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The Journal and Letters of Francis Asbury - Volume 2


Chapter 7


June 21, 1800-December 31, 1801

Jesse Lee was one of the great preachers of early Methodism. Born in Virginia, he moved in many sections of the church and for a while traveled with Asbury. He was the father of New England Methodism. Though there was a question here as to his appointment, the Minutes show he was assigned to New York.

NEW YORK[This was written at the New York Conference.]


June 21, 1800 To Jesse Lee}[ There is no designation, but letter was to Jesse Lee.]

Dear Brother:

We wish to close the Minutes in New York, if we can. You must have some place therein: will the above do New York will be a blank at present. If you choose to stay until you think it meet to go down south, you may; and more, you may make your own appointments south, and omit going eastward. Or go, if you choose, to the east; or, if you choose, you may come to Kentucky.

Francis Asbury

Richard Whatcoat

J. B. Wakeley, Lost Chapters Recovered from the Early History of American Methodism, 522

John Page was the pastor on the Cumberland Circuit in Tennessee in 1799 Asbury did not get to the Holston Conference of 1800, and Page was moved. Asbury evidently thought it was a mistake and rectified it.

VAN PELT'S, TENN.[ Benjamin Van Pelt was a local preacher who lived on Licking Creek in East Tennessee. The letter is not placed except for the reference in the letter to Van Pelt.]

September 26, 1800[It has been suggested that the letter was written in 1799, but there is no evidence from the Journal that Asbury was at Van Pelt's in 1799. He was at Van Pelt's on September 26, 1800. Page is shown by the Minutes of 1799 and 1801 to be on Cumberland Circuit. In 1800 he was on the Holston Circuit with John Watson. (See Minutes.) Hunter and Watson fit into the appointments of 1800 and 1801.]

To John Page}

My dear Page:

I have only time to write a few lines. * * * Had I attended at the last Holston Conference, you should have returned immediately to Cumberland. I should have had the petition that was sent for your return. Had I known what had taken place, I would have dismissed you when I passed by you. I hope you will now hasten to that charge as soon as possible: the eternal God be your refuge and strength. To save time, I hope Brother Watson will take your place, and Brother Hunter, Brother Watson's. Green must be left. If I can send help from South Carolina,[ Samuel Douthet and Ezekiel Burdine were transferred from Little Pee Dee and Anson Circuit, South Carolina, to Green. Benjamin Young was put on the Cumberland Circuit, Kentucky, with John Page. (See Minutes.)] will. When you come to Cumberland, you will see if Brother Young or Grenade will be best spared to come to Green. We borrowed two jackets of yours, we will leave at Van Pelt's. I purpose riding half the year, upon horseback, upon the frontiers of the work. We shall always attend the Western Conferences, while able.

I am, with great affection, thine,

Francis Asbury

Albert H. Redford, History of Methodism in Kentucky, /, 140

Stith Mead was a Virginian who had been transferred to Georgia. He became one of Asbury's chief supporters. Here he is being assigned to the Georgia District.

CAMDEN, S.C. January 6, 1801 To Stith Mead[Stith Mead was presiding elder on the Georgia District, succeeding Benjamin Blanton. In 1800 Mead was pastor with William Avant on the Burke and Augusta Circuit.]

My very dear Mead:

We have enjoyed great health consolation, peace, and union in the sitting of this conference. Three[Blanton, Cole, and Evans. (See Journal.)]have located, three are gone over into other

conferences. We are weak handed. We have done the best we can, and all we can do for poor Georgia. You are appointed presiding elder in the Georgia District; John Garvin to Augusta, but you will spend all the time you can there. Brother Samuel Cowles will manage Oconee if you cannot reach that circuit. Washington, Richmond, and Burke,[ Appointments in Georgia.] you may visit by riding 60 miles or one hundred. At the quarter meeting you should be present if possible. I wish you late in the spring, or late in the fall to visit St. Mary's, and take Savannah in your way. The book business must be wholly under your direction, they may be sent to you to your order, to Brother Cooper,[ Book Agent in Philadelphia.] to Charleston, or Savannah. The reply to Christicola[Christicola was the pen name of James O'Kelly. In 1798 or 1799 O'Kelly published his Apology. In the Apology there is a letter called "Letter of Address to the Methodist Christians." He signs his name Christicola. In 1800 he published Divine Oracles Consulted: Christicola. (See The Life of Reverend James O'Kelly, written by himself, 178, 208-12.)] is in Charleston. If it should be in your power to make me any remittance for a horse and chaise I bought of him,[ Ezekiel Cooper. ] before next January you may do it to Brother Cooper, if not when I come. I am with great respect as ever thine

Francis Asbury

P.S. From all the districts we have good news from the presiding elders or others, good prospects, the northern frozen state began to melt and shout. Amen.[ Torn off.]

My very dear Brother:[ Frequently at the bottom or otherwise attached to an Asbury letter is a short note from Richard Whatcoat. This is a sample. As a rule the Whatcoat letters are more in the nature of blessings than added information.]

My desire is that God may give you health, peace, long life and multitudes of spiritual children. Surely the Lord will comfort Zion, after we are tried we shall come forth as gold, meet for the Master's use. He that believeth shall not make haste. The Lord sitteth on the water floods.

Thine as ever,

R. Whatcoat

Drew University Library

The South Carolina Conference met in Camden, and Asbury records that he wrote many letters north on the seventh and eighth. Ezekiel Cooper was evidently chafing some under the criticism that came to the Book Agent, and Asbury was sympathizing with him.

CAMDEN, S.C.[ Place not on letter but supplied from Journal.]

January 7, 1801

To Ezekiel Cooper [Book Agent, Philadelphia.]

My dear Cooper:

Grace and peace be with thy spirit. I have meditated a letter to you for some months. We have had a gracious season in conference for five days. Brother Blanton[Benjamin Blanton was presiding elder on the Georgia District in 1800.] is located. Stith Mead, presiding elder, is to preside in the State of Georgia, James Jenkin in South Carolina. Brother Blanton showed me an answer of $1,000, by John Harper. William M'Kendree, you perhaps know by this, commands in the west. John Kobler[The Minutes of 1801 show that John Kobler located in 1801. Jesse Lee was presiding elder on the Norfolk District and Philip Bruce on the Richmond District.] was appointed to the Richmond District, but I fear he has failed. I heard that P. Bruce was at his father's in North Carolina. I desired him, upon his return, to see if J. Kobler was upon his station; if not, to take it himself; if Brother Kobler was in place, I desired Brother Bruce to go to Norfolk. We will do what little we can to collect for you; but we might as well climb to the moon as attempt to get some of those debts.

I thank you for the advice given of the middle ground.[ Reference here is to the neutral position Cooper had said he had taken between the factions at St. George's Church. (See G. A. Phoebus, Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America, 287.)] We have some time to consider upon it between this and the yearly conference, when it will probably be brought before the yearly conference; at least, we may suppose, the presiding elder and elder will implead each other at the Conference.

I had no doubt but you would feel like wishing to be out of the business of book-making; but, my dear, it is not so easily done. You will have many a shot. I say in all company, when I speak, that you are deeply concerned for the interest of the Connection, and go very near the wind in all your movements for our good. You are easy of access, I have found; readily pacified by a word or a line; you are not a man of intrigue, but open, and therefore I love you. The very thought that I gave you a nomination to your appointment is enough; those that dislike me will disapprove of you. I advise you, as a friend, to retire into your own business as much as possible. I only wish that those who think hardly of you or me could, if it were right, be punished with our places they so much envy; but many would. God forbid! and we also will oppose it.

I think our Scripture Catechism is one of the best in the world, but it could be mended by you, and laid before the next Conference in the amendment. I gave the outlines to John Dickins.[ John Dickins was former Book Agent, now deceased.] I think now if you propound in your own language questions such as these. What is the duty of parents What is the duty of husbands, wives, children, ministers, rulers, of subjects, masters, servants What is the duty of Christians one to another and answer them wholly in Scripture, it would, in my view, be most excellent We could enforce catechising if we had a complete guide. Thine,

F. Asbury

Garrett Biblical Institute Library

This is the second letter to Stith Mead in two days and seems to be an afterthought in reference to the "married" preacher. In the letter of January had referred to the appointment of Samuel Cowles to Oconee.


January 8, 1801

To Stith Mead [ Presiding elder of Georgia District.]

My dear Mead:

You will be surprised with your appointment to president elder[Frequently the term used is president elder instead of presiding elder.] of Georgia.

Not by might nor by power but by my spirit saith the Lord. You have )but one poor married preacher, he is afraid he will starve upon Oconee all year; he may change with one of the young men in Washington in onths. You will I hope, the Georgians will, supply the preachers with quarterage. And it will be needful the stewards should send an account inference of what each has received. They will have no claim from conference, if the circuits supply them.

F. Asbury

Drew University Library

This is the third letter to Stith Mead in January, 1801. It seems that some injustice had been done in appointing Stith Mead in 1800. Asbury apologizes. The letter emphasizes Asbury's desire for proper reports.


January 20, 1801

To Stith Mead[This letter is not addressed; however, Stith Mead was presiding elder on the Augusta District in 1801. He was a native of Lynchburg, Virginia.]

My very dear Brother:

Grace, mercy and peace attend thee now and ever. I thought it needful o write as others had observed the arrangements of thy name in the last minutes, I feared some bad use might be made of it; and that thy mind ----. I acknowledge it was improper; but I was led into it by your writing of your necessity to go to Virginia; I thought if you were obliged there, if you found it needful to stay, and watch your business; I might give you a station there. At the General Conference I concluded I should know definitely and only placed your name at Augusta that I might not forget you altogether; but I totally forgot to put your name right, which I hope you will pardon. I am watched with a jealous eye, and' the smallest slip of the pen, tongue, or memory may be marked, magnified, and sent several hundred miles across the continent.

I have received great news from Vermont, of a work of God equal to that in Cumberland. Good appearances in Massachusetts, and in the State of New York, in Philadelphia and Baltimore, Maryland, Delaware, and some places in poor, rich, dry, barren, formal, Pennsylvania. In the Pitt Settlement; onward to Chanango, in the Northwest Territory, God hath given us hundreds in 1800, why not thousands in 1801, yea, why not a million if we had faith. "Lord increase our faith." I wish the most perfect union to subsist between the Episcopacy, and the presiding eldership, and at least a circumstantial account by letter, every half year; that they may be eyes, ears, and mouth, and pens, from the Episcopacy, to the preachers, and people; and the same from the preachers and people, to the Episcopacy, giving an account of the work, for the press if need be; as also to lay before the yearly conference the great things God is doing in our land, and then by the press, before the whole world. You will send me a letter to Philadelphia by the time of conference there, to Brother Cooper's.[ Book Agent.] I am as ever, thine in Jesus,

Francis Asbury

Drew University Library

If Asbury had had his way, there would be a considerable history of early Methodism. Repeatedly he tried to get the presiding elders and preachers to provide the materials. He indicates here how little had been written and how serious he was about the history. As usual he gives some report of the work.

