1845: Franklin Davis to Rev. Samuel Souther, Jr.

This letter was written by Franklin Davis (b. 1816), a native of Bangor, Maine. His first employment was as a teacher for three years in Mississippi. He then pursued a theological course in the seminary in Bangor, graduating in 1845. Under a commission from the Home Missionary Society he went to Missouri, but returned to Maine after two years. He was ordained pastor of the Second Congregational Church and Society in Warren in 1847. He has since his ministerial labors in that town been acting pastor successively in Orrington, Alton, N. H., Norfolk and Berkeley, Mass., and Newington and Tamworth, N. H.

Rev. Samuel Souther, Jr.

This letter may have been written as Franklin Davis was departing Bangor for his new assignment in Missouri. Davis mentions his plans to take “the Penobscot,” which was a steamer on the Boston and Bangor route operated by Capt. Sanford. The ship and its captain were made famous by being the first (in 1845) to take “the outside route” which was a straight line between Cape Ann to Monhegan Island rather than hugging the coastline as was done previously.

The letter was addressed to Rev. Samuel Souther, Jr. (1819-1864) in Searsport, Maine – some 25 miles south of Bangor. An 1842 graduate of Dartmouth College and the Bangor Theological Seminary. Rev. Souther was ordained the first regular pastor of the North Congregational Society of Belfast, a post he held from 1847 to 1852. During the Civil War, he served with the 57th Massachusetts Regiment and was reported killed in the Battle of the Wilderness, though his body was never found. Just prior to enlisting, Rev. Souther was serving as the chaplain of Penal and Charitable Institution of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Stampless Cover



[Addressed to Mr. Samuel Souther, Jr., Searsport, Maine]

Bangor [Maine]
October 30, 1845

Brother Souther,

Your letter &c. came safe to hand. Was sorry to be obliged to jog your memory thus for fear you would think I remembered wrong. But you will find it all correct. I shall leave next Monday morn in the Penobscott. My respects to your sister and tell her I should have had her included in the note if I had known is season she was with you. Will you not both come notwithstanding? Excuse the brevity of my letter as my time is very much taken up just now. My respects to Mr. & Mrs. Thurston and my love to all the children. Yours truly, — Franklin Davis


For a biography on Franklin Davis, click here.


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