This letter was written by Rev. Jeptha Harrison (1795-1863). He was the son of Abijah and Sarah (Ogden) Harrison and was born in Orange, NJ, in December 1795. He was educated at the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) and studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He was first settled over the churches of Fincastle and Salem, VA, where he labored for three years. He moved to Memphis, TN, serving as the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in that city, where he was for six years; then to Florence, Ala., where he was pastor four years. He was agent for the Board of Domestic Missions one year, then pastor of the Church in Aberdeen, Miss., four years. He next moved to Burlington, Iowa, and after four years he moved to Fulton, Mo., in 1858 and supplied Auxvasse Church. At the time of his death, October 30, 1863, he was stated supply of Round Prairie and Augusta Churches, in Calloway County, MO, within the bounds of the Presbytery of Missouri.
Rev. Harrison wrote the letter to Rev. John C. Brigham, corresponding secretary for the American Bible Society.
Addressed to Rev’d John C. Brigham, D.D., Foreign and Domestic Secretary of the American Bible Society, New York
February 5th 1848
Dear Bro. Brigham
Your Circular of the 1st of January has just come to hand, and I am led to think from its contents on the Dunnery Score that you are to use a southern phrase “Barking up the wrong tree” if I be the game. I have not been living in Memphis since November ’43 when I resigned my charge there. I gave up my office as Secretary of the Bible Society and hence I know nothing of its operations or financial concerns. It is now going on twelve years since I took the charge of the Florence Church and I am happy to say that the Bible Cause has many warm and efficient friends among us. Bros. Kane & Stringfield have been several times among us. We have a pretty good supply of bibles on hand which Bro. Kane ordered for us from New Orleans but we have determined to conduct our society’s operations on the good old fashioned parable of “paying as we go” and sent the money accordingly. If any former society established there is in debt to the parent society, I do not know. I suppose Bro. Kane or Stringfield could give information on that subject. I think we are square.
Being a life member of the American Bible Society, I have been very much disappointed during the last three years in receiving no annual report. I hope I shall not be forgotten hereafter.
Yours affectionately, — Jeptha Harrison