PEGGY DOW (1780-1820)
Peggy Dow was born Peggy Holcomb in Granville, Massachusetts. Her mother died when Peggy was five months old, leaving behind six children. Although her father remarried soon after her mother’s death, Peggy eventually was sent to live with a married older sister. After a religious conversion, she met the itinerant Methodist preacher Lorenzo Dow, whom she married in 1804. Lorenzo Dow was a popular preacher despite his eccentricities. Although Peggy Dow sometimes accompanied her husband on his travels, including a year-and-a-half trip to England and Ireland in 1805, she often stayed at home.
Peggy Dow wrote and published a lengthy journal entitled Vicissitudes Exemplified; or, The Journey of Life (New York, 1814), in which she discusses her travels with her husband on the camp meeting circuit, as well as her early religious life:
“From the time that I was six years of age until I was eleven, my serious impressions never left me; but from twelve to fifteen I was mixing with those who were unacquainted with God, or the things that pertain to the kingdom of heaven. My mind was taken up with the vanities of this present world, although my heart was often tender under the preaching of the gospel, so that I could weep and mourn; yet I did not seek the Lord in earnest to the saving of my soul. At the age of fifteen, the Lord laid his rod upon me in taking away my health, which was not restored until I was seventeen. In that time I was much afraid that I should be called to pass the dark valley – but the Lord was pleased to restore me to health again in a good degree; and at the age of nineteen, I set out to seek my soul’s salvation, through many trials and difficulties!” (p. 695-6).