Oct. 28: UNB historian David Bell on Onslow’s “Pettitcoat-Apostle”

Public Talk: Petticoat-Apostle: The Preaching Adventures of Susannah Lynds McCurdy

Susannah (Lynds) McCurdy (1776-1862) is the earliest known woman preacher in what is today eastern Canada.  Her career, which spanned at least 1818 to 1849, was also the longest for any Maritime woman preacher of the 19th century.  Although she was born in Oslow, died in Onslow, and as far as we know never lived anywhere except Onslow, all reports of her work show her preaching elsewhere.  Newspaper accounts have her itinerating in all three Maritime colonies, and probably she laboured in New England and Upper Canada as well.  So controversial was her gospel work that it provoked publication of two of North America’s earliest pamphlets on the propriety of female preaching.  All in all, the long-forgotten Susannah McCurdy was one of the most remarkable Nova Scotia women of the 19th century.

Susannah McCurdy is being rediscovered and introduced to the world by David Bell, a legal and religious historian teaching at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.  He will be speaking at the Colchester Historical Society Museum on Thursday, October 28th at 7:30 pm.

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