In The Kingdom Of Matthias we examine the lifestyles of Robert Matthews and Elijah Pierson who both experienced Matthias. We can learn from the retellings about the lives of these two men how the Market Revolution and Democratic Revolution impacted their lives. Elijah is more affected by Market Revolution and Second Great Awakening, than by Democratic Revolution. Elijah’s story does not show political changes, but rather a cultural shock and a social shift when Elijah moves to New York. Robert Matthews had a greater influence from the Market Revolution along with the Second Great Awakening. But unlike Elijah a great deal of evidence points to a Democratic Revolution. Matthews also experienced cultural shocks and social upheavals like Elijah. He was, however, more likely to be angry than Elijah. Matthews was like Pierson in that he had a disinterest for politics and did not take any real political positions. Both men’s lives, families and morals were tested as they aged.

Elijah Pierson led the crusades and wrote many manifestos for this perfectionist group.

Elijah Pierson was a simple man who feared God and the world outside of his hometown Morristown. Elijah Pierson was raised on a paratracheal based system of fearing God and believing that God is involved in sins in the world or in people. Elijah Pierson became a successful preacher and businessman. Around 1800, Elijah moved to New York City and worked as a clerk. Later he became a merchant. After he married Sarah Stanford and Sarah met Frances Folger their devotion to God became extreme. They would fast for days and pray for days. Sarah Stanford died soon after from too much fasting and overworking. Elijah was so saddened by this that he became insane. Elijah’s true madness was revealed when he tried to revive Sarah at her funeral. He would pray to God and Jesus himself would show up in visions to speak with him. Pierson’s madness was not the result of a sudden political or social upheaval. It was the result of a shock of cultural and social nature. Pierson was accustomed to living in his small town, so when he arrived in New York he felt fear and anger. His wife, however, helped him help those in need. Pierson’s family thrived in New York because of the Second Great Awakening and Market Revolution. Morristown had a patriarchal politics, but the Democratic Revolution allowed women to have a voice while still being expected to conform to male roles. Women were allowed to have a “parental power”, but they still had to “be satisfied with being a man’s assistant”.

“In the years 1834-1835, Matthias was a penny press sensation – the protagonist of an unprecedented scandal that captivated America’s attention.”

Jesus Matthias was the original name of Robert Matthews. He was insane at the time and classified as a manipulative demon. Matthews is a New York-based carpenter who was also a religious figure. Matthews was able to manipulate wealthy businessmen into funding his Kingdom. The Kingdom had some connection to adultery in the church, bankruptcy, or Elijah Pierson’s murder. Matthews was raised in an Anti-Burgher Church. Matthews feared God more than Elijah, who was raised Calvinist or Protestant. Matthews moved from Cambridge to Manhattan soon after the death of his parents. There he became angry at the culture and social norms in the slums. Matthews moved to Cambridge after he beat an unknown female in an anger outburst against the slums. Matthews’ business failed and he had to relocate his family to New York. Matthews has been a victim of the market’s revolution time and again. Matthews became insane to the point where he saw a massive flood in Albany. He left. Matthews was arrested after he stole Folger’s money on false grounds. Matthews was arrested along with Isabella (Sojourner Truth), his slave, for allegedly murdering Pierson.

Matthews’s insane behavior had caused Matthews to be a stumbling block for Matthias. Matthias’ instability was the reason for this cult to fall. The Market Revolution or Second Awakening impacted the Kingdom in a way that the Democratic Revolution affected Elijah’s town-life.


  • owenbarrett

    I'm Owen Barrett, a 31-year-old educational blogger and traveler. I enjoy writing about the places I've visited and sharing educational content about travel and culture. When I'm not writing or traveling, I like spending time with my family and friends.