1842: Dr. Jabez Fitch to Rev. Charles Hall

This 1842 letter [report] was written by Dr. Jabez Fitch who lived two miles northeast of Mooers village. He practiced medicine in the area for many years before moving to Dannemors where he became a physician at the State Prison. He served as Deacon of the First Congregational Church of Mooers. Their pastor was Rev. Charles M. Seaton.

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TRANSCRIPTION

Addressed to Rev. Charles Hall, Secy. American Home Mission Society, 150 Nassau Street, New York

Mooers, Clinton Co., New York
March 15, 1842

Rev. Charles Hall, Secy A.H.M.S.

Dear Brother,

Through the aid furnished by your Society, we have enjoyed the stated preaching of the Gospel & the regular administration of its ordinances another year. God has been pleased to bless these means for the advancement of His cause. Many sinners have, we trust, been converted during the year and an accession of some 30 souls made to our church. This accession, however, has not as yet much increased our procuring resources – most of the number being previously either subscribed or minors whose parents were such. The members of our society as we have had occasion to state in former communications are – with few exceptions – poor. They may be somewhat less straitened this Spring than last, perhaps, for the comforts of life but their means for the support of the Gospel are not more abundant now than then. Cash, or an available equivalent, has not for years been so scarce among us at present. While, therefore, we are truly grateful for the timely & liberal aid hitherto granted us by your Society. And while the numerous pressing calls upon you for assistance from other feeble churches render it peculiarly painful for us to do so, still we find ourselves under the necessity of asking a little help a little longer. We shall endeavour to get along with only half the amount we have formerly received. And such amusements have now been made as will, we trust, enable us after the present year to sustain our Pastor without aid from abroad.

Our church is the “First Congregational Church of Mooers,” Clinton Co., New York. We have now about one hundred & fifty communicants. The average number of attendants on the Sabbath is from 200 to 300. The Methodist Society in this place is rather larger than our church, i.e., taking their class rolls as a guide [but their] regular Sabbath Congregations are somewhat less than ours. There is also a small Baptist church in town  & a few Free Will Baptists. These have no stated preaching.

We have agreed to pay our pastor $400 together with his fire wood, the use of a house, garden, & pasture sufficient for one cow & horse. The most we can raise will be $350. The Society own a house & appendages, which are occupied by the Pastor. This leaves a deficit of $50.000 for which we are now obliged to apply to you.

Yours &c.

Jabez Fitch
David H. Read
Abel Knapp

[Above-named being] Trustees of the First Cong. Society, Mooers, Clinton Co., N.Y.

I certify that this Society have, in the main, fulfilled their former engagements with me. There is at present a small balance due me, but is in a way in which I think it will be paid soon.  – C. M. Seaton, Pastor

Mooers, March 14, 1842

The statements in the above application I believe to be correct. – C. M. Seaton

I certify that the statements in the above application are correct and that Rev. C. M. Seaton is a regular member of Champlain Presbytery and also stated clerk of the same. – L. Reed, Paster of the Presbyterian Church in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

FOOTNOTES

In December 1835, Rev. Charles M. Seaton made the following report from Mooers, NY:

“The Lord is doing a great and good work here. But as it has commenced since the expiration of my last quarter, I shall reserve particulars for my next report. I can only say in general that the Lord is exceeding our most sanguine hopes. To him be the praise. The duties of the last quarter were performed as far as practicable agreeably to my “instructions” without any special difficulty or unusual success. Five were added to the church on a profession of their faith, two of whom had previously been Papists. Sabbath schools, prayer-meetings, &c., have been sustained. I have lectured much more frequently than formerly, and I think too with some apparent profit to my people. We have some Hicksites, a good many Universalists, and a large society who call themselves Christians, or Chrystians. These are scattered all over this vicinity and are the most bitter opposers of Presbyterians.”


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