PEE DEE, S.C. January 30, 1801

To Daniel Hitt[Daniel Hitt was presiding elder on the Alexandria District of Virginia.]

Very dear Brother:

Grace and peace be multiplied to thee and the preachers and people of thy special and sacred charge. I esteem it spiritual impoliteness not to answer a letter from a Christian friend, and more so to a minister of Jesus, and still greater to one highly official as you are, considering the dutiful correspondence you have always honored me with. But of late years my debility was my apology. This is in part removed. Once in every year I wish to hear circumstantially from the president elders, that we may collect, as in a medium, the most pleasing and interesting things of the work of God, not only for the episcopacy, but the Conferences, and the press. I think we have paid but little attention to the work of God, or pure history of religion in America. Except my Journals and a few letters, and our Annual Minutes, what have we to show of the great things God hath done with us, for us, and by us, for thirty years If the Magazine of necessity must fail, a very choice collection, or selection, of the most pure American papers will be introduced; and it would be well for those that have been of standing in the work to write the beginning of their lives, and religion, and labors, and it will be more easily finished in the memoirs of their deaths. We have been graciously supported in our route through the Western States; and the revival of religion among the united Presbyterians and Methodists in Cumberland gave me most animated pleasure and felicity. In the South we have harmony, but not a great increase.

I hope but little murmuring will be heard of the administration. Some missed their choice, no doubt, in such a popular election Bishop Whatcoat. I hope we shall do as little harm as any men they could have chosen; and we will do all the good that is in our power. We wish to know no places or persons after the flesh. The cities will be no more to us than the country, only as Conferences call our attention. We intend to travel ten months of the year at least, and to ride about 6000 miles in the year. I am sorry that any men of respectability among us should join the men of the world, or the separating party, and reflect upon characters and countries. It is a pity any man should bear reflection because Divine Providence gave him birth and being in this or any other land; the fault was not his, if such it is, and was by no means in his power to prevent. It will only serve to show some men's hearts, that they have judged themselves worthy of an honor which a judicious Conference hath conferred upon another. I hope, however, none will be so ungenerous as to charge me with duplicity, and join the disaffected party when disappointed: this will only teach me what I have always believed, all flesh is frail and myself also. I have always taken a pleasure, as far as it was in my power, to bring men of merit and standing forward, and have rejoiced to find citizens take the superintendency of the work in various parts,-I congratulate you, brother, upon the prospects of the West. Late letters announce great prospects of good in the North and East. Of Maryland, east and west, with Delaware, I have not heard: it is possible you have heard more than

I have. If a president elder doth not write to me once in six months, I shall fear he is not in his duty, or in a good temper.

This is a day of good tidings. We cannot hold our peace: if we do, some displeasure may come upon us. When I have read the accounts of the work of God in Cumberland and Delaware, I have found it has given fresh springs to preachers and people, our own and others also. As Conference has willed a larger supply to the preachers, it would be well to make collections quarterly, and in every Sabbath congregation. In our South Carolina Conference we came short only about $48, and this was expended nearly in expenses. You will present us to the preachers in much love. I have sold my carriage, and am on horseback; but Old Gray will never stand the whole continent. Perhaps you may find a young, strong, good-tempered, well-gaited, light trotting or pacing horse of moderate price. I might be able to purchase. I have sold my carriage to Stith Mead,[ Presiding elder on the Georgia District. ] who is unable to ride upon horseback: for at least, I must wait for pay twelve months. As your letter found a post, for which I am much gratified, I hope this will come to hand in answer. Thine as ever,

F. Asbury

The Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, XIV (I860), 624-25

Asbury had been traveling down the eastern coast of the country. George Roberts, the pastor of Light Street Church in Baltimore, had sent him by letter some report of the work in Baltimore and Maryland, but not enough. Asbury was disturbed because he could not get reports of the work, and he says so.


February 4, 1801[Part of year defaced, but 1801 is correct]

To George Roberts}

My most dearly beloved Brother:

What so long expected came at last from you and Brother Morrell.[ Pastor in New York.] We came along west of Charleston and sent a messenger to bring our letters to Kingston 100 miles on this side Charleston. We mark the pillar and the flame of fire that are the Providence and work of God. Withall if we reach Baltimore, travel about 5000 this year; but we have formed a place for future operation of about 6000; and to know no city or town after the flesh, but a night and away, and to visit most if not every district in the Union once in a year. My health is restored. Brother Whatcoat[Bishop Whatcoat.] takes off much public duty that I cannot attend to, with my other load.

I have sold my carriage and Old Gray is as brisk as he can roll in flesh.

We have seen unspeakable times in Cumberland among the Amish, Presbyterians and Methodists. I hope that 500 souls have been converted last year, the work bears all the features of what was seen in Maryland and Delaware and in Georgia. We have seen with our eyes; in South Carolina we have visited largely. We shall have a work in time. As to staying in Charleston I always paid to drink for the whistle. I used to go to the Warm Springs[Bath Springs, now Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.] every season but I had nearly taken the flux in April. I was generally sick in Charleston of late years, nothing but regular and constant riding will do our work. We are called by the slave holders and Kellyites[Followers of James O'Kelly.] and by some that may have been disappointed Englishmen. We must rise by our attention to every part of our duty and all parts of our work and charge. South Carolina also to the[ A line seems to be defaced at bottom of page.] ---- of religion in Virginia, some good appearances.

I am greatly disappointed that Wilson Lee hath not written me some account of the work in Maryland and Brother Morrell and you are brief on that subject. Brother Ware hath not written to me. Once in a year all the presiding elders ought to write to the Episcopacy, to collect into a focus the work of God, for the press, and I wish the preachers of today would write a brief of their conviction, conversion and call to preach and where they had labored. I will select all the most spiritual parts of letters to print and to keep a history of what God is doing in the South. Of Philadelphia, I have heard largely, but it must rest till conference. I presume that elder, and elder, will implead each other at the Conference. I should be exceedingly glad if Brother Morrell and you, would both attend, the yearly conference, it will only be the loss of one Sabbath.

It is a subject of serious consequence where the East Conference will be no fear in cities where we abound with friends. The preachers are slack in going to their circuits, you will take the hint! I am a solitary man, I am much elbowed and courted in cities. Our work requires great dedication and much solitude. You will make a lift of a collection for Conference, the interest of at least, six thousand dollars never yet paid into the fund, besides a yearly collection as in Philadelphia after all our financiering the Chartered Fund is the best if it would yield 1400 or 2000 dollars it would give great relief.[ Several lines defaced.]

Our work[His itinerary.] opens in the Pittsburgh direction westward. I esteem it a degree of spiritual impoliteness not to answer a Christian letter, and a ministerial letter more so. Would the presiding elders write to me one letter only of the state of the work, I should rejoice and the city preachers also of the cities. We could give great personal information to the conference and individuals of the work of God. I have not heard of Mrs. Gough,[ Mrs. Gough of Perry Hall, Maryland.] if she is recovered. You may meet me with a letter at Norfolk about the last of the month, we are now upon the seaside way to Wilmington, Newbern, Halifax, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Then Richmond, Fredericksburg, Alexandria, and so on. I beseech you to counsel Lyell[Thomas Lyell, who later went into the Episcopal ministry in New York.] you are near him. I am as ever thine and to the members of the Church of God in Baltimore I send Christian salutations.

Francis Asbury

Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

Thomas Morrell had not been well. There was a question as to whether he could continue in the work. His father was an old Mon. Evidently Asbury had thought of placing him in New York where he would have been near his father in Elizabeth Town or in Jersey. Asbury shows his great sympathy for Morrell. The next year he was moved to New York. The remainder of the letter is taken up with news and concern for the connection.


February 6, 1801

To Thomas Morrell

My very dear and loved Brother:

Grace, mercy and peace be abundantly multiplied to thee now and ever. Your letter came late to hand, by our sending a messenger to Charleston, after conference. We happily received them at Kingston, on our way to Wilmington. What is done, cannot be done over again: we cannot tell what advice to give, or how we should act ourselves had we been in circumstances, like you and Brother Roberts. I have thought, I should advise the preachers at such seasons to go and see their parents. You will advise concerning your continuance in the work. I am well persuaded that you ought to take a station in New York, once more, and when health and weather will permit, if it was every week, visit your father and spend as much time as you can, a day or two. I am clear with Mr. Wesley, the obligation of children to parents never closes but with life; and that parents ought to demand and children give their parents services, and support, if they need it, that parents have a natural, and divine right over their children. You ought to cheer the setting hour of your father's life: hold and stay long. My dear mother is going swiftly, if not gone: after praying fifty five years for me. I have often thought very seriously of my leaving my mother as one of the most doubtful sacrifices I have made.

I am more peculiarly tender on this subject, when written to by my Brethren. We have held our conference in Camden, in great peace, as if Providence had over ruled our removal from that seat of---[ Evidently reference to Charleston, where they were having difficulties.] Indeed it is a doubt with me if one yearly conference ought to be held at all: or more than once in three years in any city or large town.

Take this hint. I wish to do nothing with duplicity though I am sometimes charged with it from my professedly best or real friends near the center, The preachers will soon return to their work they are going through and need not learn the habits of citizens, they should attend with the greatest strictness to our task. At conference there, preaching is no great object at conferences, the keeping thirty or 40 horses is no object in the country but it is a great matter in town, if the country people must have the horses, they may as well have the man.

I have need of great solitude, of mind and to retire in a country house, to think and meditate with my partner, who is always to be consulted, as we are one. You know the state of families, you know what frequent calls we may have from business, the most momentous concern that ever filled the hands, the heads, the hearts, of man, for the peace, good order of the general works. I hope Brother Roberts and you will both attend the conference: we need the aid of wise and gracious and frank counselors; let no trifling excuse be admitted.

I hope that the collection will be noble, not less than the interest of 8 or 10,000 Dollars, that should have been paid into the preachers fund. I am easy how they raise it upon honorable means. We shall want money, and the rise of salary will demand it.

