1834: Rev. Horace Billings Chapin to John Adams Judd

Gravestone of Rev. Horace Billings Chapin

This letter was written by Rev. Horace Billings Chapin (1791-1840) son of Dr. Perez (1752-1839) and Elizabeth Smith (1754-1833). Rev. Chapin graduated at Bangor Seminary, Maine; was a preacher of the Gospel for a time at South Amherst, Mass.; served as colleague pastor of the Westhampton Church from 8 July 1829 until 1 May 1837; and died at Levaston Falls, Maine, where he was Pastor. Though there is no date on this letter, I believe the letter must have been written in 1834.

The letter was sent to John Adams Judd (1798-1860) of Westhampton, Massachusetts. He was the son of Solomon Judd (1758-1830) and Princess Hannum (1760-18xx). In 1821, John Judd married Wealthy Kingsley.

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Addressed to John A. Judd, Esq., Post Master, Westhampton, Massachusetts

Enfield [Massachusetts]
Sept 8 [1834?]

Friend Judd,

We intended to have fastened our pantry window. And if Philetas will just speak to ____ about it, she will do it for us.

This is a fine morning – a pleasant season for traveling & I hope the object for which our journey is made will be accomplished – and is a good thing sometimes to see new faces & come in contact with floating opinions, at present a general freshet.

The two leading topics among my ministerial brethren will be slavery & the wine question involving the service of the communion. It would be well even for some temperance men never to speak until they had something to say & to stop when they had done.

The urn of wine at the communion I cannot see yet (tho I may, as I am going East where all the wise men dwell) belongs to the question.

I hope you & the good people around you will keep all things quiet as any efforts of union society.

This a strange animal — somewhat amphibious, a voracious appetite & not very particular as to its food.

I recollect in my boyhood, my brother caught a fox, though he was dead & laid him down in the dooryard. Of course such a prize was the subject of conversation at the breakfast table. He was a rogue of a fox & preyed on lambs & chickens, but when we went out to bring him in, he was gone. This is only a passing thought for you busy men is not dead because we may think he is. Those who know how to keep still often deceive us the most.

Respects to your family. Just write me a line & direct to Providence.

Your affectionate, — H. B. Chapin

P. S. We fastened the pantry window by driving a nail on it. I now think ___ to speak to ___ about it.


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