1840: Rev. Job Guest to John Price Durbin, D. D.

John Price Durbin, D. D.

This letter was written by Rev. Job Guest (1785-1857), son of Richard Guest (1758-1839) and Dorothy Wood, of Annapolis, Maryland.

Rev. Guest wrote the letter to John Price Durbin (1800-1876), a native of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Shortly after his father died, he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker at the age of 13; he worked for several years until his religious conversion at age 18. Through tutors and self-education, he began to study English grammar, and later Latin and Greek. Durbin soon became a licensed preacher and in 1819 traveled to Ohio to enter the ministry. In 1821 he began to minister in Hamilton, Ohio, and at the same time took up studies at nearby Miami University. The following year he moved again and was forced to continue his studies independently. Durbin resumed formal studies at Cincinnati College and received both a bachelor’s degree and a master of arts degree in 1825. Immediately following his graduation, he became a professor of languages at Augusta College in Kentucky. He married Frances B. Cook of Philadelphia on September 6, 1827, and in 1831 was selected to be Chaplain of the United States Senate. This appointment was followed in 1832 with a position as editor of the Christian Advocate.

In 1833 Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania came under the management of the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church. As a result, a new faculty of Methodist instructors was assembled, and Durbin was chosen to be president. Under Durbin, Dickinson College increased its enrollment and increased its size with the addition of a new building for student housing, recitation, and housing for the president. In 1842 Durbin began a tour of Europe and the Middle East; upon his return home, he authored two books about these travels. Within two years of resuming his duties at the college, Durbin tendered his resignation to the Board of Trustees, explaining that he wished to return to the ministry. Around this same time, Durbin married Mary Cook, the sister of his deceased first wife.

After retiring from the college, Durbin began preaching in Philadelphia, and in 1849 he was elected presiding elder of the North Philadelphia area. In 1850 he was elected as the secretary of the Missionary Society, a position he held until 1872, when he was forced to retire for health reasons. On October 18, 1876, John Price Durbin died in New York; he was buried in Philadelphia.

Stampless Cover



Addressed to John P. Durbin, D. D., Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Annapolis [Maryland]
May 25, 1840

Dear Brother,

Yours of the 17th has been received & Col. [Thomas Emory] Sudler consulted on the subjects of his transfer to Dickinson College. He has authorized me to say that if elected to a Professorship there, he will accept. From the situation of his family he would prefer coming about the middle of summer, but as the Board will meet in July, he thinks that if elected he could get information in time to suit his purposes in moving. At all events, he would expect to be there by the time of opening the college in September next. I think he will consent to take either of the two chairs proposed but perhaps in view of the whole he might prefer the one he holds in this institution — Professor of Mathematics. The Catalogue you refer to has not yet come to hand — at least I have not seen it. I should be pleased to receive at any time any of the two pamphlets published in relation to the college & to make the best use of them in any ______.

Yours truly & sincerely, — Job Guest


Thomas Emory Sudler (1800-1860) was a Professor of Mathematics at St. Johns College, Annapolis, Maryland, a Professor of Mathematics at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1851-1852, and a Professor at the Wesleyan Female Collegiate Institute, in Wilmington, Delaware.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

"Though distant lands between us be"

Civil War Letters of Monroe McCollister, Co. B, 6th OVC

"Tell her to keep good heart"

Civil War Letters of Nelson Statler, 211th PA

"May Heaven Protect You"

14th Connecticut drummer boy's war-time correspondence with his mother

Moreau Forrest

Lt. Commander in the US Navy during the Civil War

Diary of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Fighting with the Irish Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign

"Till this unholy rebellion is crushed"

Letters of Dory & Morty Longwood, 7th Indiana

"I Go With Good Courage"

The Civil War Letters of Henry Clay Long, 11th Maine Infantry

"This is a dreadful war"

The Civil War Letters of Jacob Bauer, 16th Connecticut, & his wife Emily

Spared & Shared 16

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Lloyd Willis Manning Letters

3rd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Co. I

The Yankee Volunteer

A Virtual Archive of Civil War Likenesses collected by Dave Morin

William Henry Jordan

Co. K, 7th Rhode Island Infantry

No Cause to Blush

The Bancroft Collection of Civil War Letters

William A. Bartlett Civil War Letters

Company D, 37th Massachusetts Infantry

The John Hughes Collection

A Virtual Archive of his Letters, 1858-1869

The Civil War Letters of Rufus P. Staniels

Co. H, 13th New Hampshire Volunteers

This is Indeed A Singular War

The Civil War Letters of Henry Scott Murray, 8th New York Light Artillery

The Letters of James A. Durrett

Co. E, 18th Alabama Infantry

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

%d bloggers like this: