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Fea’s Presbyterians in Love

In the January issue of Commonplace, John Fea explores a little known side of Philip Vickers Fithian, the early American diarist and Presbyterian minister perhaps best known for his descriptions of plantation life in pre-Revolutionary Virginia. Fea’s essay, "Presbyterians in Love," describes Fithian’s intense, nearly 5-year long courtship of his future wife, Elizabeth "Betsy" Beatty.

The essay includes a link to Fithian’s first letter to Betsy in which he dared to confess "very strong Desire of further Acquaintance."

Fithian is the focus of Fea’s new history, The Way of Improvement Leads Home.