Understanding Cane Ridge: Some Suggestions for First Reads

In keeping with the spirit of this occasional series, I present here a few first-reads for inquiry concerning the revival at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1801.  This list is in no particular order.  I hope it is helpful; feel free to post additional suggestions in the comments.

1. Anthony L. Dunnavant, Ed. Cane Ridge in Context: Perspectives on Barton W. Stone and the Revival. Nashville: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1992.

2. Paul K. Conkin, Cane Ridge, America’s Pentecost. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.

3. John B. Boles, The Great Revival, Beginnings of the Bible Belt. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1996.   This is a paperback reissue; originally published as The Great Revival, 1787-1805: The Origins of the Southern Evangelical Mind in 1972 by the same press.

4-6. Discipliana 65:3 (Fall 2005) contains papers presented at the Kirkpatrick Seminar at Shaker Village, KY, June 2005.  It was the scholarly journal published by Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, TN, and contains these papers: Rick Nutt, “Controversy in Christ: The Background and Context of Western Frontier Presbyterian Revivalism and the Movements Which Grew Out of It”; Stephen J. Stein, “Taking up the Full Cross: The Shaker Challenge to the Western Christians”; and Thomas H. Olbricht, “Rallied Under the Standard of Heaven.”

7. Lon D. Oliver, A Guide to the Cane Ridge Revival. Lexington Theological Seminary Occasional Studies. Lexington: Lexington Theological Seminary Library 1988.  Oliver did yeoman’s work in producing here an annotated bibliography of 194 entries plus fine excerpts from selected primary sources. Paperback, 54pp.

8. D. Newell Williams, Barton Stone, A Spiritual Biography. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.  There are earlier biographies (Ware, West…get them if you can), but this is easily accessible and includes information others lack.

9. Bernard A. Weisberger, They Gathered At the River: The Story of the Great Revivalists and Their Impact Upon Religion in America. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1958.

10. Charles A. Johnson, The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion’s Harvest Time. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1955.

11-12. Franklin Reid McGuire, “Cane Ridge Meetinghouse” and D. Newell Williams, “Cane Ridge Revival” in The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.

13. Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scottish Communions and American Revivals in the Early Modern Period. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

14. Richard C. Goode, “Floating at Random Between Liberty and Obedience? Backgrounds to the Second Great Awakening’s Emotional Exercises” Discipliana 62:3 (Fall 2002).

15. Leigh Eric Schmidt, “‘A Practical Remembrance’: Cane Ridge in Historical Memory” Discipliana 61:2 (Summer 2001).

16. D. Newell Williams, “Barton Stone in 1804: From Port Tobacco to Cane Ridge” Stone-Campbell Journal 7:2 (Fall 2004).


17. Richard McNemar, The Kentucky Revival is available on Kindle; see http://www.amazon.com/The-Kentucky-Revival-ebook/dp/B0059CJGSQ and on Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=Vx7f0s4zLXcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false and archive.org: http://archive.org/details/kentuckyrevivalo00mcne

18. Catharine C. Cleveland, The Great Revival in the West, 1797-1805. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1916. Also available on google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=Q4VoMqJ3_dMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mcnemar,+kentucky+revival&source=bl&ots=am7zQ6y3Nh&sig=t2dZbUaThdLqua9TIvVj397F3Ms&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LBsUUN3AN4TO9QTL9YGgBg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=mcnemar%2C%20kentucky%20revival&f=false

19. C. Leonard Allen, Distant Voice:s Discovering a Forgotten Past for a Changing Church. Abilene: ACU Press, 1993 has a chapter on Communoin Festivals in Kentucky by which he frames Cane Ridge.



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