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The Last PuritansMainline Protestants and the Power of the Past$
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Margaret Bendroth

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624006

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624006.001.0001

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Scribes and Scholars

Scribes and Scholars

The Careers of Henry Martyn Dexter and Williston Walker

(p.87) Chapter Five Scribes and Scholars
The Last Puritans

Margaret Bendroth

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter deals with the writing of Congregational history and the passage from one set of narrators to another, from the world of denominational scribes to professionally trained historians seeking a more objective rendering of the past, as told through the lives of Henry Martyn Dexter and Williston Walker, who was by the turn of the century the leading scholar of Puritan and Congregational history. The passage from Dexter's influence to Walker's ascendency was decisive and, for Dexter, personally painful. By the end of his career, Congregationalism's most eminent historian would see the popular tide turning decisively against the historical certainties he had worked so hard to establish.

Keywords:   Congregational history, Henry Martyn Dexter, Williston Walker, Puritan history, objective history

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