Travel diary of John Udell|
in Rensselaer County, NY,
In the fall, a great reformation took place in Jefferson [Ashtabula County, Ohio], under the influence of the Baptist Church. Many, both old and young, came forward and related their experience, in accordance with Baptist custom, and were received and baptized - the Church nearly doubling its numbers. So great was the influence on the people, that our house of worship - a large, framed school-building - would not contain near all who thronged to it. Our meetings continued day and night, and deep interest and zeal was manifested by everyone. We thought it advisable, under the present fervor and excitement, to build a House of Worship to the Lord, that all might be accommodated.
The brethren agreed to send abroad and solicit aid from their brethren in the older States, and as no one would go but the preacher, who could not be spared, so great was the work to be performed in the conversion of sinners, I in my zeal for the cause (as I then thought) of Christianity, offered to go, provided that the brethren would administer to the temporal wants of my family. Herein, I think, I committed the greatest error of my whole life - leaving my wife and seven almost helpless children (who were entirely dependent upon my daily labor) for an indefinite time, to walk nearly two thousand miles, in the winter of a cold northern clime, through frost and snow four feet deep, often breaking my own road, and begging from door to door! I went to New York City and to Philadelphia by steamboat and stage from Albany. I perambulated these cities on foot, spending eleven days in New-York and five in
Philadelphia, begging from the Baptist brethren, early and late, and obtained $150.36. The whole sum I collected, and from which my expenses had to be paid, was $262.94 - as can be shown be shown [sic] by my diary, and the papers relative to the transactions.
All these deprivations and sufferings were the result of what? A blind and mistaken zeal to promote the cause of Christ. I have since come to the conclusion that every congregation of Christians in the United States is able to build a house of worship large and comfortable enough to accommodate all who are desired to come to it. Let them build a plain house, and if not framed, or of brick, then of logs. We need not, under the Christian dispensation, go up to the great temple at Jerusalem, to be accepted of the Lord: Wherever we worship Him in spirit and in truth, He will receive our offerings. If I had remained at home and our preacher, Elder Silas Barnes, had gone, our Baptist Church might not have been rent asunder, as it afterwards was. I have fervently prayed that the Lord would forgive me the error of going upon that mission. I have suffered much from it: losing my little home, which I had labored so hard to enrich and beautify, being driven, as it were, from the society of my dearly beloved parents, and deprived the privilege of consoling them in their declining years, or even of being with them when the Lord called their spirits home and their remains were committed to the tomb. I had to end my days among my brothers and sisters, and many dear friends, who had become fixed in my affections and esteem. But alas! Through the faithlessness of some whose duty it was to sustain me, and in whom I placed implicit confidence, I lost all. My readers will discover, in the sequel, how these things happened. I will now give a true copy of my credentials, in order that all may see how much confidence was reposed in me when I started out to solicit for the Church.
January 7th, 1833.
The brethren of the Baptist Church in Jefferson, hav-
ing seriously taken into consideration the propriety of building a house for the Worship of God, and having found that our strength is insufficient for the accomplishment of so important an object, and placing the fullest confidence in the integrity of Brother John UDELL, Jr., do unanimously agree to send him abroad among our brethren in different parts of the earth, to solicit aid from them in the object before us. We are deeply impressed of the importance of so laudable an object, from the consideration that the house in which we meet (a common school house) is insufficient for the accommodation of all that assemble, so that they have to stand without, or are influenced from it not to come at all; and from the increasing desire that is manifest to hear the preaching of the gospel, the growing importance of the place - all which tend to inspire us that it will be much for the advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom.
We therefore send Brother Udell abroad as a member in good standing, and recommend him to the fellowship and patronage of our brethren, wherever his lot may be cast, hoping that those of our brethren and friends who feel desirous to aid us may receive of the blessings of the Lord in a fourfold degree, and meet us at last in our Eternal home.
The subscription of the Church and Society was $700.
