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The New International Encyclopædia/Dow, Lorenzo

DOW, Lorenzo (1777-1834). An American preacher, noted for his eccentricities and zeal. He was born at Coventry, Conn., October 6, 1777. His education was limited. In youth he joined the Methodists (1799), but left them under a conviction that he was called to be a missionary to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. His preaching in that country attracted crowds of people, and brought him some persecution. He also visited England, introducing there the Methodist system of camp-meetings. He returned to the United States, and repeated his visits to Ireland and England in 1805. He afterwards preached for many years in the United States, traveling all over the country, and sometimes making appointments a year in advance, which he filled at the exact day and hour. His natural eloquence and his eccentricities of dress and speech attracted large audiences everywhere. He preached much against the Jesuits, whom he regarded as conspirators against civil and religious liberty. His Polemical Works appeared in 1814. Among his other writings are The Stranger in Charleston: or, the Trial and Confession of Lorenzo Dow (1822); A Short Account of a Long Travel (1823); and the History of a Cosmopolite (1851)—the cosmopolite being himself. He died at Georgetown, D. C., February 2, 1834. Consult his Life and Writings (New York, 1854).