Date of Award
Easily affected because of their limited schooling and ultraist religious convictions, the inhabitants of the Burned-over District adopted the abolition crusade in the 1830's with much enthusiasm. Western New Yorkers's emphasis upon emotionalism aided the antislavery leaders. By dynamic preaching that slavery was a great evil, the abolitionists appealed to these people and converted many to the cause. The challenge of the movement especially interested these country folk.5 They could involve themselves in the cause because slavery did not touch the lives of the their neighbors or their family as for example temperance and perfectionism did.6 Slavery seemed a greater and more serious sin than did the other moral reforms.7 This section unlike New England had no economic connections with the South. The Burned-over District had nothing to lose, therefore, in taking up the campaign against the South's peculiar institution. All of these different elements worked together to make the Burned-over District's effort in the cause the greatest single contribution of that emotional area to American history.8
Henderson, Eugenia, "The antislavery crusade in the burned-over district during the 1830's and 1840's" (1966). Honors Theses. 1039.