White, for example, she uses the word temple eight times, trumpet two times, and shout nine times. A quote from White’s first vision demonstrates the terms’ usage: “Jesus raised his lovely voice and said, only the 144,000 shall enter this place, and we shouted Alleluia. The temple was supported by seven pillars, all of transparent gold, set with pearl most glorious . . . [emphasis added].”[38] White’s use of this language continued throughout her life. In her 1888 book, The Great Controversy, a longer examination of the events preceding and leading up to Christ’s Second Coming, she uses the word temple 82 times, trumpet 10 times and shout 28 times.[39] Thus “imagery prominent in the shout tradition . . . blended with the adventist imagery of an imminent end.”[40]

Though the Methodist church played an important role in influencing White’s enthusiastic worship, she derived her particular adventist beliefs from the Millerite movement. Butler particularly emphasizes the influence of Millerism, writing it “provided the seedbed of enthusiasm and ecstasy which [White] came to personify.”[41] Initially, the Methodist Church allowed room for her Millerite adventist beliefs, as well as a forum within which she could share her beliefs with the larger community. However, White’s emergence came as both the Methodist church and the Millerite movement began to shift in tone during the early 1840s. At first White was able to keep her allegiance to both groups, but as time passed and the two diverged, she was forced to leave the Methodist Church.

William Miller came through Portland for the first time in March 1840.[42] Miller was a deist who had re-converted to Baptism after a life-changing experience in the War of 1812. Based on his reading of Daniel 8:14: “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated,” Miller predicted the advent would occur sometime in 1843. Miller’s dispensational reading of the Book of Revelation and date setting was not new to millennialism in Christian history, let alone American millennialism. American millennialism was derivative of centuries of Christian apocalyptic belief in which those obsessed with the apocalyptic used history as evidence to confirm their interpretations of Biblical prophecy. Miller followed this centuries-old tradition by correlating historical events with the symbols and images described in the Book of Revelation.[43]

Circumstances combined to allow Miller’s particular brand of millennialism to reach a large, receptive audience that translated into a large and widespread following. Compelled to share his message, Miller began to preach throughout New York and New England in 1831. However, in 1839 when Joshua V. Himes, up until then a professional reformist, teamed up with Miller his message gained true notoriety. Himes took over organization and publicity, and also backed the movement financially.[44] It is estimated the Millerite movement had a following of anywhere from 10,000 to 1 million.[45]

Though it is difficult to pinpoint the exact numbers of Millerite believers, the movement’s leadership decided to construct a “great tent” in 1842 that could seat approximately 4,000. As Millerite historian David T. Arthur writes, “the tent was reportedly the largest of its kind ever seen in America—a most effective promotional device. People came out of curiosity and stayed to listen to the Millerite message.” [46]  White’s anecdotes of Miller’s visits to Portland indicate the excitement and interest they stirred among the population. She describes Miller’s first visit in 1840 as producing “a great sensation” and said the Church where Miller was staying and preaching was “crowded day and night.” She herself went to hear him speak and she later described Miller’s presentation: “[he] traced down the prophecies with an exactness that struck conviction to the hearts of his hearers. He dwelt upon the prophetic periods, and brought many proofs to strengthen his position.”  According to White, Miller left quite an impression on Portland, as “terror and conviction spread throughout the entire city. Prayer meetings were established, and there was a general awakening among the various denominations, for they all felt more or less the influence that proceeded from the teaching of the near coming of Christ.” White was personally persuaded by Miller’s preaching, and she later wrote “my soul had been stirred within me by what I had heard.”[47]

In the two years before Miller returned to Portland, attitudes toward the Millerite community underwent major shifts, which, in tandem with shifts in the Methodist Church, created a conflict that ensnared White. Around May of 1842, many Millerite groups transformed their apocalyptic predictions from the nonspecific “1843” to two possible dates of March 21, 1844 and April 3, 1844. This specific date setting, which Miller had initially strongly opposed, was encouraged by the growth and organization of the movement. Throughout 1843 and 1844, Millerites were ridiculed for what was perceived by most mainstream Christian denominations and individuals as fanaticism. The tales of fanatical behavior among Millerites that made Miller a “theological leper” have now been refuted—especially given the ubiquity of millennial belief already described.[48] Whatever fanaticism did exist among the Millerites, it was not unique to this group. Sandeen points out that all leaders of millenarian denominations were initially seized by enthusiasm and zeal that they later tempered–a statement that can be extended to White herself.[49] However, the widely reported and perceived fanaticism was enough to ruin the Millerites reputation with the institutionalized churches.

