Dow, Lorenzo

American itinerant who contributed to the rise of PM in England by his influence on Hugh Bourne. Born on 16 October 1777 at Coventry, Conn., he was converted in 1791 and began to preach in 1794. He was accepted for the American itinerancy in 1798, but in 1799 left on a voyage across the Atlantic for his health, visiting Ireland and the Isle of Man. Back in America in 1801, he abandoned the New England circuit to which he had been appointed to embark on extensive and erratic travels between Canada and Georgia. He became an enthusiast for camp meetings as a form of evangelism. Visiting Britain again in 1805, he met Peter Phillips in Warrington and joined in the revivalist work there and in Macclesfield. His preaching in Dublin led to a dramatic increase in membership. Despite this, there was official disapproval of his methods at the British Conference of 1807. But hearing him preach, Hugh Bourne took up the idea of camp meeting evangelism. Bourne was further influenced by him during his third visit to England in 1818. He died at Georgetown DC on 7 February 1834.

  • George Herod, Historical and Biographical Sketches … of the Primitive Methodist Connexion up to the year 1823 (2nd edn., 1851) pp.17-240
  • Charles C. Sellars, Lorenzo Dow, the bearer of the Word (New York, 1928)
  • Encyclopedia of World Methodism
  • Richard Carwardine, Transatlantic Revivalism (1978; 2006)
  • Julia Stewart Werner, The Primitive Methodist Connexion: Its Background and Early History (1984), pp.45-7, 62