Moral Geography: Maps, Missionaries, and the American Frontier

Paperback | March 17, 2003

byAmy DeRogatis

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Moral Geography traces the development of a moral basis for American expansionism, as Protestant missionaries, using biblical language and metaphors, imaginatively conjoined the cultivation of souls with the cultivation of land and made space sacred. While the political implications of the mapping of American expansion have been much studied, this is the first major study of the close and complex relationship between mapping and missionizing on the American frontier. Moral Geography provides a fresh approach to understanding nineteenth-century Protestant home missions in Ohio's Western Reserve. Through the use of maps, letters, religious tracts, travel narratives, and geographical texts, Amy DeRogatis recovers the struggles of settlers, land surveyors, missionaries, and geographers as they sought to reconcile their hopes and expectations for a Promised Land with the realities of life on the early American frontier.

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Moral Geography traces the development of a moral basis for American expansionism, as Protestant missionaries, using biblical language and metaphors, imaginatively conjoined the cultivation of souls with the cultivation of land and made space sacred. While the political implications of the mapping of American expansion have been much ...

Amy DeRogatis is assistant professor of religious studies at Michigan State University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.75 × 1 × 0.68 inPublished:March 17, 2003Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231127898

ISBN - 13:9780231127899

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Benevolent Design: Mapping the Landscape2. Models of Piety: Protestant Missionaries on the Frontier3. The Moral Garden of the Western World: Bodies, Towns, and Families4. Geography Made Easy: Geographies and Travel Literature5. A Beacon in the Wilderness: Moral Inscriptions on the LandscapeConclusion: Moral Geography

Editorial Reviews

Innovative new study of the religious settlement of Connecticut's "Western Reserve."... A model of interdisciplinary scholarship, and her new study will enjoy wide readership.