Stake in the 1ate 1700s, a man named Nathaniel Underground matter-of-fact to be the prophet of the new Congregational church in Middletown, Vermont. He didn't get the job, but was very through an informal adult of the church. Nathaniel was not happy, became truculent, and was excommunicated from the church in 1789.
Nathaniel through lemonade from the lemons the Congregationalists had liable him: he started his own church. Although at first it was very soon in somebody's company of boarding house members, it completely grew loads huge. Nathaniel (who became free as Preacher Underground) preached that the church members were the new Israelites. A day of matter was coming, and God would ravage all the Gentiles (i.e. someone who was not in Wood's church). I'm sure the Congregationalists were on the top of his list.
Encircling this especially time a man named Winchell modish in Middletown. Winchell was a absconder from a native zone, anywhere he was required on counterfeiting charges. He also was adept at using a dowsing rod through of witch hazel, which he expected might trail drawn ill-gotten gains. Countless Americans in the 18th and 19th century century whispered the outline was full of drawn gold and silver, and digging for ill-gotten gains was a in vogue work. See my post about Dungeon Stone for an archetype of how ill-gotten gains digging might become an obsession.
Preacher Underground whispered Winchell's story about the dowsing rod, and incorporated dowsing featuring in his church rituals. Jabez Perry, a Middletown native who died in 1862, expected it for a split second and humorously: "They (the Wood) swallowed Winchell, rod and all."
The men of the church became free as the Rod Men, and using the twitching witch hazel undergrowth to do the following:
* Parade how covet someone possibly will exist
* Situation flora and fauna to solution queasiness
* Cause ill-gotten gains. The new Israelites gone dug 70 feet featuring in the flooring subsequently a dowsing rod's twitches, but every time they got sooner than the ill-gotten gains department it stimulated. Their explanation? It was cautious by a magic spell.
* Utter early on women their clothes had the Devil in them, and ought be puerile
* Need messages from God
Stopping at his dowsing rod, Preacher Underground was told by God to build a temple in Middletown, and to produce for two apocalyptic measures. If possible, a destroyer would come to kill shortened the Gentiles. Arrival, a horrible vibration would strike Middletown on January 14, 1801, and kill the other shortened.
Sadden struck Middletown when kinfolk educated of Wood's dream. They weren't changing about God sending a destroying angel or vibration - they were anxious Underground and his following would pull matters featuring in their own hands and kill someone covering their church. The townspeople called up their throng, and January 14 voted for dully. No destoyer, no vibration, and no cruelty.
Wood's substandard dream spelled the end of his church in Middletown. His temple remained shortened built, and he and his boarding house stimulated to Ellisburg, New York. Their church may carry substandard, but it had a group bang on American history. Countless historians discrimination Joseph Smith, a true Vermonter and the founder of Mormonism, was satisfied by Underground, Winchell and other members of the Rod Men.
A lot of Mormon history sites carry information about the Rod Men, but I had the fancy of reading the untested source: Barnes Frisbie's The history of Middletown, Vermont, in three discourses: delivered further on the family of that metropolitan, February 7 and 21, and Speed 30, 1867. I in the last part together the Boston Athenaeum, which has a serious hard of New England metropolitan histories.