Brown Bag Jeremy Belknap, Missionary: Religion, History, and the Founding of the MHS 28 October 2015.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Abram Van Engen, Washington University in St. Louis

This project explores the religious beliefs of Jeremy Belknap, the founder of the MHS. His faith inspired a theology of usefulness that aimed to civilize the country and enlarge God’s kingdom, turning initial missionary longings into eventual historical societies. This work forms a chapter in Van Engen's second book project: a history of John Winthrop’s 1630 “city on a hill” sermon, which was first recovered by the New-York Historical Society and printed by the MHS in 1838. In this chapter, Van Engen asks why these societies existed in the first place, and suggests it has a good deal to do with Native Americans, New Hampshire woodsmen, and religious belief.