The poor people of the south have paid about 48 dollars and we had to pay a moderate sum for board. The removal of Conference will save 4 or 500 dollars, at the rate they pay for house rent and board and the burden of small pox and other things will be removed.

If this money is not wanted in the Maryland Conference, our poor brethren upon the Lakes or away among the rocks of New England, will dispense with it. Several married preachers are returned to the connection in the south and the north, many will and perhaps ought to marry and to continue in the work, and we shall receive married preachers and some may be carried from one Conference and hands, and be drawn out of book money in the hands of the preachers, thus we need not transmit cash but keep it where it is.

There is a most glorious work in Cumberland, in the Tennessee State, in the union of the Presbyterians and Methodists. In Vermont it is great also. In these southern states after we have been trod down like the mire of the streets, God will raise and lift us up, and make our enemies lick the dust of our feet, if we are faithful.

I cannot say if the address was not of God and it may or will have its influence, it only lanced the impostume abscess of deep rooted enmity, that has been swelling for years. Politicians are very apt to over do themselves, the history of all nations, and people will teach this in sacred and civil books. Will you be so -------[ Letter defaced. ] as to procure your two pamphlets clean copies. I wish to have all of them bound in a book, to transmit to any that wish in my life or death, to know about that or those matters. I want justice at least from men, and especially from Christians.

You will favour me with a letter to Norfolk, the last of March. If the

presiding elders, in the cities and towns and country would give me once a year circumstantial accounts of the work. I would ---- ---- ---[ Nearly a line defaced.] annually of Methodism, like Prince's History for a select collection of original papers.

Thine as ever,

F. Asbury

Drew University Library

[A note is appended which seems to be from Richard Whatcoat.]

The most interesting part of this letter is that dealing with the preaching and quarterly conference appointments. The letter shows Asbury's method of getting around. As a rule his itinerary was set up before he got to the various churches and preaching places. He was driven to make the appointments, which had been arranged well in advance. What a schedule it was can be clearly seen. There was no time for emergencies and the many illnesses he suffered. His life is all the more remarkable when it is seen through his preaching appointments.


March 26, 1801

To George Roberts[Pastor of Light Street Church, Baltimore.]

My very dear Roberts:

Grace and peace attend thee and thine now and ever. We have toiled along the sea coast, solitary sands, long leafed pines, creeks, rivers and swamps of South Carolina and North Carolina to Norfolk, between 600 and 700 miles and have nearly filled 4000 since our start at Baltimore. The want of water, the changes of mush have affected me some, but oh the winter of religion, the spring of trade, staves and shingles, ship building, all afloat.

Oh now I am talking of temporals. John Hodges[Hodges was an early name among the Methodists. The family first had a ferry, then a toll bridge.] an old Methodist near Portsmouth was spoken to by Brother Simpson, he was here to supply Adam Fonderdon with what card boards he will command and Hodges thinks he had better have them longer than a correct length, lest they shrink, crack or damage, and better cut plain than thin, on one side, but safe. If Fonderdon will order by letter directed to John Hodges near the Great Bridge, Norfolk, to the care of John Stratton.

[line defaced]

I must also desire that Brother Morrell and yourself make no manner of excuses from coming to the yearly conference at Pipe Creek; let your stall[Bookstall.] feed flocks in Baltimore, have a church for their luxury; remember Nicholas Snethen, and George Roberts, and Thomas Morrell are our committee of compilation. I am determined to do as little of that as can be. I would submit to men of sense and candor; but when men put on such airs, as some do, whom I know have no more sense nor learning than myself I will not commit myself to such judges and such critics.

Our appointments[The list of appointments gives insight into Asbury's method of meeting the societies. He sent the appointments ahead, and the preachers and people knew when he would be in the communities.] we wish made with great punctuality and notariety through Maryland in the west.

April 27 Federal City where and what time is to be set

Tuesd. 28 Montgomery Court House 12 44

Wed. 29 Goshen Meeting House 12

Thurs. 30 Pipe Creek

Friday May 1st Thursd. 7th Ryster 12 . Stone Chapel 5

Saturd. 2nd Frid. 8th

Sund. 3rd Sat. 9th Baltimore City

Mond. 4th 2 Sund. 10th

Tuesd. 5th appointments to be made by your judgment

Wed, 6th for the bishop on Mon.

Monday 11 Perry Hall 12

Tuesd. 12 Gunpowder at 12 Abingdon 5

Wed. 13 Bush Chapel 12 Swan Neck 4 Thence then we cross the River, we shall send our appointments to the other shore, but lest they should fail, if you have an opportunity, they are as follows

North East 14,

Frid. 15 Carnanual Bethel

Bohemia at 12 Manner Chapel

Satur. 16 Georgetown at Roads

Sund. 17 Still Pond Chester

Mond. 18 Church Hill

Tuesd. 19 Centerville

Wed. 20 Easton

Thurd. 21 Boling Rock

Frid. 22 Cambridge

Sat. 23 Fraser's

Sund. 24 Chop Tank

Mon. 25 Milford

Tuesd. 26 Brick Chapel

Wed. 27 Dover

Thurd. 28 Cross Roads

Friday 29 Dickinson Wilmington night

Saturd. 30 Philadelphia

And so we go. You will send a correct copy to the shore if you can; as we wish to let them know when we are coming. Farewell my love to all. Thine,

F. Asbury

Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

Another set of preaching appointments shows the unusual stamina of Asbury in spite of a body that was frequently in great pain. His will power was extraordinary. The references to the publishing business are interesting.


March 27, 1801

To Ezekiel Cooper[Book Agent, Philadelphia.]

My very dear Brother:

If we do for you, in return you will serve us. We wish to take the following, or a better plan, if it can be found, through New Jersey:

Monday, June 8, to leave Philadelphia and preach at Clonmell, three o'clock P.M.

Tuesday, June 9, to preach at Salem, two o'clock.

Wednesday, June 10, to preach at Bethel, two o'clock.

Thursday, June 11, to preach at New Mills, three o'clock.

Friday, June 12, to preach at Emiey's, two o'clock; but I must be at Joseph Hutchinson's that night.

Saturday, June 13, to preach at Brunswick, twelve o'clock; Drake's,

five o'clock.

Sunday, June 14, to preach at Elizabethtown all the Sabbath. You will consult Brother Sharp,46 and do the best you can. I am not able to say what places ought to be in the vacancies, but we must be at Joseph Hutchinson's and Brunswick, and Drake's and Elizabethtown, ^that we may come in time to the New York Conference. |

We could not collect any money from Thomas Bowen.[ Thomas Bowen had been a Book Steward. (See Minutes, 1795.)] According to his settlement with Jesse Lee,[ Jesse Lee was presiding elder on the Norfolk District.] he holds the Connection in debt to him. Brother Whatcoat[Bishop Whatcoat.] hath received but very little of your money as yet, but he has sent you one hundred and twenty dollars. Forty-nine you will be pleased to pay Sister Dickins[Widow of John Dickins, former Book Agent.] from Henry Bradford, as a part of payment he hath obtained for land sold in North Carolina; the remnant you will enter to Brother Whatcoat's credit, as he expecteth to receive money of yours at the Virginia Conference. 100 dollars United States Bank, No. 129. 20 dollars Bank of New York, No. 334.

This small sum will be of use to you, but the money Brother Whatcoat will collect, of yours, will be of no use to him, only a burden. I am, with respect, yours,

Francis Asbury

Portsmouth, March 27, 1801




49 to E. Dickins

71 to R. Whatcoat

I have enclosed the twenty dollar bill in a letter to T. Haskins.[ Grocer, Philadelphia.]

F. Asbury

Garrett Biblical Institute Library

Asbury's foot infection caused him to be confined in Philadelphia for two months, thereby missing the New York Conference. The foot trouble as described in the Journal was a sinew strain. He had the constant attention of Dr. Physick. The church in Philadelphia was undergoing severe divisions as the Journal and subsequent letters show, and the malcontents both in and out of Philadelphia were giving him great concern. The immediate malcontent reference is to the Philadelphia Conference.


June 6, 1801

To George Roberts[Pastor of Light Street Church, Baltimore.]

My very dear George:

I have been under an alarm with my foot, the Doctor[See reference in Journal, June 6-July 31.] has pronounced a second and severe operation necessary; this morning he doubts, and hath applied a blister, to lay it open to see if any thing improper should remain under neath. The thoughts of not going to New York and the east sunk me down, and old Father[Bishop Whatcoat.] also, but the lame and blind will take the prey.[ Perhaps a reference to Isaiah 33:23: "The lame take the prey."]I am much afraid Brother Whatcoat will lose his sight in part or whole, he will ride and preach himself blind. We have had a great time in Conference. This day the Conference[The conference in Philadelphia was closing that day. In the Journal, Asbury refers to the possibility of a "formidable" division in the Philadelphia Conference which had just closed. (See Journal, 1852 ed., June 7, 1801.) The appointive power of the bishop had been challenged repeatedly, and this was probably the issue.] closes with the petition of the malcontents. I highly disapprove of any thing coming before the Conference, it is a bad precedent; I plead not guilty. I had the leave of absence for operation upon my foot. I beg leave to suggest if I am to have a suit of clothes that they may be my own colour light blue,[ In view of the fact that so many preachers through the years have worn black, it is interesting to see that Asbury's color was light blue.] the excessive heat of this country, and we being so exposed perpetually to the sun, it must be so for my health and the important work to the east. I hope to be able to go. I am as ever thine,

Francis Asbury

Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

According to the letter of June 11, 1801, to Thomas Haskins, this address was sent to Haskins. Whatcoat and Asbury were appointed by the annual conference to write an address to the church. It may be that another letter was sent to Haskins along with this; but if so, it has not come to light. The succeeding letters to Thomas Haskins throw considerable light on this address. Whether the difficulty was largely between the stationed preachers and those who had been active in the ministry and were now attached to St.George's is not clear; but Asbury felt that the preachers, stationed, connectional, and local, could have solved the trouble. Ezekiel Cooper gives his side of the story in his Journal. He says it was a division between the rich and the poor, and he sided with the poor.

            Samuel Coate was pastor for the one year, 1801. It seems that Ezekiel Cooper, the Book Agent, and Thomas Haskins, former traveling preacher and now grocer in Philadelphia, were at odds. Asbury says in the letter of July 10 that if union could take place between Brothers Swain, Coate, Haskins, Green, Cavender, and Cooper, "our trouble would soon be at an end"

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                                                        June 8, 1S01

To the Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.[ Asbury's reference to the division in St. George's Church is found in the Journal, 1852 ed., Sabbath, August 27, 1801: "Some violent men have divided the body of Christ in the city of Philadelphia-let such answer for it in this and the world to come." (See G. A. Phoebus, Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America, ch. xiv.)]

