College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Arts in History - Thesis (MA)


Samuel Smith


Evangelical, Anglican, Colonial, Virginia, Revival, Patriotism




In eighteenth-century Virginia, the Anglican church held the monopoly on religion in the colonies despite the efforts of Revivalists. Yet, little research has been conducted on Evangelical Anglicans during this period. Some historians, such as Dr. Jacob Blosser, have begun to call attention to this gap in the scholarship. Still, no one has made a thorough investigation of Evangelical Anglican ministers in Virginia. Out of all the Anglican ministers in Virginia at this time, only three have been confidently identified as Evangelical. These three men, Devereux Jarratt, his friend Archibald McRoberts, and his student Charles Clay, stand apart from the majority of Anglican ministers because of their bold, Revivalist preaching styles, desire to spread Evangelicalism, and unique perspectives on liberty. Despite their distinctiveness, Jarratt, McRoberts, and Clay have been nearly forgotten to history. Allowing these men to fade into obscurity would be a loss to early American religious scholarship. Bringing these men back to the attention of scholars is relevant since their ministries support Thomas Kidd’s Long First Great Awakening theory, their acceptance helped Evangelical denominations take root in Virginia, and their thinking furthered religious and political freedom.

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