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In August of 1889, a broadside was posted all over Doylestown, promoting a camp meeting “in Mr. Fisher’s Grove on East Street near the borough line.” It was sponsored by Doylestown’s African Methodist Episcopal Church which, only two years before, had established a local church on Lafayette Street.

By the late 19th century, revival gatherings had gained popularity in the older communities of the northeastern seaboard where both Black and white participants joined in this uniquely American form of religious expression.

This poster announced that “The missionary brethren of the colored Methodist Episcopal Church will open the camp.”

With 51 ministers and delegates in attendance, there was preaching every day. Hymn singing was an important part of the celebration, and the broadside states “all that love good singing are invited to come.”

Camp or revival meetings were traditionally spirited, outdoor, noisy religious events; and the poster shown here assured the people of Doylestown that “good order will be preserved.”

Twenty years later, Henry S. Fisher’s farm and the site of the Fisher’s Grove camp meeting was one of the properties that Henry Mercer bought between today’s East Street and Swamp Road to build his Fonthill “castle.”

Source: Terry A. McNealy, Librarian-Spruance Library, Mercer Mosaic, Summer 1987

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