1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings
1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings
1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings
1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings
1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings
1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings

1819 COCHRANE DELUSION. Trial of Radical Baptist Sectarian Accused of Polygamist Teachings

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A very scarce little work indeed, with no other copies on the market. Fascinating piece of history, and often noted as the first significant group advocating polygamy in America, predating Joseph Smith and the Mormon / Latter Day Saints. Some Latter-Day Saints argue that it was not Joseph Smith, but Cochranites who introduced early Mormons to polygamy and that Smith himself never taught the doctrine. 

What was often termed "The Cochrane Delusion" arose out of the emotional ferment of the Second Great Awakening, along with other often anti-Calvinist, charismatic, and sometimes communal groups such as the Osgoodites, Hutchinsonites, the Pilgrims [or Bullardites], etc. Its namesake, Jacob Cochrane [1782-1836], began as a Freewill Baptist exhorter, preaching in New Hampshire as early as 1817. Freewill Baptist Elder, Ephraim Stinchfield described Cochrane as charismatic, able to stir his listeners into a great vocal frenzy of amens and various shouts. 

Between 1817 and 1818, it seems that Cochrane's fame had grown, and in New Hampshire, during one year's preaching, he claimed [without rebuff] over 1,000 conversions. The revival was described as "marvelous . . . such as had never been seen before," etc., with leaping 'round the service, spontaneous dancing, and individual and congregational "shouting breaks" being common.

It all sort of began to go to pieces when Cochrane began to teach that all men and women have a spiritual husband or wife and that it was likely not the one they were married to. Once a person had identified by the leading of the Spirit and the approval of Cochrane who their "true" spouse was, any previous marriage was null and void and a new "spiritual" marriage commenced. At least by reputation and public testimony, Cochrane himself seems to have been the object of several female's sense of "leading." It was rumored that he felt the same, and led a polygamous lifestyle. This was later formalized theologically. 

All of this led to a public trial where Cochrane was accused [presumably by the non-spiritual husbands of his spiritual wives] of "gross lewdness, lascivious behavior, and adultery." After a highly publicized and lurid trial, he was found guilty. He, however, absconded and escaped sentencing for some time. Once detained elsewhere, he was sentenced to a season of solitary confinement and then four years of hard labor at the Massachusetts State Prison. 

This substantially quashed the movement, with most adherents returning to the Free-Will Baptist fold. 

The present is a very scarce publication of the trial record. No other copies on the market.

Smith, Gamaliel E. Report of the Trial of Jacob Cochrane, on Sundry Charges of Adultery and Lewd and Lascivious Conduct before the Supreme Judicial Court, begun and Holden at York, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on the Third Tuesday of May, 1819. Kennebunk. Printed by James K. Remich. 1819. 

Textually complete, some handling. Small hole on title as shown; removed from a larger sammelband with remains of binding at spine. Exceptionally scarce.