The Journals & Notebook of
 Nathan Bangs 1805-1806, 1817


Contents    Introduction    Maps    Images    Chronology    Bibliography    Archival Resources

Editorial Annotations

In May 1805 Bangs and Sylvanus Keeler were appointed by the New York Conference to the Oswegatchie circuit east of Kingston on the St. Lawrence. Although Keeler was the more experienced of the two, having first worked as an itinerant in 1795, the fact that Bangs (apart from the Hay Bay camp meeting minutes) never mentions Keeler by name suggests that the two worked independently of one another. The Oswegatchie circuit was first established by William Losee in 1792 and had the distinction of being the second circuit formed in Canada. Thirteen years later it had grown into a key circuit with 457 members or some 25% of the Church's total in the province. Additional statistical data for Methodists in Upper Canada is available on the Chronology page. 

There is an error in Cornish's  "Alphabetical Arrangement of all the Circuits, Stations, and Missions of Canadian Methodism, 1791 to 1874" concerning Nathan Bangs's location in 1805.  Thomas Madden is mistakenly listed as the Oswegatchie circuit rider for 1805 (Cornish 272) while Bangs is listed as riding this circuit in 1806.  Cornish's information, however, is correct in his "Names of Ministers & Probationers for the Ministry [...] 1790 to 1832" where he lists Bangs as serving Oswegatchie in 1805 and Quebec and Montreal in 1806 (Cornish 38). See also Playter 84, 86 and Bangs's manuscript autobiography 186.


Monday July 1st 1805

Yesterday I preached twice with freedom and power, thanks be unto God for his kindness. My love to God increases. I feel more strongly attached to this work than ever. There is a strange thing happened here. A man bereft of his reason has been remarkably waked and continues so yet, and yet nevertheless he takes up the cause of Religion boldly by bearing testimony to the truth in our Public assemblies when he is markedly regular. But the most unhappy consideration is he makes himself almost equal with God, which is a demonstration, to me at least, that an high opinion of himself has brought on these Delusions. O what a blessing it is to have the use of our reason. O Lord forbid that my sins should provoke this to deprive me of this gift of Providence for Christ's sake. O sweet Jesus how lovely thou art.



4 July 1805

Primary Sources

John Carroll Case and His Cotemporaries Carroll on Bangs's conversion and early ministry in Upper Canada

John Carroll Case and His Cotemporaries Carroll on Sylvanus Keeler

John Carroll Case and His Cotemporaries Carroll on the establishment of the Oswegatchie circuit

David Smyth "Map of the Province of Upper Canada 1813" Detail showing region of Osewgatchie circuit



waked: An awareness of one's sinfulness next to God's perfect holiness.


Edited by Scott McLaren
Book History Practicum
University of Toronto