This title deals with the religious, social, ethnic, and economic components of Protestant migrations. Popular literature and frontier studies stress that Americans moved west to farm or to seek a new beginning. Scott Rohrer argues that Protestant migrants in early America relocated in search of salvation, Christian community, reform, or all three. In ""Wandering Souls"", Rohrer examines the migration patterns of eight religious groups and finds that Protestant migrations consisted of two basic types. The most common type involved migrations motivated by religion, economics, and family, in which Puritans, Methodists, Moravians, and others headed to the frontier as individuals in search of religious and social fulfillment. The other type involved groups wanting to escape persecution (such as the Mormons) or to establish communities where they could practice their faith in peace (such as the Inspirationists). Rohrer concludes that the two migration types shared certain traits, despite the great variety of religious beliefs and experiences, and that 'secular' values infused the behavior of nearly all Protestant migrants.
S. Scott Rohrer, an independent scholar, is author of Hope's Promise: Religion and Acculturation in the Southern Backcountry.