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January 2004


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Bob Arnold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
A LISTSERV list for discussions pertaining to New York State history." <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 14 Jan 2004 09:31:04 -0500
text/plain (58 lines)
The Burned-Over District question is easily answered as to what and
where it was, sort of. The question of its eventual influence on
Chicago's movers and shakes is tougher and I leave it to others who know
it way better than me. I write just to suggest reading Erik Larson's The
Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that
Changed America. It's not academic but it does offer additional
background on Chicago and its 1893 Fair.

>>> [log in to unmask] 01/13/04 03:16PM >>>
>2004 Greetings,
>Just got the following query (I'm deleting the '&nbsp's ) from a
friend on
>Cape Cod. Think I answered the first part adequately. As to the
>part, anyone care to speculate on the women and men's shared
experience as
>a basis for their actions? I'll pass along any responses to my
>David Minor
>"I have just finished a (nonfiction) book by James Gilbert entitled
>Cities: Chicago's Utopias of 1893. In its pages I ran across several
>references to the origins of many of Chicago's 1893 elite as deriving
>"the Burned-Over District" of upstate New York, including Oneida
>Rochester, etc. Apparently this common geographical background
engendered a
>cohesion that led to the massive cooperative effort which made
possible the
>Chicago World's Fair. As Gilbert puts it: "Besides the uprooting
>of moving from upstate New York and Massachusetts to Chicago, this
>generation of embers from the Burned-Over District shared a similar
rise to
>leadership In Chicago's business, social and cultural worlds. By 1893
>had moved to the forefront of Chicago's new and raw elite: a second
>generation of institution builders and city boosters but a first
>of enormous fortunes.
>Query: Whence came the name (what got burned over and when)? And if
you can
>answer that, tackle this: what in these men's shared experience
>them to rise to such heights?"
>David Minor
>Eagles Byte Historical Research
>Pittsford, New York
See Whitney Cross, The Burned Over District, a very important look at
the religious and social culture of central New York.