                                                                        BRETHREN, dearly beloved in the Lord, grace, mercy, and peace, be multiplied to you, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

            The Annual Conference, which sat in this city during the last week, having had a view of the existing difficulties among you,[ There is no reference to this in the Journal. On July 31 it says, "Our Conference was a gracious one," (See letter with notes, September 27, 1798, to the board of trustees.)] came to a solution-That as the Conference had never before been called upon in such a case or cases, and as their interference therein, might be setting a precedent, pregnant with evil consequences to the Church at large, therefore it should be recommended to you all, to resume the tone of harmony and love.

            We were appointed by the Conference to address you upon this occasion-Therefore,

We address you by request of the Conference, and in the name and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles-"Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter to him, and said. Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him till seven times Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but Until seventy times seven.

            "Therefore is the Kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

            "But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying. Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying. Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, 0 thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormenters, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." Matthew xviii, 15-35.

            "But if ye bite or devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

            "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another." Galatians v, 15, 22-26.

            "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one law-giver, who is able to save, and to destroy: Who art thou thatjudgest another" James iv, 11, 12.

            "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden." Galatians vi, 1-5 vsr.

            "Wherefore, laying aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies, and as new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." 1 Peter ii, 1,2.

            We lament that there has been a division of sentiment, either among preachers or members; But as all men do not see alike, in matters of church discipline, we beseech you brethren, not to suffer a difference in opinion or views, to alienate your affections from your brethren, the church, or the cause of God.

            If you regard the authority or desire of the Conference, you are most earnestly entreated, on principles of love, to let every matter of dispute or complaint die and be buried. Moreover, if you wish to see or have the Conference among you in the future, you must add to your benevolent |  liberality[In order to show their peeve, the brethren had not been too hospitable.] (for which we, in behalf of ourselves and the Conference, do thank you, collectively and individually, who have communicated to our wants) the more benevolent and soul-cheering feast of love and union among yourselves: which we hope, in future, to find existing in the society.

            Furthermore, if you calculate[The brethren probably desired special privileges because of the size and age of the church. ] on any great advantage or benefit, to yourselves or others, from a station of preachers in the city, you must live in the exercise of prayer, and peace. How can you expect your preachers to live and labor among you in the fire of contention, and always to be wading through the waters of strife

            We respect you, as one of the most ancient societies of our connection, in the United States, and most earnestly wish and pray, that your unity, faith, love, and brotherly kindness, might be spoken of throughout the world. We are greatly concerned and very solicitous, to have peace and unity re-established among you. The Conference consider each society as standing in its own accountability, as standeth every quarterly meeting conference, every yearly conference, and the general conference, according to the rules of discipline to govern them: and as the general conference has given no authority to the yearly conference to correct the real or supposed abuses of the quarterly meetings in the exercise of those duties referred to them by the discipline, and as they have heard the complaints against their own members, it is all they are authorised to do. The Conference have acted according to the best of their judgment, in thus recommending and entreating of you to unite in love and peace.

            But if, after all we can say or do for you on this occasion, any of you[The letter goes the second mile to say that the whole matter and each individual shall be dealt with in love.] should so far yield to temptation, as to withdraw from us, or leave the society, we hope to find you in the congregation. We are grieved at the idea of giving any of you up, or of losing you. We have done what we conceived to be for the best. If any of you leave us, we will follow you with our prayers, with our tears, our pity, and exhortations-we will follow  you as the scattered sheep of our flock.

            We advise, and enjoin it on all your present preachers and ministers,[ An appeal to all preachers there stationed, local and connectional.] carefully to avoid all pulpit reflections, and to visit generally from house to house, both rich and poor, and not to have the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect to persons; and also, to use all healing and conciliatory methods, consistent with real piety and good discipline. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Philippians iv, 8, 9.

            "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2 Corinthians xiii, 11, 14.

Brethren, dearly beloved in the Lord,

            We are, in the bonds of a peaceable gospel, yours affectionately, Signed in behalf of the Committee, Richard Whatcoat Francis Asbury

            Taken from a photograph of a printed copy of the address in St. George's Church, Philadelphia

            This and the following letters to Thomas Haskins throw light on the address to the trustees at St. George's Church and its contents. A summons had already gone to make a reply to the address. Asbury felt they were proceeding with haste. He pleads for patience and resignation.

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                                                        June 11, 1801

            To Thomas Buskins[Thomas Haskins, grocer in Philadelphia, formerly a traveling preacher.]

My very dear Brother:

            I shall take it as a distinguishing favor if you will send me the double letter[It is not clear whether the reference is to the address itself or another letter. Asbury thought Haskins was the key figure in getting the trouble settled.] Brother Whatcoat and myself wrote in great confidence and conciliatory affection to you. You have heard of a summons of a reply to our Address.[ The address of June 8, 1801.] I hope that more patience and resignation will prevail, and you will wait awhile, your haste will undo your cause as it hath done already. I know now from what quarter it first sprung that I had committed myself to an impeachment at the General Conference, by conveying official commands to the presiding elder by local preachers.[ Haskins was evidently a local preacher, and Asbury was laying himself open to the criticism of approaching the problem through a local preacher rather than a presiding elder or pastor.] When I had more of the difficulties of Philadelphia brought before me at Camden I concluded I would not write any at all upon the subject, matters had been carried with such an high hand, upon both sides, and Brother Whatcoat was absent from me at that time; and when he came he advised a joint letter; therefore if my letter is detained, and a second improper use made of it, it will make a breach between me and my old brethren, friends and children in Philadelphia that perhaps will not be healed.

                                                                        Francis Asbury

                                                                        The Historical Society of the Philadelphia Conference                                                                and Old St. George's Methodist Church, Philadelphia.                                                               Transcribed by Albert W. CUffe

            Thomas Haskins was for a long time the treasurer of St. George's Church, one of its trustees, and a former traveling preacher. He seems to have been closer to Asbury than any other member, and Asbury got him to do the work on his Journal. However, Haskins did not do it too well. (See Journal, April 5, 1802.) Asbury was doing everything possible to prevent a division of St. George's. Without doubt Haskins and Cooper were at odds.

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.[ There was no Journal record                                                                        for this period as Asbury was laid up in Philadelphia                                                                        with a bad foot. (See Journal, 1852 ed.. May 31,                                                                               1801.)]

                                                                        Friday, June 26, 1801

To Thomas Haskins[Grocer and local preacher.]

My very dear Son:

            If you can be so accommodating as to transcribe two volumes[On July 27 Asbury says that he was reading his papers for a second volume of his Journal. (See Journal.) This letter shows that he turned over to Haskins work that had already been done by another to whom he had paid a hundred dollars.] of my journal by construction and correction upon your plan already begun, as soon as possible, I will promise you $100. If you will likewise copy and construct in the best manner you can some fragments of letters[A set of these "Letters to Asbury" was published in 1805. There are only about a dozen of these that are dated before this letter. A copy of the printed letters is in the library of Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina.] I am selecting from a correspondence of near thirty years from a great variety of persons from different parts of the continent. You must be at liberty to have some parts you may judge uninteresting but these fragments of letters contain relations of revivals in most places in the union. I wish if you undertake this work it might be with all your might at least within the space of six or ten months.

            I beg leave to suggest to you as there is, I understand a meeting [Asbury has a definite purpose in this letter. He must have had it delivered to Haskins by messenger as he is giving advice for the meeting to be held that night at Colonel North's. North was one of the trustees of the church.] to be held at Col. North's this evening, if it would not be better to suspend all thoughts of withdrawing from the church, at least for six or twelve months, and all return to your stations and fellowship in the church. You will ask me how much nearer shall we be then and that I cannot answer. It may be no object with some of you by that time. You will ask me what further advice would you give and I answer your difficulty ought not to be with the conference or with me or the present stationed preachers or with the society in general. These you judge innocent as a body or with the official members except those that form the last quarter meeting. Then only will you leave these sheep that have not injured you. I hope you will not avail yourself of my advice to my injury but to your advantage.

            Suppose you have a resolution entered into and a committee select a member of the agrieved body to be appointed to address all the members of that quarter meeting individually or collectively by word or letter; to give them the fullest information they can of what was done and why things were so done at that quarter meeting; and never give over and address them, time after time, because it is a subject that so many feel

 themselves invested into such an amount of members that perhaps they will in the final issue of things, they will have the church, unless said select men can obtain such satisfaction as will calm the minds of the body of the dissatisfied members. Assume great tenderness and yet great plainness, move slow, make an address, copy it, send it to everyone. Let them answer you collectively or individually. Tell them they must not view it as a light matter but strive as they love your souls as the final due (worth) them.

            There should not only be caution, how they take up and decide upon such a matter and most earnestly entreat their candid information upon the present matter and the select committee will report to the body. I wish it not to be made public that I have anything to do in the matter of advice. I confide in you and I know not that I could write to the body or any other person but yourself. You will easily, you will understand and systematize this plan in a few words.

            You must consider whether you keep your places in the church and with which property you can demand that satisfaction, and how improper, if not impossible, it might be for you to obtain it if withdrawn. If you apply to the court, by all means stay in the county. You can know perfectly the members of that court or quarterly meeting and employ men to follow them with letter after letter in the greatest calmness and love by ample legation of the great breach it is like to make if full information is not obtained. I have offered you a sum, I hope, to command for your transcript of the Journal and letters, I shall not depend upon the connection. We have already given a $100 for the first copy" you now have. I shall be exceedingly gratified for you to proceed. It is not what it is worth but what I can spare.

                                                                        Thine as ever,

                                                                                    F. Asbury

                                                                        The Historical Society of the Philadelphia Conference                                                                and Old St. George's Methodist Church, Philadelphia

            A bad foot is still responsible for Asbury''s staying in Philadelphia. He is writing to George Roberts in Baltimore and pouring out his soul on his personal and official problems. The division at St. George's Church is uppermost in his thinking. He indicates here that he regrets that he had attempted to do anything about it.

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                                                        July 1, 1801

To George Roberts[Pastor of Light Street Church, Baltimore, Maryland.]

