This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Benjamin Morgan Palmer: Southern Presbyterian Divine




Duncan, Christopher

Type of Degree





The purpose of this dissertation is to provide an updated life-and-times biography of a major religious and political figure in nineteenth-century American history, Benjamin Morgan Palmer (1818-1902). Palmer rubbed elbows and held sway with a virtual --Y΄Who’s-Who--Y‘ of American religious, political, and cultural life, both North and South. He was the most influential religious figure in the largest, most cosmopolitan southern city before, during, and after the Civil War. The only published biography of Palmer, however, was produced in 1906. A figure of such stature is due for an updated treatment, especially in light of several new primary source documents that were not available to Palmer’s original biographer. Much of the evidence challenges and enhances current commonly held understandings of religious, familial, and political historiography.