In 1848, the Millerites were still recovering from their Great Disappointment of a few years earlier.

It all began in 1818 when William Miller, a newly religious gentleman farmer, found a prophecy during his daily study of the bible. In his interpretation, this prophecy stated that the apocolypse would happen "around 1843." He began to preach locally and drew bigger and bigger crowds. By 1843, it seemed that all of New England was preparing to meet Jesus.