Camp Meeting Plan
This original sketch by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe shows the general plan of a Methodist camp meeting being held in a thickly wooded area in Fairfax County in 1809. Men and women sat on opposite sides of the enclosed stage area; similarly, blacks and whites encamped in separate sections, the "negro tents" being set up behind the stage, while the white tents were ringed in front of the speaker. The response to the fiery sermons was often extreme and could result in violent physical manifestations. Taking that into account, the organizers created a "boarded enclosure" (at right) that was "filled with straw, into which the converted were thrown that they might kick about without injuring themselves."