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Everyday ReligionAn Archaeology of Protestant Belief and Practice in the Nineteenth Century$
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Kruczek-Aaron Hadley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061085

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061085.001.0001

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Perfecting the Home Front

Perfecting the Home Front

(p.78) 5 Perfecting the Home Front
Everyday Religion

Hadley Kruczek-Aaron

University Press of Florida

This chapter considers lived religion and reform at the household level by examining what various sources reveal about how the Gerrit Smith and his family engaged their beliefs in the context of their own rural New York home. It describes the texts authored by a number of Smith's contemporaries who noted the pious consumption habits of the wealthy Smith family, thereby suggesting a level of consistency between belief and behavior at their estate. In contrast, private correspondence suggested struggles between various family members over facets of Smith's belief system, including the effort to live simply and observe temperance, and the archaeological evidence recovered at the estate reveals the end product of these negotiations. The artifacts found, as well as other sources speaking to the family's material worlds (such as photographs, maps, deeds, and gravestones), are described in order to illuminate when and how this struggle manifested.

Keywords:   lived religion, Gerrit Smith, archaeological evidence, temperance

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