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The Furnace of AfflictionPrisons and Religion in Antebellum America$
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Jennifer Graber

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834572

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877838_graber

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The Furnace at Auburn, 1816–1827

The Furnace at Auburn, 1816–1827

Chapter:
(p.73) 3 The Furnace at Auburn, 1816–1827
Source:
The Furnace of Affliction
Author(s):

Jennifer Graber

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877838_graber.7

This chapter is about a young minister who sat in on a conversation between Auburn Prison's resident chaplain, the Reverend Jared Curtis, and an African American inmate, Jack Hodges. Hodges was serving a ten-year sentence for his role in a murder plot. According to the visitor's account, Hodges considered himself a sinner and an unbeliever upon his arrival at Auburn. After many visits from Chaplain Curtis and a long period of spiritual suffering, however, he experienced conversion. The visitor listened to Hodges recount his movement from repentance toward belief and moral living. “In the providence of God, you have a long sentence,” Curtis observed. “Can you say, Thy will be done?” Hodges answered, “That is my prayer.” Moved by this exchange, the visiting minister asked Hodges again to reflect on his prison experience. “Yes sir,” Hodges began, “I feel grateful that I was brought here.”

Keywords:   young minister, Auburn Prison, resident chaplain, Reverend Jared Curtis, African American inmate, Jack Hodges

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