This chapter looks at why some individuals followed Jemima Wilkinson based on the opinion of one of her disciples, Abner Brownell. Brownell decided to follow the Public Universal Friend after seeing in her the possible path toward redemption, saying that the prophet's “doctrine and Practice of Performance in Religion, seem'd to have so much Resemblance of Holiness and the Truth.” He described her as “singular and extraordinary, appearing in a different Habit from what is common amongst Women” and with “a very agreeable Aspect in her Countenance.” The chapter argues that the decision to follow Wilkinson shows that the late eighteenth century was a time of intense spiritual fervor as well as religious experimentation for many Americans.
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