My very dear Friend:

            I have delayed writing not willing to trouble my dearest friends, to mourn, in hopeless, helpless grief for me. I have contemplated a return to Maryland, but it cannot be yet; indeed I have a second thought of going by stage to Boston. All things were conducted well and perhaps far better without than with me at New York. Brother Whatcoat [Bishop Whatcoat substituted for Asbury at the New York Conference.] by the advice and help of the presiding elders and conference (presided). All is well, a large and happy addition of preachers. Sylvester[Sylvester Hutchinson, the preacher. ] is gone with Brother Whatcoat. This is well, perhaps he may continue with him and if I am able to move by the last of August I shall take Luke and go on to the westward and leave Brother Whatcoat to go down the old path [Down the east coast through Virginia, North and South Carolina.] to Camden Conference. I know not a better man than Sylvester to attend the old bishop; ---, that --- writes he can see dimly with one eye. I do not speak with respect to want; but the old men, and women [He does not mention in the Journal the people who quarreled. ] quarrel with my dress and the heat of the weather calls for a change. I received no, money here from conference, or trustees and I will not. The conference committee of finance in New York have sent me 18 dollars, I shall take 30 from Mr. Foxhall. If the Society in Baltimore choose they may repay him. As to my confinement I have a most affectionate skilful Doctor,[ Doctor Physick. (See Journal, July 8, 1801.)] a large house, the use of three rooms by day and four if need be by night. I am a little like the old prophet. If I am weak it is a wonder if it is not at a widow's house.

            In Charleston, Baltimore (old times) Philadelphia, state of New York perhaps about fifty have signed a declaration of withdrawing and seem in haste to be discharged from the society. These I call Puritans. What the preachers will do with them I know not, one elder is enough for bishop here. I fear we have had too many! My principal (trouble) was with those I have had difficulties[(See letter of 1816 to Joseph Benson.) Thomas Rankin was chief of them.] with on the other side the water, non-resident, nonpresident. I mean only to do my own business when President, and only when it is safe-give advice in what I cannot say is my business; only for general good. I only regret that I had anything at all to do with the Philadelphia fire[Divisions in the church. (See letters above to Thomas Haskins.)] and still I am here and cannot with safety get away.

            The case of my foot is very stubborn, if past the worst, which we hope, it mends slowly. It was six months in preparing. I fear it will be two or three in curing. I hope the Philadelphia fever will not reach Baltimore. It is a sufficient curse here. I hope that the preachers and people will be done with it. With you, I believe it to be a Judicial stroke upon this society.

            The universal gale of prosperity of the Connection is wonderful, for it is for our humiliation but a challenge. Philadelphia [Name means "city of brotherly love."] for fifty years past, with all the cities in America, Europe or the world; for divisions among religious people so called. You will give me a line. Present Christian salutations individually and collectively in the pulpit if you please, to any and to all. You will judge of my case to sit from morning to evening in a disagreeable attitude in the heat of the weather and division in the middle of the city, while he is yet [Conclusion not clear. The paragraph is hard to read.] speaking there cometh-

                                                                        I am afflicted,

                                                                        F. Asbury

                                                                        Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore                                                                            Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

            This is another in the series of letters to Haskins. It reveals how bad the division was at St. George's. Asbury felt that the preachers were involved and that Haskins was himself a big factor in bringing harmony. It is disappointing that there are not other letters extant to throw further light on what happened.

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                                                         July 10, 1801

To Thomas Haskins [See letters to Haskins, pp. 137, 210, 211.]

Oh my much loved Son:

            How long is this war to continue between the house of David and the house of Saul Will it not be bitterness in the end Now the anguish of my foot is removed and I am able to set it to the ground with a little more ease, I want to see what can be done for peace. Why cannot Brother Cooper [Ezekiel Cooper was Book Agent. He indicated that he had sided against the Haskins faction.] and you talk together, like Christians, men, and ministers, and men of sense, and citizens Oh that we could have a little close conference between the stationed preachers and you that have been in travelling connection and see if we cannot understand each other.

            There, if few of you were united you might by power of God shake the city. I am fully persuaded that it is to you, and of you our separate brethren hope, and boast. Would you return they would in time. I am almost confident, if there was union to take place and a close fellowship to take place between Brother Swain, Coate,[ Coate was pastor in 1801. Haskins and Cooper had been in the traveling connection. Lemuel Green and Charles Cavender were two of the preachers in Philadelphia in 1799. Richard Swain had been across the river in New Jersey. (See G. A. Phoebus, Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America, ch. xiv.)] Haskins, Green, Cavender, and Cooper; our troubles would be soon at an end. Little did I ever think that one of my dear children would rise up against me. If I am bereaved of my children I am bereaved! till I am better persuaded I shall think from what I have heard, and seen, that it lies with Brother Cavender[It is hard to tell whether the chief trouble was between Cooper and Haskins or Haskins and Cavender.] and you, and oh my dear, think of the consequences of misguiding souls; it has always been my fear and care, to do as little harm as possibly I could, knowing it is what little good I have ever done, or can do.

            If you have not fellowship with individuals in the society, you will have some with the body. Your way is open to retreat with honor, now do it, lest the door should be shut. You owe it to the body of Methodists through the continent and may plead that you cannot leave them, nay I know not but you owe it to me! I hope to be at Ebenezer in the afternoonon Sabbath Day, there I hope to see you and others if you will not come to St. George's. This is but the beginning of a long talk up on paper, while I stay, which may be a week longer by necessity of my God. Yours as ever

                                                                        F. Asbury

            The Historical Society of the Philadelphia Conference and Old St. George's Methodist Church, Philadelphia.

            Since Asbury has been laid up for weeks with an infected foot, he has had time to think about his Journal and letters. He is not certain how best to proceed with the editing and transcription of the material. Haskins is working on them, but Asbury is wondering what kind of job it will be.

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                                                         July 11, 1801

To Thomas Haskins[Thomas Haskins, the grocer in Philadelphia. Asbury was much concerned about his Journal. Several persons had a part in editing it, John Dickins, Ezekie Cooper, Thomas Haskins, another unnamed person to date, and others later. Asbury was disturbed, as indicated in several letters, that the Journal would not be correct.]

My very dear Son:

            The probability is that I shall be in town another week to gain some strength, and part of a new foot; and as I am through the selection,[ See notes, letter to Haskins, June 26, 1801.] and file of letters; I have sent through the numbers of my journal back in haste; not expecting that I could attend an examination of them upon your first correction. I am now inclined upon second thought, more attentively to revise them upon your first going through them; and to judge more perfectly, which I shall choose, whether to have them transcribed as you have begun; or take them upon your first correction; or lay them by altogether; or let them be till some way may open, in my future life or after my death. I am at present under some doubt and difficulty what to do. By reading them carefully, I shall judge according to my imperfect judgment; whether I can submit them to the press in their present dress or not. Please to send the numbers by the Philadelphia (stage). I am with great respect to you and yours,

                                                                        Francis Asbury

                                                                        The Historical Society of the Philadelphia Conference                                                                and Old St. George's Methodist Church, Philadelphia.                                                               Transcribed by Albert IV. Cliffe

A Letter of Thomas Haskins to Bishop Whatcoat

            Whatcoat also kept a journal. Part of it has been published in W. W. Sweet's Religion on the American Frontier. Whatcoat's Journal had been in Thomas Haskins'' hands. Haskins, the grocer and trustee of St. George's and former traveling preacher, was also working on Asbury's Journal. A comparison of Asbury's and Whatcoat's Journals shows that Asbury was much better equipped to write than Whatcoat and that Asbury had developed a great deal more literary skill and culture.

                                                                        PHILADELPHIA, PA.

                                                                        July 11, 1801

To Richard Whatcoat [Asbury and Whatcoat had been traveling together. Asbury was suffering from a bad foot. It became so bad that he was unable to go on. No reference is made in the Journal to Whatcoat's leaving. However, reference is made to the New York Conference being held, and Whatcoat evidently went on to hold it.]

Revd. and dear Father:

            I this moment received your favor of this morning and in obedience to your wishes I send all your manuscript journals whichever came to my hands and I hope you will in due season decide on their publication and that they may appear to the eye under every advantage and become the medium of reproof, correction and instruction to future generations. You will please excuse my giving you a formal answer to yours of yesterday which has been duly received and maturely considered. I can and will hear almost everything you think proper to think of and tell me [It seems that Whatcoat had attempted to plead with Haskins to settle the trouble in St. George's Church.] and have judged it most expedient  J to say nothing in answer, lest in saying what I might I should inflict a wound and give pain to one whom I love and revere equal to any man on earth. But if I am bereft of my father,[ Haskins refers to Bishop Whatcoat as father and signs himself son.

Haskins refers to Bishop Whatcoat as father and signs himself son.] I am bereft. Yet will I earnestly claim his prayers hoping that God may bless and continue us in Christ Jesus.

            In haste. Your affectionate son and--

                                                Thomas Haskins

            The Historical Society of the Philadelphia Conference and Old St. George's Methodist   Church, Philadelphia

            According to the envelope this letter was directed to Ezekiel Cooper,

superintendent of the press and books, Philadelphia. It is written from Perry Hall and tells of the conversion of Gough Hollady, a niece of Mrs. Gough. Asbury is also giving more information on the Journal. He refers to the strife at St. George's.

                                                                        PERRY HALL, MD.[ The letter as published had only                                                                      Tuesday 4, 1801, However, the Journal shows. Perry                                                                       Hall as the place and August as the month.]

                                                                        Tuesday, August 4, 1801

To Ezekiel Cooper

My very dear Brother:

            I can inform you I came safe to Perry Hall, and had great cause to give glory to God. The African part of the family appear to be all upon the stretch for glory. An apparently thoughtless young lady, Gough Hollady, a niece to Mrs. Gough, found the Lord among the black people last night, and this morning leaped and shouted in the family pew at morning prayer. You cannot wish my Journals to be more perfect than I want them to be: in journalizing, we must have some little things, to carry on the thread. You will oblige me to send one of the second volume as soon as possible to Mr. Lukly, to send to my dear mother to read at eighty-eight, or if at ninety. I have thought suppose if we should not have published the extract made by Mr. Wesley of David Brainard, that model of meekness, moderation, temptation and labor, and suffering self-denial. My love to all that inquire after me. I am thine as ever,

                                                                        Francis Asbury

            P.S. As your unworthy but sincere, not assuming to call myself your bishop, I hope you will as ministers maintain all possible union among yourselves and people. I hope the sword of contention will be sheathed to be drawn no more. Order and discipline, I trust, will be attended to. I humbly hope that a court called a quarter meeting, will not be established to govern the Society in its regular discipline, which ought to be attended to by the ruling elder of the station. I hope that quarter meetings and stationed preachers will all know and do their duty, as also Annual and General Conferences. I shall be thankful if you will send me some parchments for each order. If you have any thing special to do in your line, you will avail yourself of the services of our assistants, Hutchinson and Snethen, as we shall take different routes, to serve the continent, connection, and you.

