The Ideological and Intellectual Development of the Chautauqua Sunday School Assembly at Fair Point, New York, 1874-1876

Fulks, Robert William, Jr., Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Younger, Edward, Department of History, University of Virginia
Barton, Josef J., University of Virginia

The following pages contain an inquiry into the set of ideas and attitudes which were embodied in the Chautauqua Sunday School Assembly during the first three years of its existence. I cannot claim to have delineated all of the antecedents which in concert produced Chautauqua, for I know of no way to impose adequate boundaries around the ideas and events which preceded and influenced the Assembly's formation; given this infinity of antecedents, such a task would be futile, and the result would be methodological anarchy. I have, rather, delimited several strands of thought which, by virtue of their frequent appearance in literature generated by Chautauqua, I have identified as the primary factors leading to the Assembly's success. I have also examined the careers of John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller, Chautauqua's co-founders, in order to explicate their role in providing a creedal foundation for the Assembly. The result is, hopefully, a better understanding of the elements which attracted Americans to the shores of Lake Chautauqua and a glimpse, however brief, into the amorphous world of popular culture.

MA (Master of Arts)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

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