William P. Chappel American

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During the Second Great Awakening (ca. 1790–1830), New York City became a center for Methodist and Baptist revivalist preachers who inspired their flourishing working-class congregations. Baptisms of adults and older children by total immersion in water—embraced by some Methodists but a particular hallmark of the Baptist faith—drew large audiences for Sunday morning ceremonies. Such immersions were performed on the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers. Here, Chappel represents the beach at Corlear’s Hook, a popular spot for baptizing as well as bathing, due to the fine sandy bottom and shelving shore.

Baptism, William P. Chappel (American, 1801–1878), Oil on slate paper, American

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