            You may send 400 copies of Minutes, two if not three, for each of the assistants to give and sell, as it is possible we may spread them as they have not been hitherto. If I am permitted to keep an assistant, I shall desire him to see the Minutes are properly prepared by him for you, that there may be less cause of complaint; but I know not that we are obliged constitutionally to give the number in the station: but we cannot do it correctly, for we have sometimes our circuits mixed. You may send some of the Missionary Letters, if you please. I still think that it is high time we should attempt something of American papers [Asbury is concerned because of a lack of recording of history. He has seen the value of American papers in the historical picture.] in the collection. I think we pay too great a compliment to European publications: if ours are not as elegant, they may be as interesting and as acceptable. I am thine,

                                                                        F. Asbury

            Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, XIII (1859), 463

            After about two months of being laid up with his foot in Philadelphia, Asbury is on the road again. He has stopped at Perry Hall, the home of the Goughs, where he had been entertained; and he reports the conversion of Mrs. Cough Hollady to Roberts and McCombs.

                                                                        PERRY HALL, Mo.[ This letter was evidently written August 4, 1801. It has been referred to as of 1807. However, the Journal records the event in the life of Gough Hollady, daughter of the Goughs. (See Journal, August 3-15, 1801, and Letters of Francis Asbury, 218.)]

                                                                        August 4, 1801}

To Elders Roberts and McCombs [Pastors in Baltimore.]

Dear Brethren:

            Last evening I came. I have not made up my mind when I shall come to the city. I may hear from you by my kind friend Jonathan Tously. He hath been so to me, let me recommend him to your notice. God is in this family. When I think how the devil and men strove to drive us from the family and how many years the poor blacks seemed stupid and how they are now. Last night Gough Hollady appeared serious. I spoke to her about her grandmother and mother and self in the black people's exercise. She found the Lord last night and this morning in the family pew jumped and shouted and reassured I felt as if I had little religion. I can use my foot but a perfect use I do yet expect. It is nothing at all but a fracture of one of the principal sinews of the foot that has been taken out, but then I shall get another complete. Poor Whatcoat[Bishop Whatcoat.] is almost blind. Let me hear how Brother Roberts is and full information by Jonathan.[ Not clear who this is.] I am as ever yours,

                                                                        Francis Asbury

            P.S. The Doctor has written abundance of letters but I might as well send them printed. Some he hath written are dead or located. I have done what he would approve, directed them to those near at hand who may wish to see.

            Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

            As usual Asbury is suffering. This time it is the intermittent fever. Here he is writing about appointments.

                                                                        PERRY HALL, MD.

                                                                         August 12, 1801

To George Roberts[No address. Seems to be to George Roberts, pastor. Light Street Church, Baltimore.]

My greatly respected Brother:                   

If it is a pleasure to you to see and to answer my letters it ought to be reciprocal on my part. I have had something like an intermitting [See Journal, August 3-15, 1801.] fever ever since I came to Perry Hall. It is with difficulty I can perform family duty when I have such pure air, good living and lodging. I think of afflicted thousands, I fear coming to the city till a change of weather. You say sore! I was by riding three days; I was sore for six! For this cause I want leather breeches, that willy close to the skin, but they must have strings at the knees, if possible

            As to the case of brother M'Caine.[ Alexander M'Caine was pastor at Fell's Point, Maryland.] I shall invade the presiding elder's' place,[ Wilson Lee was presiding elder on the Baltimore District.] that hath a special charge of the district in my absence, and preside. If I was to advise, it would be for brother Toy [Joseph Toy was converted under Captain Webb. He became a local preacher and entered the traveling ministry in 1801. He superannuated in 1819 and died in 1826. (See Minutes, 1826.)] to take the charge of the Point, for a few weeks, and he can attend to the building. He knows how things ought to be done. God has honored him, and the society in the city, I also. As to the case of brother M'Caine he had not; as I thought made up his own mind. I left him to his own providence, only I told him in substance to forebear working. If he chose to go to Charleston I should submit, but should fear he would not come back, or perhaps leave the work.

            If Brother Toy would lend Brother M'Caine his horse, M'Caine, might ride into the forest, to any, or many, of the Friend's Houses, and to the good air and water, to Robert Carnan's [Robert Carnan, or Carman, lived near Stone Chapel. (See Journal, August 19, 1801.)] or up to Pipe Creek; or he might conduct me to N. Snethen.[ Nicholas Snethen.       ] I should hope that Brother Toy[Name crossed out. ] would help matters along at the Point, perhaps better than any other man; if the Light Street preachers, could go sometimes to the Point. I am waiting for cooler weather, yet I hope at all events to be in Light Street congregation on Sabbath morning; but it appears to me, I should be right down sick if I was in town now.

            This family calls my attention a little at this time. I hope God is determined to bring back * * * * *[ See above, note] to himself. Give thyself no trouble about any thought for me, but the buckskin to save skin, and I shall have to leave my velvet ones. Last night Mr. Gough's[See Journal, August 3, 1801.109 A comparison with Francis Asbury's Journal makes it quite clear that this letter was written between August 19 and 28, 1801, and probably about the twentieth.] famous saddle horse, 200 dollars price, laid and died by the long side of my supple joynted Jane, had she died, should she die, the half of my personal estate is gone, real estate I have none. If any letters send them. I am as ever thine, F. Asbury

            P.S. I cannot think I shall have any time to answer brother M'Caine as I have sent him to his own home on direction of his elder.

Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

            Coke was back in England, and Asbury and Whatcoat were carrying on in America. Asbury is giving Coke an account of the work.

                                                                        STONE CHAPEL, MD. August 20, /SO/10'

To Thomas Cofee [Coke returned from America after the election of Whatcoat as bishop in May, 1800, and was busy in England, Wales, and Ireland. He presided over the Irish conferences each July and served the English Conference as secretary. He was preparing his Commentary on the Holy Bible for the press. (Frank Baker.)]

My very dear Brother:

            To whom I wish grace, mercy, and peace. After a confinement of seven weeks in Philadelphia, and the eating out of a principal sinew in my foot by caustics, (it having been strained by excessive riding,) I am in my work again. I am now beating up to the westward to attend the yearly conference, for that department, in the east end of the State of Tennessee. By accounts from Cumberland Tennessee, according to elder McKendree, the work goeth on among the Methodists and Presbyterians. At a meeting of the latter, about twenty souls professed to have received converting grace: at a meeting of the former, about forty found the Lord between Saturday and Monday; and there was no sign of the meeting ending, when the elder was obliged to come away. Few days pass but we have accounts from eight to twelve souls being brought to God at a meeting. Every circuit upon the Eastern and Western shores Maryland appears to have a revival. Since I wrote from Philadelphia, I have heard of a stir in New Jersey. Brother Whatcoat [Bishop Whatcoat.] is upon a thousand miles tour, in going to meet the New York and Massachusetts Conferences, and to come thro' the Lake, and Genesee country, round New York, Jersey, and Pennsylvania, I mean along the extremities of the country. In a little time I hope to meet him, and take the western journey, from Frederick-Town, in Maryland; thence to recross the Allegany to the south. I shall not have a probable opportunity of writing again till December, in Charleston.

            Brother Whatcoat will perhaps go down the old path you have frequently gone with me, thro' old Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. We shall not be able to meet all the conferences, if we keep together, tho' our bones were brass and our flesh iron. The conferences are extended near one thousand three hundred miles along our world, besides the Western Conference, which will call our attention every year, from seven to eight or nine hundred miles from the coast. God is good to me, weak, lame, and feeble as I am. We have vast openings to the north-east; but as I have been kept back by my lameness, I have not informed myself of the particulars. Your circular letters[Probably prospectuses seeking subscribers for Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. The first two of six volumes were published in 1801. On February 28, 1801, he wrote to the Rev. James Moore that one volume was published but he dare nut risk sending 250 copies in case they were lost and 250 sets thus broken. He intended himself bringing over "next August or September, two years ... a sufficient number of complete sets on the Old Testament, neatly bound." (Frank Baker.)] came late to hand: We have spread them abroad. I hope you enjoy perfect love; and fail not to urge it in every sermon and exhortation, and every prayer. If I were to judge myself worthy to write to the elder brethren in England, it would be, "Seek pure hearts; preach instantaneous salvation from all sin; let every prayer, every hymn and sermon be seasoned with this wholesome, holy doctrine."

            Give my Christian salutations to every Methodist preacher in all the kingdoms, and all the people you please; I give you a full commission. I am, as ever, thine,

                                                                        Francis Asbury

                                                                        The Methodist Magazine, 1802, 217-18

            Though this letter has been placed by some as a letter to George Roberts, it is evidently a letter to Thomas Haskins. The foregoing letters to Thomas

Haskins deal with the Journal upon which he has been working for Asbury. Haskins and Cooper were in Philadelphia, where they could talk together.

                                                                        PIPE CREEK, MD. August 22, 1801

[To Thomas Haskins][ Thomas Haskins, grocer of Philadelphia.    ]

Very dear Brother:

            Salvation attend thee and thine present, future and eternal. We came along with some pleasure and if not well; appointments or not we enjoyed the families and friends, and on the third day came to Pipe Creek. I was blest in seeing the Carnan's and some aged brethren and sisters. I have my drooping seasons, but still I must go till I can go no more. "Take no thought for tomorrow." I wish to be more attentive to my soul's voice. I am only partial to you because you appear to urge me to it by doing any thing and every thing you can with propriety for me. If I talk more, love more, write more, and pray more for you, you have compelled me. You will only say to brother Cooper[Ezekiel Cooper, Book Agent. ] that you think I only "wish good pointing, and a few words to make it explicit."[ Several letters refer to the anxiety of Asbury to have his Journal correctly punctuated and corrected. ] But it is not the Journal of Ezekiel Cooper, or any other but Francis Asbury, and as such I wish it to appear.

            I hope my brethren in turn will help in the work of God by prayer meeting and class meeting, and close discipline and market and field preaching. There you will meet the poor, the lame and blind and naked and if we do these things, let us then show ourselves unto the world.

            I have my sinking, serious seasons and need your prayers and pity also, and when my spirits are very low my foot is very bad and I think will never be a perfect cure!

