Ghost Stories and Tall Tales of the American South

Lorenzo Dow


Lorenzo Dow, traveling preacher, and his legendary curse of the town of Jacksonboro, Georgia.

The story of the “curse” of Lorenzo Dow on the citizens of Jacksonboro, Georgia is one of the state’s most enduring legends. Odds are that the town was destroyed by earthly causes, and not the curse of a traveling preacher. But this story is not the only wild legend that has grown from the life of Lorenzo Dow.

Lorenzo Dow’s reputation in some quarters as a wild man stemmed mostly from his earth shaking, fire-and-brimstone sermons that he delivered with stunning conviction. He was, if nothing else, a man dedicated to his calling. Lorenzo was born in 1777 in Conneticut, and gained fame as a teenager preaching around his home state. Until his death in 1834, he traveled over 200,000 miles tirelessly spreading the Gospel – not only in the United States, but in Canada, the West Indies, England and Ireland.

As for the town of Jacksonboro – as the story says, there is nothing left. But the tiny home that is said to have once belonged to the Goodall family sits alone on U.S. 301, a few miles north of Sylvania.

If you’d like to learn more about Lorenzo Dow’s extraordinary life, and the continuing legend of the “curse” he put on Jacksonboro, check out the following sites:


Lorenzo Dow


King of Peace – Shaking Off The Dust
Lorenzo Dow’s Curse



2 Responses to “Lorenzo Dow”

Hayley Vazquez:

I really enjoy the article.Much thanks again. Cool.

Robert M Cash:

I first read about Lorenzo Dow in this book: ‘Sermons You Can Preach on Matthew,’ by W Herschel Ford, copyright 1963. In scripture, Matthew 10:14-15, it says, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment than for that city.”
Preacher Dow’s experience was used to illustrate the above verses. I believe God used fire, wind and flood to accomplish Dow’s curse. So this is far more than a “legend”. (and I am a college and seminary graduate, hence a ‘believer’, not an eccentric! Dow obviously did not have my advantageous background or he would have been more patient and established a relationship with the people he wanted to reach.) He showed no love for them when he busted their barrel(s), hardly the way to win and influence them to Christ!! I hope to visit the ghost town and Goodall’s house, 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive.

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