Contours of Conversion to Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century

I have an article in the most recent issue of the U.S. Catholic Historian titled “The Contours of Conversion to Catholicism in the Nineteenth Century” (paywalled at Project Muse, but PDF here). One of the things I like about that journal is their theme issues, and this issue has a nice lineup from Erin Bartram on Jane Minot Sedgwick II, Stephanie A. T. Jacobe on Thomas Fortune Ryan, Charles Gallagher on Jacques Maritain, Tim Lacy on Mortimer Adler, and Justin Poché on John Howard Griffin.

My article has some maps and charts of Paulists missions, which I’ve made dynamic here. The abstract:

The chronological and theological contours of conversion to Catholicism in the nineteenth-century United States evidence three waves. Beginning with John Thayer’s 1783 conversion from Congregationalism and continuing through the 1830s, conversions were scattered, and often from Reformed Protestantism. The 1840s through 1860s, the critical period for Catholic conversion, included converts from American Episcopalianism, riven by the Oxford movement, and from Transcendentalist and liberal Christian reformers dissatisfied with reform’s theological underpinnings. These converts became the agents of a new movement to convert Protestants. From 1870 through the early twentieth century, missionary priests, especially members of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle (Paulists), won thousands of converts, making conversion to Catholicism a viable choice for many more Americans.