In the autumn of 1834, New York City was awash with rumors of a strange religious cult operating nearby, centered around a mysterious, self-styled prophet named Matthias. It was said that Matthias the Prophet was stealing money from one of his followers;
Paul E. Johnson is teaches history at the University of Utah, and is the author of A Shopkeeper's Millennium. Sean Wilentz is Professor of History at Princeton University. An editor of Dissent, and a regular contributor to The New Republic, he is also the author of Chants Democratic.