One interesting sidelight in Darby history concerns followers of William Miller who, in 1843, published a prophecy in the New
York Herald that the world would end in fire on a date certain. He came to this conclusion from his study of the Biblical books of
Daniel and Revelations and even predicted that the event would occur on a particular date in April 1843. . A meteor shower that
year seemed to give credence to his prophecy and many people believed, and some, believing that the dead has first pick in
heaven, committed suicide. When the world did not end, Miller announced that he had miscalculated and moved the date to July
7, 1843. When the world was still here on July 8, Miller again changed the date to March 21, 1844. Many Millerites sold
everything they owned and gathered to await the end. It is reported that many Millerites were wearing "ascension robes" that had
been sold by Mr. Miller. We need only think of "Jonestown" and "Heaven's Gate" to realize that such things are possible today.
When the world once more did not end, Miller moved the final date to October 22, 1844. People sold all their possessions and
gathered once more to await the end. One report is that a man brought along his ascencion-robed cows stating "It's a very long
trip, and the kids will want milk.".
From the Public Ledger of Wednesday, October 22, 1844
The Millerites.- A part of these unfortunate and misguided people pitched their tents on Monday in a field belonging to Isaac
Yocomb on the Darby Road about three and Â½ miles from the Permanent Bridge. The first tent was erected about 12 o'clock.
The converts continued increasing in the encampment all that day and night, males and females, some in omnibusses,
carriages and on foot. Some of them threw away their property as they went along the street. The first tent became so crowded
that the children were forced into the open are without the proper care of their parents. These little ones were exposed to the
pelting of the pitiless storm. Numbers of these children were running about the field crying for their mothers and fathers, and
some even for food -. Yesterday morning a second tent was erected, and the numbers had increased very greatly, the condition
of these people is indeed anything but comfortable, and it must become worse from the want of proper food and other
necessaries of life, beside sleeping on the damp ground in this inclement season of the year, with scarcely enough clothing to
cover them. It is feared that numbers will never leave the ground and those that do leave it, will do so with scarce a hope of
From the Daily Sun
Millerites- A considerable number of these persons encamped near Darby on Monday night, and yesterday morning many of
them returned to their homes. During the night a number of wicked boys approached the encampment, and beat a gong which
they had with them and blew a trumpet. The encampment, of course, was thrown into a state of alarm and confusion. We learn
that several believers in the faith have had their eyes opened and now see the error which they have committed.
Needless to say, the world did not end as predicted and the time has been called "The Great Disappointment"