NL GenWeb

Notre Dame Bay Region ~ Fogo / Twillingate District

Historical Information

Circa 1798 Letter from 'The Missionary Magazine',

Letter from Twillingate, written circa 1798, transcribed and contributed by Milton Anstey. The following letter from Twillingate, written circa 1798, was printed on pages 80 and 81 of: 'The Missionary Magazine', For 1799, A Periodical Monthly Publication, Intended As A Repository Of Discussion, And Intelligence Respecting The Progress Of The Gospel Throughout The World. Whatever Clear Profits May Arise From The Sale Of This Publication, Will Be Devoted To The Support Of Missions, Volume IV, Printed By JA. Pillans &. Sons, For J. Gothme, J. Ogle, J. Campbell, JA. Pillans & Sons, Edinburgh; And G. Peattie, Leith .

"This following most interesting letter has been handed to us for publication, by the Directors of the Edinburgh Missionary Society. It was transmitted to them by the Missionary Society of London, in hopes that a minister fit for the undertaking may be found in this country. It is referred to the particular attention of a Committee, and is now made public, with a view to engage the prayers and endeavours of Christian churches, in favour of the pressing request which it contains.

Reverend Fathers and Respected Gentlemen,

We, the undermentioned principal inhabitants of Twillingate, contiguous to and under the government of Newfoundland , beg leave to lay before you our distressed state for want of the Gospel, as well as to implore what assistance you may think convenient.

Including families, and individuals, we are about 139 men and women, with 176 children, many whereof are approaching fast to the age of maturity.

Some of our fathers retained the pious impressions which they received in England , and therefore laboured to impress divine things on our young minds; these things being followed by many books and letters from Mr. Jones of St John's , by the blessing of God, still remain with an increasing influence on our hearts. But our fathers are dead, and we left alone, as people without light, to grope in the dark. We therefore tremble, not only for ourselves, but also for our children. Hence we most humbly and ardently beseech you to send over and help us.

It is with sorrow we are constrained to say, that our finances will not enable us to offer more than L. 50 per annum towards the support of a minister. That sum we, by the blessing of God, will pay; and it would add much to our happiness, were we able to do three times more.

We do not speak by any authority from the people of Fogo, another island seven leagues from us, whereunto we carry most of our fish, and from whence we have our supplies, (we having no merchants here); the inhabitants of that island are more numerous than ours, and we fear are as ignorant of their souls concerns as ourselves. We therefore hope, that if a minister could be sent here, as he would have frequent opportunities of going there, that much good might be done among them also.

Having with real truth laid before you our great concern for the want of some one to instruct us in the way of faith and holiness, and praying that God may shine more and more upon your works, and labours of love unto a perfect day, also that a way may be made for our instruction in the Salvation of Christ,

We remain, pious Gentlemen, your most humble and very obedient servants,

William Wheeler,    John Moors,    John Colbourne,    Caleb Smith,    John Smith,    William Manual,    Thomas Hicks,    William Clark,    Jeremiah Riggs,    Christopher Eyers,    James Stuckless,    Samuel Jeans,    Joseph Stuckless,    Richard Stuckless,    John Sergent."


Milton Anstey & NL GenWeb