This letter was written by Rev. William Barlow from the Protestant Episcopal Church diocese of New York who accepted the agency of the “Church Scholarship Society” in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1829. See his career summary below:
Rev. William Barlow.
1819. Ordained deacon, Dec. 28, by Bishop Hobart.
1819-21. At St. John’s Church, Canandaigua, N. Y.
1820. Ordained priest, October 22 or 29, by Bishop Hobart.
1824-26. At Claremont Church, Charleston, S. C.
1829. Agent and Corr. Sec. of Church Scholarship Society, Hartford, Conn.
1830-32. At St. John’s Church, Waterbury, Conn.
1834-35. At St. Matthew’s Church, Wilton, Conn.
1836-40. At St. John’s Church, Ogdensburg, N. Y.
1840-42. Address given at Flatbush, N. Y.
1842. Instructor in St. Thomas’ Hall, Flushing.
1834-47. Address given at Peekskill, N. Y.
1848-50. At Trinity Church, Chicago, IL.
He is also mentioned as having been at St. Paul’s Church, Syracuse, N.Y., before he was at Ogdensburg. He was author of several printed letters and pamphlets which are preserved in the library of Columbia University.
Addressed to Mrs. Sally J. Barlow, Hartford, Connecticut
November 30, 1829
My dear Sally,
I am now at the residence of the Rev. Mr. Burham’s in Newtown where I arrived on Saturday evening. I preached twice on Sunday. The weather was bad and the congregation small. My Scholarship Sermon was on that account omitted until next Sunday. I preached two of my modern sermons, which produced such an effect as to convince me that I have done myself great injustice by preaching my early sermons so much as I have done for several years past. My latest sermons are infinitely the best! I have today begun to talk up the business of the Scholarship Society to several of the good people here, who all declare that to obtain money in Newtown is among the absolute impossibilities. I find that my nerves vibrate with a great deal of sensibility as soon as I become in the least degree animated on the subject of my agency. I find it absolutely difficult to converse an hour on the subject. My whole deportment is to set up prim in company and talk, talk, talk, until every member of me aches – my tongue and throat with exercise, and all the rest for me want of it. All the exercise I have is accomplished in a few minutes walk from one neighbor to another. O I am sick, sick, sick of the wretched employment, and will leave it forever as soon as I can command my bread by any other means.
Something should be done with the gangway into the cellar. It should be made fast, and covered with bark from the tannery. Some cartman should be engaged to bring one load, & I will pay when I return. Isaac should pile up the wood in the cellar, for I spoke for some coal, and if it should be sent, the place would be wanted for the coal.
I engaged a suit out of Mr. Goodwin. I should be glad to have it sent to me — if Mr. Goodwin will take the trouble of putting it up safely, and if he should deem it safe to send it by the stage man who drives a stage from Hartford to Newtwn direct on every Tuesday. If it should be sent, send also my gaiters, also at Goodwin’s to be altered.
Tell William and Waties, and also Maria & Louisa, that I feel extremely solicitous concerning their behavior. I exhort them all to learn these several necessary things. First – to arise early in the morning. Secondy – to be silent when in the company of their seniors. Thirdly – to be obedient to those who have a right to command them. Fourthly – to avoid the company, and not allow themselves to hear the conversation of profane children, or any that use obscene words, and actions. Of course, they are aware that the great points of moral duty are to be observed – they must pray daily – fear God always – invariably speak the truth – be kind & peaceable among themselves – and attentive to their studies.
William was speaking about joining the Temperance Society. Both the boys have my full consent to join if they think proper. Let them think and judge for themselves like young Christians. I have lately had my attention called to the fatal effects of becoming accustomed in early life to the use of ardent spirits. I pray God to preserve my sons – and if they were to join the Society, I think it would give me pleasure.
Let the children write me a letter, which, in order that it may reach me a week from tomorrow – must be put into the post office on Monday night, a week from today. Let William fill the front page, Maria the second, & Waties the third. And my dear wife will fill up the blanks. Tell my children to open their hearts to me fully.
I will write to Br. Dyer when I can have a fire in my own private room, but I shall not commence essayist, while compelled to listen to interruptions at the end of every line.
Be patient, dear Sally. We will try to pick up crumbs (You will say that I pick up clothes too fast) and I hope we shall yet see better days. Above all, let us keep innocency, and do the thing that is right for that shall bring a man peace at the last.
I am, dear Sally, your affectionate husband, — William Barlow