We are well acquainted with members of the Society, and with their circumstances, and believe they have subscribed to the full extent of their ability, and we accord with them in the belief that the sum raised is by no means sufficient to erect a building commensurate to the growing importance of the place. Jefferson, being the seat of justice for the county of Ashtabula, is destined to exert a powerful influence on the surrounding country, and we deem it of the utmost importance that that influence should be salutary. We do, therefore, at the request of
said society, most cordially recommend them and the object they have in view to the favorable consideration of the Christian public. And we do certify that the bearer, John Udell, Jr., is a man well known to us, and that we have the fullest confidence in his integrity, and that any and all amounts contributed and paid to him will be faithfully and publicly accounted for and judiciously expended, agreeably to the expectations of the donors.
JESSE HEARTWELL, Perry
CURTIS A. TISDALE, Madison
ALPHA THORPE, Perry
BENJAMIN F. FULLER, Madison
A. SINCLAIR, Ashtabula
JACOB BAILEY, Pastor of Baptist Ch'h Kinsville
WM. GOULD, Springfield, Pa.
I am acquainted with the Church of Jefferson, and consider their case very deserving of support, and therefore recommend it to my Christian brethren.
I am well acquainted with the bearer, John Udell, and have no doubt of his integrity, and as such recommend him to the public.
From a knowledge of facts in relations to the situation for the Church in Jefferson, received from indubitable testimony, I most affectionately recommend the object of bro. Udell's Mission to the benevolence of all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.
From my acquaintance with several of the Ministers who have recommended the object of Bro. Udell's mission, I have no doubt it deserves the patronage of the Christian public.
From my acquaintance with some persons recommending the mission of Brother Udell, and from the character of his credentials, I cheerfully commend him and the object he has in view, to the liberality of all whom he may call upon.
On reading the appeal of our dear brethren in Jefferson, together with recommendations of brethren, with some of whom I am personally acquainted, I cheerfully recommend his mission as worthy of our patronage.
Having examined the circumstances of the Baptist Church in Jefferson, Ohio, and the testimony of several judicious ministering brethren on the subject, I have no hesitation in commending the case to the friends in this city as one which plainly and loudly calls for their benevolent and generous co-operation.
I cordially unite with Brother Cone in the opinion which he has expressed relative to this case.
In the above recommendation, we cheerfully concur.
|ARCHIBALD M. CLAY||W. R. WILLIAMS|
|CHAS. SUMMERS||W. T. BRANTLY|
The above certificates are from some of the most talented
Baptist ministers in the United States. I have preserved all the originals, with the signatures in the handwriting of each. On the 22d of January, 1833, I set out, with $1.50, bestowed by two or three brethren; for I was to receive no remuneration but a pittance of $18 a month, from what I go by begging. In performing this mission, I passed through Northeast, Penna., and Fredonia, Livonia, Forestville, Eden, Shelden, Aurora, Warsaw, Leroy, Covington, Midlebury [Middleburgh?], Wheatland, Chili, Rochester, Pennfield [Penfield], North Pennfield [North Penfield], Perrington [Perinton], Mendon, Macedon, Palmyra, Phelps, Auburn, Elbridge, Syracuse, Hansville, New London, McConnelsville, Annsville, Rome, Whitestown, Oriskany, Whitesborough, Utica city, Trenton, Herkimer, Little Falls village, Canajoharie, Amsterdam, Schenectady, and Albany, in the State of New York. In these places I solicited donations for the Church house to house, and received something in nearly all. The amount of each donation, with the donor's name and residence, is set down in my original diary, and shall be preserved.
I arrived in Nassau [Rensselaer County] on the 6th of March.
March 7th. 47th day out.
Visited many of the friends of my youth and the relatives of my mother; and put up with Gilbert BAILEY, a Baptist brother, and first cousin to my mother. Social meeting was held at his house in the evening, and I made some collections. (I had now arrived at the region where was spent my youth, and was visiting among the relatives of my father and mother; I will therefore copy my daily journal in full, that my readers may know what were the impressions made upon my mind, when re-visiting the scenes of my youth, after the absence of twenty-two years.) Traveled from Nassau to Stephentown, in Rensalaer [sic] County, N. Y., and arrived at my Uncle Isaac HUMPHREY's. Found them in good health though in the decline of life. They did not recognize me at first, but when I made myself known, they rejoiced, having expected never to see any of my father's family in this life. They were all members of the Baptist
Church, and we had a very agreeable visit together. In traveling through this country, my mind is almost constantly deeply and solemnly impressed with the thoughts of eternity. I passed numerous dwellings, which were occupied by friends for whom I had the tenderest regard. When I last took their parting hands, they were in the bloom of youth; but many have been called to try the realities of eternity, while others are tottering on the verge of the grave, and none of my then most intimate acquaintances now recognize me; and when I visit the graveyard, I see the names of more old familiar friends, written on the stones, than I now meet alive. May the Lord help me to wean my affections from the things of this world.
