The Captain Attends a Camp Meeting

The Captain Attends a Camp Meeting written by Johnson Jones Hooper in 1845.
This story was written in third person (he, she, it, they.)

The story starts out with Captain Suggs bemoaning his money problems. He set off to a camp meeting that was in full blast after his wife informed him that they were about out of coffee, sugar, j’ints, and middilns, (I have absolutely no idea what the last two are) but they were about out of it. So he ran off to a camp meeting exclaiming “someone must suffer”.  When he arrived at the camp meeting he was welcomed by the sight of people preaching and so forth. While he was watching the proceedings, he noticed a brother who was over near the women and wondered why the preachers never hugged the old ugly women. It was a little bit before he was spotted, but when he was the preacher pointed at Suggs exclaiming that he was sinner, a miserable old critter and how he was bound for hell and so forth. Suggs had a few not so polite thoughts then but he didn’t voice them. He was soon surrounded by many well-meaning people giving him their own recipe for saving his soul. For a good bit he stood there silently then he started to cry and looked like he was being overwhelmed by his emotions. He was then directed/ordered to the mourning bench and was prayed and sang over. The Captain remained on the bench crying, groaning, and screaming, for a good long while. Until suddenly he jumped up joyfully and then related his religious experience he had the whole place enthralled. They firmly believed he was a believer, enough so that Suggs was dubbed a brother. That next day during church he started a fund for a ministry that Suggs was going to start, he collected almost a hundred dollars. The preacher who was going to manage the funds asked Suggs to turn over the money to him, but Suggs convinced him that it needed to be prayed over in the very swamp in which he was saved, by him only. The preacher readily agreed, Suggs got on his horse and rode of with little less than a hundred dollars. He had swindled them, that preacher was either feeling his wheaties or extremely gullible.

You have to admit, this group is borderline stupid and prideful,  and I say prideful, because some of them gave larger amounts than what they planned because they didn’t want to be seen as poor. Not to mention, who gives a large amount of money to a man they just met the previous night, and then lets him ride of to “pray” over the money? And honestly, I thought the church folk in this story looked pretty ridicules with all the yelling and the repeating of the same term 15 times in one sentence. It takes them an hour to say anything because they keep yelling out Amen every five words. To me, it almost feels like they are trying to reinforce their belief to others by the constant “Praise the Lord”. Because I’ve heard several good sermons where they got the message across and didn’t have to use repetitive terms.


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