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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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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Touch of Secularism

The Touch of Secularism

(p.239) Chapter 4 The Touch of Secularism
Secularism in Antebellum America
University of Chicago Press

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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