My Uncle Humphrey was so kind as to spend the day in going with me to see Elder JONES, and other brethren. I made known my business to them, and Elder Jones agreed to lay it before the church at their next meeting, that they might be prepared to assist me on my return. I returned with Uncle to spend the Sabbath with his family.
March 10th. Sunday.
To-day I went to meeting, at the old Baptist church, or meeting house, in Stephentown. Heard Elder Jones preach from 2d Cor., 6th chap., and 1st verse: a very good discourse. A number of brethren spoke and witnessed to the truth. This meeting was doubly interesting to me from the thought that here, in this old sanctuary of the Lord, I received some of my impressions from the pulpit, of a future state of existence, and here I became more fully alive to the fact that I had an immortal soul to be saved or lost in an endless eternity; for I was quite a child then and, like all children, thought only of the present; although I had been previously taught some of these things by my beloved parents, in order to prepare my mind for the reception of them from the pulpit. In the evening I attended a conference or social meeting - a very interesting meeting to me. They have good gifts, or talents, in this church, and the brethren use them to the edifying building up of the body or temple of Christ.
11th. Visited Uncle Samuel UDELL's family, he being yet alive, though quite aged. How pleasant and agreeable it is to visit the friends of our youth, with whom we have not been in so long a lapse of time. The good intelligence of this family made my visit with them very interesting. The mercies and favor of God are daily manifested unto me. O! that my heart may be more susceptible of His goodness.
12th. This day I went from Stephentown to Nassau and called on Brother Justice HULL, minister to the first Baptist church of Nassau. I traveled over mountains and across fields and through snow drifts, to visit the brethren of this church. They all complained of being poor, and I received but very little.
13th. Am very lame, and have had poor health for almost three weeks, yet still must drag my almost worn out system over hills and vallies [sic]. I am very much disappointed, for I had anticipated that I should receive large donations here for the object of my mission; but I hardly get enough to pay me for the time spent. O, that I could have the counsel of my brethren at home, at this trying hour. This day traveled among the brethren of Sand Lake. I collected $10.25.
14th. To-day I heard that some of the members of the Legislature (which was now in session) were Baptists, and I walked into Albany to solicit aid from them. The Legislature was in session, but I could find no person to introduce me to the Baptist members, and I returned, and put up with Brother Gilbert BAILEY. Preaching in the evening by Brother BUTTS [sic - BETTS?]. My health continues very poor. I almost begin to think I shall never see my family and friends in Ohio again, in this life; but I hope that I may be resigned to my Heavenly Father's will, and I pray that we may all be prepared to meet in Heaven to rest with Him in glory. To-day I have exerted all my strength to walk only 21 miles, so much am I reduced by ill health, brought upon me by the continuous walking and hardships that I have endured since I started on this mission!
15th. Parted with my friends at Nassau, with the ex-
pectation of never seeing them again in this world; but I cherish the fond hope of meeting them in Heaven, where we shall rest in peace and endless happiness, and part no more. Came to Stephentown and put up with Uncle HUMPHREY again. My health is still poor, and I am also much afflicted with sore eyes.
16th. This morning I had an agreeable visit with Josiah HUMPHREY. In the afternoon, I went to covenant meeting with the Baptist brethren. We had a very refreshing season of worship. The brethren agreed to hand in their donations for the object of my mission, on the morrow. I am thankful to the Lord for the peace of mind which I enjoy, notwithstanding my feebleness of health. I daily remember my family and brethren at home, in my prayers to a throne of grace.
17th. Again had the blessed privilege of meeting with the people of God. Elder Matthew JONES preached from 1st Cor., 3rd chap., 15th verse - a very edifying discourse. In the intermission, the brethren raised a contribution of five dollars for me. I then had the privilege of coming to the table of the Lord, and commemorating his sufferings and death to redeem us from sin, and gave us an inheritance among the sanctified, for endless happiness. Went to Uncle Humphrey's with Cousin John Francis HUMPHREY, a pious young man.
