The following letter was written on Tuesday, 14 August 1855 by 57 year-old Ezra L. H. Chamberlain, a leader in the Adventist Movement from Middletown, Connecticut. He, with a few others like evangelists Joseph Bates Ellen White, and James White, reunited the Millerites after the “great disappointment” of 1844 by holding a series of conferences in 1848 in which the theological foundation for the Seventh Day Adventists was lain. This letter was written only three months before his death on 18 November 1855.
August 14, 1855
Will you send or bring Brother Bates’ Testament? I left it on the front room stand (Cambell’s & McKnights) and oblige you.
Have William start with the Testament very early in the morning as it is so hot in the middle of the day. Come through Liberty Street.
Yours in haste, — E. L. H. Chamberlain
N.B. All come to the meeting that can. E. L. H. C.
2nd P.S. Do me the favor to send me my Black Coat hanging in Brother Moon’s middle room by William. Oblige yours, E. L. H. C.
Ezra L. H. Chamberlain (1798-1855) lived in Middletown, Connecticut. He was a leader in the Adventist Movement. He served as a Colonel in the Connecticut militia during the 1830’s and he was lain to rest in the Mortimer Cemetery on Liberty Street in Middletown following his death in 1855. He lies next to his wife, Fanny B. Chamberlain who died in 1840 at age 38.
- The Testament requested by Ezra Chamberlain was probably an 1826 translation of the New Testament by Alexander Campbell based on earlier work by George Campbell, James McKnight, and Phillip Doddridge.
- The “Brother Bates” mentioned in the letter was probably Joseph Bates, a leader of the Adventist Movement in the U.S.
- The letter is addressed to William Graham of Kensington, Connecticut, but is “in the care of A. Belden.” This is no doubt Albert Belden, a farmer at Rocky Hill, Connecticut, who also figured prominently in the history of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It is reported that the First and Fourth (of Five) Conferences held in 1848 to establish the theological foundation for the church were held in his home.