Timeline: Religion 1865-1905

  • 1865
  • Franciscan missionary sisters founded
  • 1867
  • Brotherhood of the New Life (Spiritualist) founds colony in Brocton, New York

Preaching.

Preaching. "Camp Meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sing Sing." Harper’s Weekly, Aug. 1867, p.501.

  • 1869
  • Koreshan Unity Movement founded
  • 1870
  • First Vatican Council promulgates doctrine of papal infallibility
  • Sanctified Sisters (later called the Women’s Commonwealth) created in Belton, TX
  • 1871
  • Immaculate Heart Sisters (Roman Catholic) founded


  • 1872
  • Charles Russell founds Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 1873
  • Union of American Hebrew Congregations formed
  • Sisters of Charity (Roman Catholic) arrive in United States from Germany
  • 1874
  • Hutterite immigrants establish Bon Homme, first colony in South Dakota
  • First Felician Sisters from Poland and Notre Dame Sisters from Germany (Roman Catholic) arrive in United States
  • Women’s Commonwealth (Sanctified Sisters) founded in Belton, Texas
  • Beecher-Tilton scandal, involving Congregational minister Henry Ward Beecher
  • 1875
  • Evangelist Dwight Moody returns from Britain and begins a nationwide American tour
  • First Catholic cardinal in the United States appointed
  • First Poor Clares (Roman Catholic) arrive in United States
  • Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, establishes basis for Christian Science
  • Theosophical Society founded in New York City

Camp Meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sing Sing.

Untitled. "Camp Meeting of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sing Sing." Harper’s Weekly, Aug. 1867, p.501.

  • 1876
  • Felix Adler founds Ethical Culture Society, New York
  • Sacred Heart Franciscans (Roman Catholic) founded
  • Brotherhood of the New Life (Spiritualist) founds colony in Fountain Grove, California
  • 1878
  • Alexander Winchell, professor of geology at Vanderbilt, is fired for contradicting biblical chronology in his lectures
  • 1880
  • Cloistered Dominican nuns (Roman Catholic) founded
  • Swiss-American Federation of Benedictines (Roman Catholic) founded in United States
  • Salvation Army founded in the United States
  • 1882
  • Knights of Columbus founded in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Dominican Sisters (Roman Catholic) founded in United States
  • First Good Shepherd Sisters (Roman Catholic) arrive in United States from Canada
  • Jewish agricultural colonies estabilshed in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia
  • 1883
  • Indian Shaker Church founded
  • Oblates (Roman Catholic) established in United States
  • 1884
  • Shalam (Spiritualist) colony founded in New Mexico
  • 1885
  • Holy Family Sisters (Roman Catholic) arrive in United States from Italy
  • 1886
  • Dwight Moody founded Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions

The Circuit Preacher.

The Circuit Preacher. Harper’s Weekly, Oct. 1867, p.641.

  • 1887
  • Olivetan Benedictine Sisters (Roman Catholic) formed in Arkansas
  • 1889
  • Catholic church disbands and excommunicates last Penitentes, a lay brotherhood in the Southwest
  • Prophecies of Paiute visionnary Wovoka initiate spread of Ghost Dance among western Indian peoples
  • 1890
  • Massacre of Sioux Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee, South Dakota
  • Mormon Church officially renounces doctrine of polygamy, paving the way for Utah statehood
  • 1891
  • Salvation Army opens Lighthouse shelter in New York City
  • Orello Cone publishes Gospel Criticism and Historical Christianity
  • 1893
  • World’s Parliament of Religions, Chicago
  • Mormon Temple dedicated at Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Shiloh Movement (Church of the Living God) organized in Maine
  • Swami Vivekanada of India tours the United States; Vedanta Movement founded
  • Zion City (theocratic colony) founded in Illinois
  • 1894
  • Pope Leo XIII issues encyclical Rerum Novarum on industrialization and labor
  • Shaker colony founded in Narcoosee, Florida
  • Altruria Colony (Christian Socialist) formed in California
  • 1895
  • Evangelist Billy Sunday begins his preaching career
  • Formation of National Baptist Convention of the USA, largest black denomination in the country
  • Shiloh community (Church of the Living God) founded in Maine
  • Vedanta Movement forms first communal ashrams in US cities
  • Willard Cooperative Colonies (Christian Prohibitionist) founded in North Carolina and Tennessee
  • Salvation Army denounces lynching
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Woman’s Bible
  • 1896
  • Charles M. Sheldon, In His Steps, or, What Would Jesus Do?
  • Father John Zahm publishes Evolution and Dogma; suppressed by the Vatican
  • Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary founded, first yeshiva in the country
  • Christian Commonwealth Colony founded in Columbus, Georgia
  • Christian Corporation, a socialist colony, founded in Lincoln, Nebraska
  • 1897
  • Jewish Daily Forward begins publication in New York
  • Theosophical Movement founds Temple of the People in Syracuse, New York, and Point Loma Colony in San Diego, California
  • 1898
  • Christian Commercial Men’s Association (Gideons International) founded
  • Christian Cooperative colonies founded in Kansas, Georgia, and Washington
  • Salvation Army forms unemployment colonies in California, Colorado, and Ohio
  • Shaker colony founded in White Oak, Georgia
  • 1899
  • Pope Leo XIII issues Testem Benevolentiae, warning against “theological Americanism”
  • Christian Social Association colony founed in Sarona, Wisconsin

The Evangelistic Work Under the Direction of Dwight L. Moody at Northfield, Massachusetts.

View of Auditorium During the General Conference. "The Evangelistic Work Under the Direction of Dwight L. Moody at Northfield, Massachusetts." Harper’s Weekly, Aug. 1899, p.811.

  • 1900
  • Sisters of St. Francis (Roman Catholic) formed
  • Southern Cooperative Association of Apalachicola (Swedenborgian) founded in Florida
  • Vedanta Movement forms first rural commune in California
  • 1901
  • American Standard Version of the Bible is published
  • Pentacostal movement begins at Charles Fox Parnahm’s Bible School, Topeka, KS
  • Brotherhood of Light movement (Spiritualist) founds colonies in Colorado
  • 1902
  • William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience
  • Rabbi Solomon Schechter assumes leadership of Jewish Theological Seminary, New York; develops ideas that will underlay Conservative Judaism
  • Zitkala-Sa, “Why I Am a Pagan,” Atlantic Monthly


© 2010 Rebecca Edwards, author of New Spirits: Americans in the Gilded Age, 1865-1905 by Rebecca Edwards, Oxford University Press


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New Spirits
Timelines in US History 1895-1905
Perceptions and Realities: The Victorian Age Inventions of the era Tramps and Millionaires Yellowstone Park Journals of the era White City/1893 Worlds Fair The Civil War President McKinley