Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Lorenzo Dow

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From volume VII of the work.
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DOW, Lorenzo (17771834), an American preacher, noted for his eccentricities of dress and manner, was born at Coventry, Connecticut, U.S., October 16, 1777. He received but a limited education, and was much troubled in his youth by religious perplexities; but he ultimately joined the Methodists, and was appointed a preacher (1799). The same year, however, his official connection with that body ceased, and he came over to preach to the Catholics of Ireland. He attracted great crowds to hear and see him, and was often persecuted as well as admired. He also visited England, introduced the system of camp meetings, and thus led the way to the formation of the Primitive Methodist Society. These visits were repeated in 1805. Dow's enthusiasm sustained him through the incessant labours of more than thirty years, during which he preached in almost all parts of the United States. His later efforts were chiefly directed against the Jesuits. His Polemical Works were published in 1814. Among his other writings are The Stranger in Charleston, or the Trial and Confession of Lorenzo Dow (1822), A Short Account of a Long Travel (1823), and the History of a Cosmopolite. He died February 2, 1834.