18th. To-day I was so unwell that I did not proceed with my business. My eyes were very sore. In the afternoon, I felt somewhat better, and spent the night with Uncle UDELL's family. Had another very agreeable visit with them. Cousin Henrietta UDELL, a very intelligent, well informed young member of the family, had just returned from school in the city of Troy, and added much to the interest of our visit.
19th. Am better, and have actively resumed the execution of my task. Went from Stephentown to Cannan [sic - Canaan], Columbia County, N. Y., and took dinner with Brother Calvin CARR; he was so kind as to introduce me to the brethren and contributed one dollar himself. Spent the night.
house, where I met with Cousin Susan HUMPHREY and Elder Eben TUCKER, who was a school mate of mine, when a small boy. He assisted me in collecting.
20th. To-day I called on some of the brethren of the First Baptist Church in Canaan; but they said they were poor, and I only received one dollar from them. Passed on through the Shaker village, to New Lebanon Springs, [Columbia County ] N. Y., where I raised two dollars. Returned to Stephentown and put up again at Uncle Humphrey's.
21st. Walked twenty-five miles to the city of Troy, and called on some brethren, but got nothing. I dined with my mother's uncle, Amaziah BAILEY, of Nassau - a very aged man - and put up with Brother John MOTT, of Troy.
22d. Called on Elder HILL, of Troy. He said their own society were in debt three thousand dollars, for their house of worship; and that they had passed a vote in the church, not to aid in any benevolent object, until they had discharged that debt. I think it is a correct principle, and one sustained by the Scriptures, for men to be just before they are generous. The Elder advised me to take the first steamboat and go to New York, as I was perfectly worn out with walking, for sixty days in succession, and could not endure the exertion much longer. He thought that I would be more likely to succeed in New York and Philadelphia, and those [other?] large cities; therefore, I went to Albany and found that the fare on the steamboat to New York would be six dollars. I boarded myself, as the river had so much ice in it, and that was the first boat to venture on the trip. No other would start soon, but I did not like to pay such an extravagant price. I went up into the city and talked with Elder WELCH, on the subject. He advised me to go, and I accordingly paid my passage - the boat leaving at 9 o'clock on the following morning.
23d. This morning, went on board the boat, and started for New York. We were stopped by ice at Rhinebeck and remained there until the next morning.
24th. Sabbath. The cabin was so full and noisy last
night I could not sleep. What a contrast this day, to last Sabbath - spent in the assembly of the saints, and the peaceable and quiet enjoyment of the worship of God, Whom it is my delight, as well as my indispensable duty, to serve.
25th. Woke up in New York this morning, after having been much detained and exposed to considerable danger by the ice, on our trip hither. I went up into the city and took breakfast. I then began to look about the place for brethren, and soon chanced upon Brother COLGATE, a prominent member in the Baptist church. It was with considerable difficulty that I could get the names of brethren, in this city. There were so many calls upon them for benevolent objects, that many of the brethren had agreed not to give their names to strangers, coming in for that purpose. The constant demand embarrassed them so much that they could hardly defray their own necessary expenses and sustain themselves. However, Brother Colgate directed me to Elder PARKINSON, Frankfort street. I had a conference with him him [sic] concerning my business, and he agreed to consult with members of the church, of which he had the pastoral charge. He thought they would render some aid in the cause. He introduced me to Brother Samuel F. RANDOLPH and family who very kindly invited me to make my home with them while in the city, and recommending me to Elder D. DUNBAR. He advised me to get the signatures of the ministers of the city, and the names of as many of their members, with their place of residence, as I could, and then visit them, one after another, which I did. Took dinner with Cousin Samuel UDELL (grocer, corner of Grand and Essex streets) and returned to Brother Randolph's, to take tea and pass the night.
26th. I spent the day walking to and fro, through the city, to get my business arranged so as to begin to collect for business - has to be done by rule here. Dined at Brother Wm. Colgate's, No. 27, John Street. He gave me five dollars for the object of my mission. Took tea with Elder Duncan Dunbar, No. 511, Washington Street, and attended
church meeting in the evening. Six came forward, related their experience, and stood as candidates for baptism. Staid [sic] overnight with Brother Moses G. LEONARD, No. 343 Bleeker Street. The Lord continues, as He has through all of my travels, to give my brethren confidence in me, and to give me peace of mind - for which I am truly thankful.
