Mixer, Elizabeth

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MIXER, Elizabeth

Born circa 1710s; death date unknown

Elizabeth Mixer, a native of Ashford, Massachusetts, lived and wrote during the second quarter of the 18th century. She was the daughter of a deacon of the Ashford congregation. Little is known about her life, besides the scant materials presented in her spiritual autobiography. She states that she had a thorough religious education provided by her parents, and indeed she was literate enough to write a clearly stated account of her regeneration.

An Account of Some Spiritual Experiences and Raptures (1736) was prepared for Mixer's admittance into the Ashford church. Her confession is characterized by a stylized, hyperbolic recounting of the three visions sent to her by the Lord. In dramatic, elaborate language, Mixer pictures Christ in the Heavenly City, Christ appearing in glory to her at night in her bedroom, and the glory and horror of the Last Judgment. Her visionary moments replace the more typically Puritan extended struggle for salvation. This change reflects the climate in which Mixer wrote, the early years of the Great Awakening, the religious movement of the second quarter of the eighteenth century that profoundly affected New England religious life.

Mixer's spiritual autobiography, devoid of personal references or theological discourse, remains an illuminating document by a woman of an important religious movement in American history.