This letter was written by John Ulrich Giesy (1787-1856) and Mary Magdalene (Hensel) Giesy (1798-1869) to their son, Rev. Samuel Hensel Giesy (1826-1888). Samuel’s siblings mentioned the letter include Emanuel Giesy (1818-1880), John Ulric Giesy (1824-1900), and Jacob Hensel Giesy (1828-1880).
Samuel H. Giesy graduated from Marshall College in 1845 and the Theological Seminary (same place) in 1848. In the fall of 1848, he accepted a call to St. James’ Congregation, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and was ordained a minister of the Gospel according to the rite of the Reformed Church, 7 February 1849. He remained in Westmoreland County for seven years and started three churches. This letter was written during his stay there.
Addressed to Rev’d Samuel H. Giesy, Greensburg, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
March 24th 1849
Dearly beloved Samuel,
As my corresponding secretary is rather too much engaged in other matters, it falls to my lot to answer your last dated February 27. We have great reason to be thankful to God that your lot has fallen in so an agreeable place to your feeling. May it always be so, but it is always best for us if we can take the evil day, as well as the good, as sent by the hands of the Lord. We are glad to hear that you have some reason to believe that the people are becoming more and more attached to you. Try and live such a life among them that your life will testify to the truth of that Gospel that you are preaching to them, and that you may be as a light in a dark place among them. Be careful in your walk and conversation, so that you may not pull down what you have built up on the pulpit when out of it.
We expect Br. Williard to be with us till the first Sabbath in April when we intend to have Communion. He will be with us a few days before and hear preaching. We have had no preaching in our Church by any of the ____ Ministers since M. Good left us.
[Your] Brother Jacob is now in Xenia with M. Williard. He intends to work at his dread in that place. He wrote to us through Williard that he can get $22 per month, but would prefer going into partnership with the man. But I tell them that for this time I considered it entirely too premature and I am not in a situation to advance him any money to commence business for himself now. I have written to M. Williard to tell Jacob to work by the month for a year or two, and if he had any spare time, to improve his mind by reading and other opportunities that might offer itself. Learn to obey first himself before he would be able to command others.
At the last court, the sale of the land of M. Reef’s was conformed to me, and you will therefore easily perceive that I shall have my hands full of work this coming summer, as there is most everything out of order on it, the fences, & mill. If I should take a notion to fix it up again, it will require considerable sum of money to do it up in good order.
Andy Giesy is with us at present, intends to stay a few days, perhaps till after the communion. Christina is now got so far as to be able to walk a little. They have great hope that she will get so that she will be able to get about without help. It would be a great pleasing for her. The rest are all well.
I have here enclosed a little of the “friend in need” as it is often named. If I could spare you more, I would send it but it is rather scarce at this time. We will send your books as soon as Elizabeth will get your shorts and other things ready.
[Your] Brother John & Family, also [your] Brother Emanuel & Family, are all in reasonable good health, and so is our family, but old age is fast taken away my former energy and perseverance in business, The repairing of the above-mentioned mill will give me much trouble in mind and body, but if health is spared me, I shall not flinch from the task.
[The part of letter following was written by Mary M. Giese]
Dear Samuel, you will have to excuse this letter as I do not feel at all in the right mood to write to you, but as duty required it, I could not put it off any longer. There are many things that I should like to write to you about but when writing, they slip my memory, and on the other hand, you will think I was hammering at you all the time that we have not spared to give you money advice, but there is still room for more. Indeed, as old as I am now, it would often be necessary for me to have some kind friend to tell me how to act in certain situations, and to warn me from approaching danger. But Samuel, of all the friends you have or may make, make none your confident, so much as your Lord & Master. He will never deceive you. In Him you can unburden all that is heavy on your mind, and in all difficulties, He will stand by your side. But have faith, unwavering faith, in HIs promises, “I will be with you always to the end of the world.” Make the word of God the rule of your life. Labor for the promotion of the Church of Christ, and for the Glory of God, and not for your own Glory. Preach the gospel in its purity, sow the seed in the morning and in the evening, and the Lord will at His own time bring it forth when it shall bring f____ to His C____ and Glory.
May our Heavenly Father lead and guide you through His spirit, protect you from all harm, bandstand by you in all the various troubles of this transitory life in this works. Receive our best wishes and our sincere love. The Lord be with you always. Remain your beloved parents, — John U. & M. M. Giesy