Betsey Carroll

Pages from Betsey Carroll's journal. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society
Pages from Betsey Carroll's journal. Photo courtesy of the Vermont Historical Society

Time Period


Subject Categories

Religion, Writers

Notable Facts

Became deeply religious after recovering from spotted fever. Journal documents the religious enthusiasm of the Second Great Awakening. Wrote a religious pamphlet, "Piety in Humble Life."

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence




Historical Significance

Born in Townshend, Vermont, Betsey Carroll married at age 18 and, like many other young women in the early nineteenth century, experienced a religious conversion. Precipitated by a bout of spotted fever, her devotion to religion dominated her life and thinking. After she and her husband Timothy moved to the frontier town of Bakersfield in 1812, she held religious meetings and gatherings at her home and at one point became a Free Will Baptist. She was entranced by revivalists who came through Bakersfield during the Second Great Awakening. Adventist Thomas Davidson, who preached that believers would possess strange powers and that Christ would return to earth as a woman, excited the community, including one man who hung himself. These happenings greatly affected Carroll. She documented her religious enthusiasm in a journal, included in Massachusetts Historical Genealogic publications. Carroll continued to be active in her local church for the rest of her life and wrote a short pamphlet, "Piety in Humble Life," held in the collections of the Vermont Historical Society.

Organizations or Movements

  • Second Great Awakening


  • Author
  • Homemaker

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Bakersfield History Link

  • "Piety in Humble Life"

  • The Vermont Book of Days Link

  • Bakersfield, Franklin County Driving Tour Link