It was in part the perceived fanaticism of the Millerites that led to the Methodist Church’s rejection of the group. However, the Methodist Church’s membership was growing rapidly, becoming more educated and middle class. The membership of the Chestnut Street Methodist Episcopal Church itself was increasing in the 1820s and 1830s, growing with the growth of Portland. By 1865, Portland historian William Willis could write, “the society is large, prosperous, increasing and harmonious.”[50] Despite being part of the shout tradition initially, White’s church was part of a larger effort within the Methodist church to become more culturally accepted beginning in the 1830s and 1840s: a conscious decision to try to avoid the label of enthusiastic fanatics.[51] The Methodist Church specifically told ministers at various conferences in 1843 to abstain from advocating “the peculiarities of Millerism” and removed those who had done so, including Gerschom Cox, a prominent Methodist Millerite and former minister of White’s. Moreover, the church’s attitude toward the traditions upon which White was drawing shifted dramatically. The enthusiastic worship: shouting, dancing and clapping, that had characterized the Methodists was increasingly curtailed. Women preachers, who had been greater proponents and embracers of such practices, were marginalized and vilified to the point of exclusion.[52] This transformation of Methodism was nearing completion in the 1840s, the time White was coming of age in the Methodist church. As she tried to draw on the strong tradition of female evangelism in her church, White encountered the institutional resistance to practices that were becoming unacceptable.

White’s description of Miller’s June 1842 visit to Portland reflects the changes in reception to the Millerite message: “this second course created much more excitement in the city than the first. With few exceptions the different denominations closed the doors of their churches against Mr. Miller. Many discourses from the various pulpits sought to expose the alleged fanatical errors of the lecturer; but crowds of anxious listeners attended his meetings, while many were unable to enter the house.” But White did not let the Methodist Church’s disapproval prevent her from participating in Millerite prayer services. White and her family continued to both attend the Chestnut Street Church and Millerite prayer meetings. White’s anticipation of the coming advent is palpable in her writing about this period: “I believed the solemn words spoken by the servant of God, and my heart was pained when they were opposed or made the subject of jest. I frequently attended the meetings, and believed that Jesus was soon to come in the clouds of heaven; but my great anxiety was to be ready to meet Him.”[53]

It was immediately after Miller’s second visit, on June 26, 1842, that White was baptized in the Methodist Church. In doing so, White took control of her spiritual journey, and challenged the shifts occurring in the Methodist Church. She wanted to be both Methodist and Millerite, and saw no conflict between the two. The growing conflict between institutionalized churches and Millerism frustrated White, who “could not understand why ministers from the pulpit should so oppose the doctrine that Christ’s second coming was near.” She disrupted the Church’s shifting institutional orientation by asking for acceptance as a Millerite and obvious proponent of the older, established, enthusiastic means of worshipping, now considered fanatical and embarrassing. Despite White’s best efforts to uphold the synergy between her Methodist and Millerite religious influences, her Methodist Sunday school classmates and teachers continuously met her belief in Chris’s imminent advent with admonishment, annoyance and ridicule.[54] White and her family finally stopped attending church, and were ultimately expelled in 1843.[55]

The impetus of White’s baptism into the Methodist Church had been a dream in which the prominent images mentioned before appeared: “I seemed compelled to move forward, and was slowly making my way around the pillar in order to face the lamb, when a trumpet sounded, the temple shook, shouts of triumph arose from the assembled saints . . . [emphasis added].”[56] After relating the dream to a Millerite Methodist minister, she was encouraged to pray publically. As described before, this was not unusual in the Methodist church, as “not only ministers, but women, laymen, and even children believed they had a sacred responsibility to “witness” for Christ . . . Every person had a divine obligation to “testify” to his or her experience of salvation.”[57] Though White had never witnessed publically, she later wrote that she felt the pressure of this “sacred responsibility.” White related her dream experience to her fellow adventists at prayer meeting. This was a precursor to the visions and testimony she began to offer in the wake of the Great Disappointment. In fact, through this early public ministry—preaching both at churches and private meetings—White converted many of her community members to Millerism.[58]

The year 1844 was one of great hope and ultimately, great disappointment for the Millerites. When the original predicted dates for the advent (March 21 and April 3, 1844) passed without incidence, a small faction of the group usurped the leadership to reset the date for October 22, 1844, which Miller was ultimately persuaded to endorse. The strength of the Millerites’ belief in the October 22 prediction cannot be overstated; White called 1844 “the happiest year of [her] life.”[59] Describing the time between her first public testimony in 1843 and October 22, 1844, White wrote: “My joys, trials and disappointment were like those of my dear Advent friends around me.”[60] The passage of this date without any perceivable apocalyptic event was termed the Great Disappointment and led to the fracture of the Millerites, many of whom simply returned to their congregations.[61] With the Great Disappointment, the Millerite movement had come to an end.


[1] Ellen G. White, A Sketch of the Christian Experience and Views of Ellen G. White (Washington, DC: Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., 2010 [1851]), Kindle edition, “Experience and Views.”

