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Secularism in Antebellum America$
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John Lardas Modern

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226533230

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226533254.001.0001

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The Touch of Secularism

The Touch of Secularism

Chapter:
(p.239) Chapter 4 The Touch of Secularism
Source:
Secularism in Antebellum America
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226533254.003.0005

This chapter examines the role of true religion in organizing the population of the women's wing of Sing Sing State Penitentiary in New York. It analyzes the works and views of Eliza Farnham and John Edmonds, who both embraced séance spiritualism in the 1850s. This chapter describes the criminal reform instituted by Farnham and Edmonds in the mid-1840s which replaced an evangelical program of instruction with a phrenological one and extended the metaphysics of secularism in a new key.

Keywords:   true religion, women prisoners, Sing Sing State Penitentiary, New York, Eliza Farnham, John Edmonds, séance spiritualism, securalism

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