Event—Scholarly Seminars

Joseph Slaughter, Wesleyan University


The Polarizing Pioneer Line: Christian Reform Capitalism in the Early Republic, Joseph Slaughter

The expanding market economy of the early nineteenth century connected more Americans than ever before. While many celebrated this development, some evangelicals mourned how the market was turning increasingly “evil.” To regulate “immoral” market activity, evangelicals formed Christian businesses such as the Pioneer Stage Coach Line (Rochester, New York). Instantly polarizing, the Pioneer was the vanguard of the Sabbatarian movement of the 1820s and 30s. Most significantly, Christian enterprises such as the Pioneer demonstrate how Christian businesses were vital engines of early nineteenth century moral reform movements.

Respondent: Kyle Roberts, American Philosophical Society