ABSTRACT

While John Wesley's Primitive Physick is well known, this article explores its role in early American Methodist politics. Bishop Francis Asbury used it to prove his devotion to Wesley and America and to triumph in his battle with rival James O'Kelly over the structure of the American Church. In doing so, he dramatically transformed the work and solidified his position as the architect of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By partnering with American Methodist physician, Henry Wilkins, he transformed Wesley's work into The Family Advisor, and successfully rebranded himself, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his book as distinctly American.

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