            If Brother Whatcoat[Bishop Whatcoat.      ] should come down you can send by him any good news you can collect from any part of the connection. If I write to you it will be of good news. Brother McCombs[Pastor in Baltimore.] can recollect or Brother M'Caine[Pastor at Fell's Point, Maryland.] that copied a few lines for me, the good news from Cumberland. McKendree's [William McKendree, presiding elder on Kentucky District.]farewell meeting held from Saturday until Monday without any interruption, 40 souls converted and no prospect of the meeting breaking up when Brother McKendree came away. Oh what days of God's power are coming, indeed already come.

                                                                        I am to thee and thine as ever

                                                                        Francis Asbury

                                                                                    Drew University Library

            Asbury is going on down the western route toward Kentucky and Tennessee. He is at Winchester, Virginia, and is probably thinking of passing Thornton Fleming's district to the right of his way. He is giving Fleming a report of the work as well as his own.

                                                                        WINCHESTER, VA. August 31, 1801

[To Thornton Fleming] [Presiding elder of Ohio District, Thornton Fleming (1764-1846) first preached west of the mountains on the Randolph Circuit in 1792-93. He was assigned in the East until 1801 when he was returned by the appointment of Bishop Asbury to the district west of the mountains as presiding elder. He spent the remainder of his ministry in the western Pennsylvania region, except 1805, being the oldest charter member of the Pittsburgh Conference when the conference was organized in 1825. He had been admitted on trial in 1787. He served as presiding elder from 1801 to 1805, with a second term from 1806 to 1810. He served a third term when two districts were organized in the region in 1819, serving as presiding elder of the Pittsburgh District from 1819 to 1823. After the formation of the new Pittsburgh Conference in 1825, he was again presiding elder of the Pittsburgh District from 1826 to 1828. Thus he served as a presiding elder for a total of fourteen years. He was, in fact, Asbury's chief lieutenant on the frontier in the region of western Pennsylvania. (W. G. Smeltzer.)]

My very dear Brother:

            I am pleased to hear the glad tidings of great joy, that the wilderness and solitary places are glad for them, (the people of God), and may the desert blossom as the rose. I have been foot-fast two months in Philadelphia; I am now crippling along to Nolichuckey, or as far as I can go. We have pleasing hopes of a general revival, it speeds east and west, and about the centre. As many as eighty have joined at one meeting eastward. Dover and Milton had their Pentecost that continues to this day I hope. Near one hundred, it was thought, were wounded, cured, and crippled at the great Dover meeting on Whitsunday. 0, my brother, preach fully upon holiness in every sermon, where there is but one believer. I feel, seriously, that such multitudes of young converts have been born since the gospel came to the continent; and so few old people are changed, and so few old believers are sanctified. We must urge them to go on to possess the land. I am as ever thine,

                                                                        Francis Asbury

                                                                        Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

            Asbury Dickins, the son of John Dickins, first Book Agent, was the namesake of Asbury. He passed his early life in Pliiladelphia but later spent several years in Europe. In 1801 he was associated with Joseph Denny (Dennie) in founding the Portfolio at Philadelphia. He was clerk in the United States Treasury Department from 1816 to 1833. In 1833 he became chief clerk of the State Department and served there until 1836. He became secretary of the United States Senate in 1836 and remained there until his death in 1861.

                                                                        BOTTETOURT, VA.[ According to the Journal,                                                                               Asbury was at Fincastle in Bottetourt County.]

                                                                        September 12, 1801

[To Asbury Dickins][ The envelope was addressed to Mr. Asbury Dickins, No. Second Street, opposite Christ's Church, Philadelphia. Dickins was bom in North Carolina, July 29, 1780, and died in Washington, D.C., October 23, 1861. (See Appleton's Cychpedia of American Biography.)]

My very dear Son:

            To whom I wish grace and peace now and ever. You will be pleased to hear of and from me. I am now about 400 miles in my way of travelling from the City.[ Philadelphia.      ] I have enjoyed health to a good degree at my time of life, notwithstanding I have had to ride 25 miles in a day and lodge in a Publick house. My foot I trust will finally be a perfect cure, the scab is scaling. I have had my fears and my feelings for the citizens in all our cities, during the excessive heat. For my friends, and your family, I have so great a tenderness and care over.

            If this should come safe to hand, will you be so kind as to write speedily to Camden.[ South Carolina.] I shall be in the south State by the middle of next month, and the letter may be brought to me by the presiding elder. I shall wish to know if you received my last from Baltimore with its contents. Please to remember me to Mr. Denny [or Dennie]. We have a most serious, and very dry season that hath and doth, prevail in the Southwest of Virginia.

            Now my dear Son lest you should think me wanting on my duty; or that I have given you up, I must exhort you to seek the God of your Father, Oh how you, would you, resent any reflection upon his character, but what is your living, a prayerless, forgetful life Oh your dear Father, how true to his devotion, how Faithful to his God. The Lord Bless thee. Farewell, I am as ever,


                                                                        F. Asbury

                                                            Property of Dr. Essel P. Thomas, Claymont, Delaware

Mrs. Elizabeth Dickins was one of the elect ladies of early American Methodism. Asbury referred to her many times. This letter accompanied a letter which Asbury wrote to Mrs. Dickins' son, Asbury, on the same day.

            On the opposite page of the original letter there are two other letters to Mrs. Dickins, one from Nicholas Snethen and the other from Philip Bruce. These preachers were Asbury's traveling companions.

                                                                        BOTTETOURT, VIRGINIA[Asbury was at Fincastle,                                                                       Bottetourt County. (See Journal, September]

                                                                        September 12, 1801

[To Mrs. John Dickins][ Mrs. Elizabeth Dickins, widow of John Dickins, the first Book Agent. He died in 1798.]

My dear Sister:

            I do not use lightness in my sayings and doings with any, and much less with you. I havejoyned you at a Throne of Grace to pray for the salvation of the souls of your dear children, in the conversion of whom their, and your present and Eternal happiness is greatly concerned. Last Monday was a day to be remembered to my humbled soul. I hope always to recollect the first Monday in every month. You will never! never! lose sight of salvation from all sin; ask it in every prayer, seek it in every means.

            Oh my sister it is your priviledge now, by faith, tis this will sweeten every bitter cup, always holy, always happy, tis perfect Love. I am in a particular manner urged by the spirit to enforce it upon you; when shall I hear you witness this good confession I hope in your next letter. I must be made perfect in suffering, this the Lord hath shown me. I am called to do and suffer more than any others in America. God hath done such great things for me. The work of God is running like fire in Kentucky. It is reported that near fifteen if not twenty thousand were present at one Sacramental occasion of the Presbyterians; and one thousand if not fifteen hundred fell and felt the power of grace. I remain your Friend as ever,

                                                                        F. Asbury

                                                                        FINCASTLE, VA.

                                                                                    Sept. 12, 1801

[Snethen's note to Mrs. Dickins}

My dear Sister:[ A fold in the paper covers the top part of the photograph of the letter.]

            I have the happiness of being able to pursue my favorite subject, the gospel of Christ with some degree of satisfaction, so much has my health improved since last June. The greatest inconvenience I have experienced from traveling is a small degree of sickness in the stomach at times, a complaint perhaps constitutional.

            The new approach of the season of my affliction naturally excites my recollection of it and I trust I never recollect it without some grateful acknowledgments to the great preserver of life for so gracious a deliverance. Wonderful and adorable provider! How ought my soul to exult and rejoice in the God of my life.

            I have been kindly disposed of since I parted with you. My appointment in Alexandria and Winchester[See references to Snethen for this period in Journal.] seems to have been the best I can conceive of, in the latter place especially it pleased God to give me favour in the sight of the whole town and I trust I endeavoured to use for their good to edification.

            Please to receive my most grateful acknowledgments for your goodness and tender my lasting affection and respect to my most assiduous and kind friends who were my chief comforters, whose names you know. Grace and peace,

                                                                        Nicholas Snethen[The people in Winchester requested that Asbury allow Snethen to stay there. However, Asbury said that Snethen had been appointed to travel with him.]

[Bruce's note to Mrs. Dickins]

Esteemed Sister and Friend:

            In company with Brother Asbury and Snethen, take the opportunity of adding a line or two to their Epistle-have not and hope never shall forget the many kindnesses that I have experienced while at your house. I hope the Lord still is your comfort and salvation. The distressing times[The reference is to the split in St. Oeorge's Church.] which the Society have experienced since I left your City has often pained my mind. I yet hope and pray that our gracious Saviour will overrule for his glory and his faithful peoples good. I expect you have had and still have your trials, but cast your care on the Lord. He still careth for you. You have my best wishes for present and future happiness.

            My love to Asbury, John and your amiable daughter, also to all my very dear Brethren. Yours in love,

                                                                        Philip Bruce

                                                            Property of Dr. Essel P. Thomas, Claymont, Delaware

            The bishop is in worse shape than usual. He reports in detail the state of his health. In spite of his troubles he has reason to "boast a little."

                                                                        MAINE HOLS-TON, TENNESSEE[Asbury was at                                                                           Charles Baker's. (See Journal, September 26, 1801.)]

                                                                        September 27, 1801

[To George Roberts][ Pastor of Light Street Church, Baltimore.]

My dearly beloved in the Lord:

            May grace mercy and peace attend thee and the flock of Christ at Baltimore. To you I can boast a little, and I hope my boasting will be found a truth. I have now struggled along about 700 miles from the city of strife, unmeaningly or ironically called Philadelphia.[ City of brotherly love.    ] We have had heat, hunger and hard labour, and have generally had meetings three and 4 times a week, and excessive riding, over mountains, hills, ridges, rocks, vales, rivers, and creeks. I generally bear my testimony after Nicholas Snethen.[ His traveling companion.    ] He is like David with his harp, when I am weary and dejected and wrapt in melancholy gloom, but the Spirit comes upon me and I bow like old Sampson, but I fear few of the Philistines are slain. Yet three days and 35 miles and I hope to meet our Western Conference.

