1849: Rev. Jared Owen Knapp to Joseph Knapp

This letter appears courtesy of John S Olenkiewicz. While researching the letter 1847: Rev. Jared Owen Knapp to Hannah Bedell Knapp, I stumbled upon a reference to this letter and subsequent correspondence with Mr. Olenkiewics resulted in my obtaining a scan of the letter and his permission to post it here.

This letter was written by Rev. Jared Owen Knapp (1818-1860) in 1849 while serving as pastor of the Congregational church in Central Village, Connecticut. The letter was written to his older brother, Joseph Knapp (1811-1882), who was still living at the family residence in Round Hill, Fairfield County, Connecticut. Apparently, Joseph was extended an invitation by Eunice, the oldest sibling in the Knapp family, to come live in Michigan in the same vicinity where she and her husband settled in the 1840’s.

This letter confirms that Rev. Knapp was boarding with the Fenner family from 1847 to 1849 when in the village, but in the fall of 1849 had decided to board with the William Lester’s family.

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[Addressed to Mr. Joseph Knapp, Round Hill P.O., Fairfield Co., Conn.]

Central Village [Connecticut]
Sep 11, 1849

My dear Brother,

As the inclosed letter from bro. Hitchins contains a few lines from Eunice to yourself, and also another invitation from them to you for the purpose of inducing you to go there to live, I direct this to yourself. Without taking it upon me to advise you in this matter, I will simply suggest that this perhaps may be justly regarded as a favorable opening for you if you feel inclined to visit Michigan. If you did not like the country and the people there, you could settle in some other place or return to Round Hill. The expense of travelling would not be very great – considerably less than when I went, as the fares have been reduced. I hope, my dear brother, you will seek and obtain that wisdom from above which we all constantly need. It would be a sad mistake for you to come to an erroneous decision, as your whole future life will be more or less affected by it. My only desire is to have you pursue such a course as will make you most useful and happy in this life, and best prepare for that which is to come. I have thought that this generous offer of your brother & sister in Michigan might justly be considered a providential indication that you ought to accept it. May the Lord direct you.

Ask Hannah if she has received the letters I sent from N. Haven. I have heard nothing from her since.

When I came here, I found that Mr. Fenner & all his family had gone to the sea-shore for their health. They have now returned, but on account of Mrs. Fenner’s feeble health, I have concluded to make my home this Fall & winter at Mr. Wm Lester’s, where I am now staying.

The sick people here are getting better. Some of them appear as well as ever. They all appear very glad to see me here again — and if the blessing of God shall accompany my preaching, so that Christians may grow in grace, and sinners be converted, I shall rejoice that I came here.

Life is short, and it becomes us to be diligent in making our calling & elections sure.

Tell Hannah I would be glad to have a few lines from her as soon as this is received. Probably I shall not leave here for Greenwich till Monday, the 23rd, and reach home Tuesday afternoon – perhaps in company with Mr. O. – but I do not wish you to come for us at the cars as we can get a conveyance with far less trouble.

Your affectionate brother, — J. O. Knapp

P.S. I wish you to read this letter – I mean the inclosed – all you wish before I come home as I shall want it [back] then.


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