e.g. Abolition, Prudence Crandall, the Amistad, Nat Turner, Indian Removal, Female Complaints: First Congregational Church, Lyme, Connecticut, ca. 1816
Even the pulpit Bible was consumed
in the fire that turned the meeting-house to ash.
An architect planned the new meeting-house,
a steeple equipped with a lightning-rod,
a belfry, and a golden weathervane;
Ionic columns supporting the architraves
framing the entrance; and an oval arch
in the ceiling to lift the eye and heart.
Having survived Jefferson’s embargo
with shipbuilding and shipping fortunes intact,
the community wanted to build a meeting-house
as elegant as any in the state.
They painted its clapboards yellow, with white trim,
and installed a high, mahogany pulpit.
The new gallery held pews for the choir.
They removed the stocks and the whipping-post.
They flocked to the reverend’s Bible study class.
The ladies formed a reading society
whose meetings began with a Bible verse,
segued into a chat about uplifting books,
avoided discussions of uncomfortable things,
and collected an offering for missionary work.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.