Searching for Truth in the Fast Day Sermons of 1812

Amelia Benner


Instead of focusing on the murky political origin of the war, I have chosen to emphasize ministers’ opinions about it; thus, I am writing about the effect rather than the cause. I recognize, then, that my argument was on shaky ground from the start. I have consulted a number of authors, each of whom presents a different thesis about the war, and they inevitably differed. By accepting the above oversimplified explanation, I have knowingly side-stepped numerous complications. I have also depended on the works of William Gribbin, who seems to be one of the only historians to focus on religious response to the war of 1812. If his work is at all biased, then mine will unintentionally propagate those same biases.