[2] Numbers, “A Prophetess is Born.”

[3] Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism 1800 – 1930, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970), 42.

[4] Numbers, “A Prophetess is Born.”

[5] Stephen J. Stein, “American Millennial Visions: Towards Construction of a New Architectonic of American Apocalyticism,” in Imagining the End: Visions of Apocalypse from the Ancient Middle East to Modern America, ed. Abbas Amanat and Manus Bernhardsson (New York, NY: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2002), 187, 196.

[6] Lawrence Foster, Women, Family, and Utopia: Communal Experiments of the Shakers, the Oneida Community, and the Mormons (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1991), 17.

[7] Sharon Betcher, “The Second Descent of the Spirit of Life from God: The Assumption of Jemima Wilkinson” in Millennialism and Society: Gender and Apocalyptic Desire, ed. Brenda Brasher and Lee Quinby, (London: Equinox Publishing, 2006), 78,

[8] Whitney Cross, The Burned-over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800-1850 (New York: Cornell University Press, 1950), 30.

[9] Stein, 196.

[10] Stein, 201.

[11] Ibid., 200-1.

[12] Sandeen, xvi-xvii.

[13] Nancy A. Hardesty, Women Called to Witness: Evangelical Feminism in the Nineteenth Century (The University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, 1999), 13.

[14] Stein, 198-202.

[15] Ibid., 201.

[16] Stein, 211.

[17] White, A Sketch, “Experience and Views.”

[18] Catherine A. Brekus, “Female Evangelism in the Early Methodist Movement, 1784-1845,” in Methodism and the Shaping of American Culture, ed. Nathan O. Hatch and John H. Wigger, (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2001), 153.

[19] Cross, 156.

[20] Quoted in Hardesty, 10.

[21] Cross, 3.

[22] See Whitney Cross, The Burned-over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800-1850; Paul E. Johnson, A Shopkeeper’s Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York 1815-1837; and Mary Ryan, Cradle of the Middle Class: The Family in Oneida County, New York, 1780-1865.

[23] John F. Bauman, Gateway to Vacationland: The Making of Portland, Maine (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012), 3-21. William Willis, The History of Portland (Somersworth, NH: New Hampshire Publishing Company, 1972 [1865]), 768-9.

[24] Bauman, 15, 23.

[25] Numbers, “A Prophetess is Born.” Bauman, 15, 22, 28.

[26] Bauman, 23.

[27] William Goold, Portland in the Past, With Historical Notes of Old Falmouth (Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2005 [1886]), 329.

[28] Brekus, 138, 148.

[29] Louis Billington, “’Female Laborers in the Church’: Women Preachers in the Northeastern United States, 1790-1840,” Journal of American Studies 19 (1985): 376,

[30] Brekus, 136.

[31] Ibid., 155.

[32] Nathan O. Hatch, “The Puzzle of American Methodism,” Church History 63 (1994): 178,

[33] Willis, 681-2.

[34] Billington, 375.

[35] Brekus, 144.

[36] Butler, “Prophecy, Gender and Culture,” 5.

[37] Ann Taves, “Clairvoyants and Visionaries,” in Fits, Trances and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), 155.

[38] White. A Sketch, “To the Remnant scattered Abroad.”

[39] White, The Great Controversy (Washington, DC: Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., 2011 [1888]), Kindle edition.

[40] Taves, 155.

[41] Butler, “Prophecy, Gender and Culture,” 4.

[42] Butler, “Prophecy, Gender and Culture,” 7.

[43] Stein, 188, 194.

[44] Numbers, “A Prophetess is Born.”

[45] David L. Rowe, God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008), 160.

[46] David T. Arthur, “Joshua V. Himes and the Cause of Adventism,” in The Disappointed: Millerism and Millenarianism in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Ronald L. Numbers and Jonathan M. Butler, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987), 46.

[47] White, Testimonies for the Church: Volume I (Washington, DC: Ellen G. White Estate, Inc., 2010 [1885]), Kindle edition, “My Conversion.”

[48] Butler, “From Millerism to Seventh-day Adventism,” 42, 55-7.

[49] Sandeen, 49.

[50] Willis, 682-4.

[51] Brekus, 167.

[52] Brekus, 167-8.

[53] White, Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, “Feelings of Despair.”

[54] White, Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, “Feelings of Despair.”

[55] Numbers, “A Prophetess is Born.”

[56] White, Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, “Feelings of Despair.”

[57] Brekus, 142.

[58] Numbers, “A Prophetess is Born.”

[59] White, Testimonies for the Church Volume 1, “Advent Experience.”

[60] White, A Sketch, “Experience and Views.”

[61] Butler, “From Millerism to Seventh-Day Adventism,” 55-6.