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The End of the World was almost Today in 1843 and 1844: the Failed Prophesies of the Millerites

The Burlington Free Press republished an article  on William Miller from the Bennington Banner on February 17, 1843, introducing it with a heavy dose of skepticism:
“It is the latest news from this monomaniac and his whereabouts…This gentleman arrived in this village [Bennington], and commenced a course of lectures on his favorite and celebrated theme–the Destruction of the World by Fire in A.D. 1843…during his first lecture he gave substantially the following description of the MANNER of the Second Advent: ‘A small bright spot will first appear in the east, which will gradually expand as it approaches the earth…At the sound of a trumpet (or some other signal) the bright spot having gradually illuminated the whole heavens, the righteous dead shall rise from their resting places–and the risen and living saints shall together be caught up…the wicked burned up.'”
“The Parson is a large, thick-set personage, something over 60, and stands on his leathers about five feet ten. He has a large head, and a large square full face, with small blue eyes, a small nose, light complexion, and light hair. He is earnest and vehement in his delivery…” -Burlington Free Press, February 17, 1843, page 1.

Vermont transplant, Rev. William Miller (1782-1849), was a notable Baptist preacher during the Second Great Awakening in the first half of the 19th century. Born in Pittsfield, Mass., he moved with his family shortly thereafter at the age of four to Poultney, Vt. In the 1830s he rose in prominence for his views on the impeding Second Advent of Christ (a day in Christian teachings when Christ will return again and take believers up to heaven, leaving all else on earth to burn) nationwide after partnering with Joshua V. Himes, a well-known Boston Baptist minister. Pamphlets, periodicals, speeches, and newspapers largely assisted in the spread of his radical views. Continue reading The End of the World was almost Today in 1843 and 1844: the Failed Prophesies of the Millerites