The Root of All Evil The Protestant Clergy and the Economic Mind of the Old South by Kenneth Moore Startup (review)

The Root of All Evil The Protestant Clergy and the Economic Mind of the Old South by Kenneth Moore Startup (University of Georgia Press, 1997)

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The Root of All Evil The Protestant Clergy and the Economic Mind of the Old South by Kenneth Moore Startup (review)

by Robert M. Calhoon
Southern Cultures, Vol. 6, No. 3: Fall 2000

University of Georgia Press, 1997

On April 6, 1845, lowcountry South Carolina planter Thomas B. Chaplin recorded in his diary that he “intended going to church.”

Dressed, brushed, examined critically my tout ensemble, being satisfied herewith was about to depart, when lomy gloves were missing. A general hunt produced but one of the missing articles. What was to be done? To go with an ungloved hand was impossible. Besides that member presented a most inelegant appearance, having burnt it mahogany colored in my fishing expedition. But in the midst of my turning upside down trunks and boxes there come a sudden shower. Fortunate circumstance! I ordered my buggy back, ensconced myself in my elbow chair, and oh! Sin and Satan, spent the morning reading the Chevalier du Flaublas . . .

The book was a bawdy novel Chaplin found a refreshing contrast to the spirit of the Sabbath.