            Now for some of my little sorrows. My bowels are ill disposed, my mare's back [is] swelled up; my foot is worse when I am low spirited, then I think I shall be lame for life. But the scab is scaled off and there is a little more strength in it, but there is some hard substance upon it, but I get along, my little fear is I am obliged to ride down the high mountains, because I cannot walk, and Jane[His horse.] does not know how to crook her joints down these precipices; and sometimes I am so pained in the hip on the lame side in riding; then again all is well. But I shall be as impatient as a Christian ought to be, to hear of you and many families in the city, to know how you stood the heat and to hear of you it did not generate the fever among you. I count nothing of my labours or sufferings, but this country will populate swiftly. We cannot go into a house without hearing of six and nine children in general whose families are of standing and our brethren are among the oldest settlers. They are poor as they say, and can hold from one, to three, or five thousand acres of most valuable limestone land rich to the top of the mountains. A chief hope is my coming will help in the arrangement of preachers. Snethen[Nicholas Snethen.     ] and me fit to a pee.

            If you should have an opportunity you may send a line or two to Betsy Dickins[Widow of John Dickins.] and let her know matters are well with me, and my foot, all things considered. You will present me to all, though to plead I was not present concerning appointments I take knowledge. Some know how matters are managed in the great Kingdom, about stationing the preachers, But as sure as our Episcopacy moves our preachers well, unless that awful society is devoted to destroy itself; more than one, that is Francis, think George by the Grace of God is the man. Do mind market [Outdoors.] preaching as long as possible, yea if possible till the snow comes over city, years are desperate. God will save the tombs of Judah first.

                                                                        I am as ever thine

                                                                                    F. Asbury

                                                                        Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore                                                                            Conference (Lovely Lane Museum)

            Many of the Asbury letters are in the nature of reports of the work. This is that kind of letter. It reports the work in the South to George Roberts. It reports not only on the Methodist work but also on the Presbyterian. One could wish that the reference to Asbury Dickins were clearer. He had evidently run afoul of the government in Washington because of his attacks on Thomas Jefferson. However, this attack on Jefferson does not seem sufficient for the severe language of Asbury.

                                                                        CAMDEN, S.C.

                                                                        December 30, 1801

[To George Roberts [Pastor of Light Street Church, Baltimore.]

My respected Brother:

            May great grace attend thee and those of the church of God in Baltimore. I have spent six weeks in the state of Georgia, with great labour and consolation. On the sabbaths our congregations were so large I had to preach most of the days in the woods. I hail the return of peace to bless my native land and all the world. We have some pleasing revivals in the south, of which I shall have narrative letters. I hope you preach in the market house this temperate winter. Poor Thompson the strife is over. I had a strong intimation it would be a match between McE.[ He did not finish the sentence. The reference is not clear.] I think the choice is prudent. Oh Asbury Dickins! [Asbury Dickins was the son of John Dickins, first Book Agent. He was born in North Carolina, July 29, 1780, and died in Washington, D.C., October 23, 1861. He passed his early life in Philadelphia, moving there with his father. When John Dickins died, Asbury was only eighteen; but he took over the book business with his mother's help-Mrs. Elizabeth Dickins, who was a very capable woman. In 1801 Asbury Dickins became associated with the literary genius Joseph Dennie in founding the Portfolio, a literary magazine, in Philadelphia. "Young Dickins single entry into partisan politics concerned the election of 1800. To the question, 'Shall Thomas Jefferson be the chief magistrate of these states' Dickins answered a resounding, 'God forbid!' His verbose arguments centered on the contention that Jefferson was not a Christian. This tract had unfortunate repercussions for Dickins in later years when it served as evidence he had become a Federalist." Dennie was a supporter of the Federalist party. Dennie and Dickins had great success with the Portfolio from the very first. The Portfolio was "like the Tatler, Politics with Essays and disquisitions on topics scientific, moral, humorous and literary." However, Asbury Dickins was associated with it for only a year, when Elizabeth Dickins, Asbury's mother, took over his part. Dennie died in five years, and that ended the Portfolio. Asbury Dickins, soon after the Portfolio incident, went to Europe, where he married and spent several years and also got into debt. In 1816 he became first clerk in the United States Treasury Department. From 1833 to 1836 he was first clerk in the United States State Department, where he acted on several occasions as acting secretary of state. From 1836 to 1861 he was secretary of the United States Senate. He was recognized at his death for distinguished service to his country. (See Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 141; Asbury Dickins, "A Career in Government Service," North Carolina Historical Review, July, 1947, 281, by Ruth Ketring Neuermberger; also The National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 24, 1861; The National Republican, Thursday, October 24, 1861.)]

            I had dreadful fears of what would befall that young man! His dear Mother! Oh how awful I felt last night. I fear he had committed murder! I wish you had been explicit. Happy Father taken from the evils to come! Now had he been my real son, what a reproach he would have been to his father, but what I feel in mind! Oh that he should bear my worthless name. I hope my soul enjoys religion. I am assisted in preaching frequently, and faithfully. I judge Brother [Sylvester] Hutchinson will go to Kentucky to see his relations, it is not advisable he should travel through Virginia with Brother Whatcoat.[ Bishop Whatcoat.    ] You may meet N. Snethen [Nicholas Snethen was traveling with Asbury. 114 Ralph Potts, born in England, referred to several times in Journal as a dear friend.] and me with a letter the first of February at Washington in North Carolina, directed to the care of Mr. Potts,144 merchant.

            You must be very full of intelligence. I advise you to preach upon the travail of a soul, every sermon, preach very plain and pure, and God will own your work. The work of God is making its way in Carolina, North and South upon this side the mountains among the Presbyterians, union, union is the cry. Bishop Whatcoat and myself have formed a plan to part at New York, one to go east and the other west, to meet each of the conferences, and then meet at the South Carolina Conference and so keep near together through the grand body of the conferences.

            I have no doubt but if the Methodists hold out faithfully that they will work their way through these states southward and be joined by the Presbyterians. I have had such a letter fever I cannot be lengthy. Peace be with you all. Present my Christian salutations to all that you speak to, I am as ever,


                                                                                    Francis Asbury

                                    Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore Conference (Lovely Lane                                                 Museum)

            From this letter one can conclude that matters were much better at St. George's in Philadelphia. It is tantalizing not to have more of the fads as to what were the real points at issue and how they were divided. Phoebus in Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America speaks of a "serious and ugly dispute" which was in the church. Because of this the debt had not been paid. Asbury is congratulating the trustees on what had been done and urging them to build a parsonage. One group had left the church to form the Academy Church, and those who were left had extended themselves to retire the debt.

                         [CAMDEN, S.C.][ The date and place are not given in the letter, but the context indicates that it follows other letters written in December, 1801.]

[December 31, 1801]

[To the Trustees, St. George's Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [It seems that the difficulties had been ironed out and that the trustees had apologized for some of the trouble they had given in 1801. (See note to letter to trustees of St. George's Church, September 27, 1798.)]

Respected Brethren:

            I thank you for the attention you have manifested to me in your address, and account of payments. I rejoice exceedingly that we are just; may we also be generous, and do nothing through strife and vainglory. I hope your zeal and charity will provide a house for your preachers, and prevent a moth-eating rent. Let us pray much, and love the more; then we shall live holy and die happy. Farewell!

            Since I began this letter Brother Whatcoat arrived with your letter, an apology for paper. Your pardon is granted. See, thou art made whole. It is generally granted our books are the best, intrinsically and extrinsically. Only let us keep them so.

                                                            Yours, for Christ's sake,

                                                                        Francis Asbury

   G. A. Phoebus, Beams of Light on Early Methodism in America, 276

            It is natural to find Asbury writing to Ezekiel Cooper about books and printing. Cooper was the Book Agent, and this was his work. The most interesting parts of this letter are the references to the Journal. It is clear that Asbury was not pleased with the work on it. Asbury begins by congratulating St. George's Church on the payment of the debt. Cooper had been active in paying the debt. Since the wealthy members had left the church, it was a remarkable achievement, as Cooper pointed out in his Journal.

                                                            CAMDEN, SOUTH CAROLINA

                                                                        December 31, 1801

[To Ezekiel Cooper][ Book Agent, Philadelphia. (See Phoebus, Beams of Light on Early Methodism ir, America, ch. xiv, for the story.) ]

My very dear Brother:

            I have received your letters, for which I thank you, and for other attentions. When we were told that the debt was paid [that is, due by the church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. I wondered by what mint or magic you had collected $4,000 in four months; but when we had chapter and verse the wonder ceased. O zeal! zeal! what will it not do when made elastic by opposition! I hope the next thing will be to purchase, as perhaps you may at a low price, or build, a house for the preachers, after more than thirty years

            I find that the book market is good in the South, and the presiding elders and preachers are very diligent. I believe we need say but little. As to Bowen and Weeks,[ Salatliiel Weeks, a native of Prince George County, Virginia, who died with consumption in 1800. (See Minutes.)] I doubt if any settlement to purpose will ever be made. I do not wish to meddle much in the Book Concern; we have so many cooks, and some very unskillful. I pushed three books [One wishes that he had named the books. Evidently one was the Hymn Book, to which he refers in this letter. Another was probably The Causes and Cures of Heart and Church Divisions. (See letter to ministers and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1793; also Letters of Francis Asbury, 253, n. 75.)] into thea press, and I shall expect reflections as long as they are in circulation, if q am in circulation. As a friend, I would advise you (as I am one that has eyes and ears every-where) to keep close to Fletcher's and Wesley's most excellent parts. As to my Journals, I feel my delicacies about having them printed at all in my lifetime; it may only put it into the power of my enemies to abuse me, as Mr. O'Kelly has so often done; while at the same time my hands will be bound by inability or some local influences. 

            I am sorry to be a burden to my friends or the Connection. I do no wish to crowd myself or the Connection with more services than they call for. I was willing, at the request of some of my special friends, to submit an impression of the Journal to the press; 'tis true the General Conference approved it, and it was my wish it should go out in numbers; but it appeared to me that the general mind of the General Conference was that it should come out in a volume.

            I have been taught to understand that a printer should point; and if he could not point he could not print. I do not choose to print any man's journal but my own. My language in preaching and writing is my own- good or bad. If you choose to send out the number, upon good paper, I shall submit; but I have been making up my mind closely to inspect, and strike out what, upon close thinking, I shall disapprove, and lay them by to be printed after my death, or to let them die with me. About twenty pages in four months' traveling will not be a great burden to the press. My first part was transcribed by one that did not understand my writing.[ Not clear to whom this refers.]

As to the Hymn Book,[ Asbury's published Hymn Book, known as the Asbury supplement. ] I can only say we have such a republic of critics and pointers, they will do as they please; but, I presume, if you had a thousand more to send into every district than you have sent, they would soon be sold; only let the work be done well, and there is no doubt of the sale of our books. The Presbyterians and others will purchase our books.[ No closing on copy.]

Garrett Biblical Institute Library