Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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KNAPP, Jacob, clergyman, born in Otsego county, New York, 7 December, 1799; died in Rockford, Illinois, 2 March, 1874. He was educated at Madison university, was ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1825, and settled in Springfield, New York, where he began to preach, and at the same time engaged in farming and business, and became so successful that he was accused of want of zeal in his profession. In 1830 he removed to Watertown, New York, and in 1832 gave up secular employment and began to labor as an evangelist on his own responsibility, preaching first in barns and school-houses. In his revival work he visited New York, New England, and the western states, including California, preached about 16,000 sermons, led 200 young men to become clergymen, and baptized 4,000 persons. Vast numbers attended his meetings, and such excitement prevailed that mobs often threatened him and his hearers, and the protection of the police was called for to prevent serious disturbances. His preaching was characterized by fiery metaphors and denunciation of sin, his energy increasing with his excitement, so that, to quote his own words, "he was able to shake sermons from his sleeves." He left his property to his church. He published a few sermons, and wrote an autobiography which was never printed.
Editor's Note: Jacob's Knapp's
autobiography was never published but that is incorrect. It was
published by Sheldon and Company of New York in 1868.
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