27th. Quite unwell, to-day. I prepared at noon to begin collecting. In the evening, I met with a committee from Elder PARKERSON's church, at his house, in Frankfort Street, who agreed to take up a collection for me on the next Lord's day, in their church (the First Baptist Church in New York).
28th. I passed the day begging, notwithstanding my ill health; and in the evening, I attended meeting with the brethren, and came home with Brother Leonard - a very good brother.
29th. My health is somewhat improved. Walked about the city, collecting, from house to house, all day. Took tea with Brother SPENCER, Beekman Street; attended meeting at Elder Dunbar's church, in the evening, and had a very interesting time. Spent the night at the house of Elder Nathaniel NORTON - a man ninety-two years old - afterwards heard him preach two very interesting discourses.
30th. Still soliciting aid.
31st. Sunday. Attending meeting in McDougle street, at Elder Dunbar's church. A stranger preached from Romans, 6th chap., and 4th verse. After preaching, Elder Dunbar baptized nine females. In the afternoon, I went to Gold Street, to hear Elder Parkerson preach from Acts, 26th chap., and 18th verse. The whole day's services were very interesting and edifying to the Christian.
April 1st. This day, have been going about the city, as usual, soliciting aid from all the brethren I could find.
2d. Soliciting aid all day. Dined with Brother Randolph and took tea with the Widow CAULDWELL Put up for the night at Brother Leonard's, and went with him, in the evening, to hear lectures on chemistry by a gentleman possessing the whole chemical apparatus.
2d. [sic - 3d?]. To-day, finished collecting in New York City, and went to Brother Randolph's, to tarry for the last night. They have been so very kind and agreeable to me, that it is somewhat trying to part with them. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to the Lord, for raising up such kind friends for me, in a strange country. Brother Randolph's son has given me a fine little present; may the Lord reward him!
4th. This day, at half-past six o'clock, in the morning, I left New York for Philadelphia, where I arrived at 6 o'clock P. M. Too late to find brethren, so I put up at a boarding house.
5th. Visited with several ministers, in various parts of the city, to engage them to take up a collection for me, on next Lord's day, in the churches. But this they were unwilling to do, on account of their having taken up on last Lord's day a collection for the same purpose in the same State. They were all, except one, deeply in debt for their own house; and some said that they were begging from door to door, to raise money, to prevent their houses being sold at Sheriff's sale. However, I attended prayer meeting at the Baptist Church, in Spruce Street, this evening, and was called upon to pray. I then read my credentials (which made my business known) and requested donations; received $26.50. Put up with Brother Ira M. ALLEN, publisher of "The Baptist Annual Register."
6th. Perambulated the city, soliciting aid from house to house; received one dollar.
7th. Sunday. Went to the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, and heard Elder BRANTLEY preach from the Gospel by John, 4th chapter, and 24th verse. A collection of $15.25 was made for me by the church. Took dinner with Mr. JAMISON, No. 8 Dock St., and in the afternoon attended Elder DAGG's church. Fifteen applicants were received into the church - some of them by baptism; and I had again the opportunity of approaching my Master's table with the brethren, to commemorate His dying [sic - undying?] love. Supped with Brother John PATTERSON, 2d St., and accom-
panied him to the Second Baptist Church, to hear Elder VILTS preach an excellent discourse from Ecclesiastes, 12th chapter and 13th verse. $5.25 were contributed to my cause, after preaching; and I spent the night at the house of the Elder.
8th. As I was almost done collecting, I passed the greater part of the day in viewing the city, which is built on an inclined plain, on or near the junction of the Delaware and Schuylkill, and extends from river to river. The Delaware is navigable for ships of the largest size as far up as the city. Philadelphia is plentifully supplied with water from the Schuylkill, by means of a force-pup, which forces the water almost perpendicularly to the top of Mt. Fairview (higher than any steeple in the city), where there is a reservoir covering an area of about seven acres, and sufficiently deep to keep the water cool and wholesome, whilst it is perfectly impervious to filth and vermin. From this reservoir, all parts of the city are supplied with water by pipes. Philadelphia was once thought by travelers to be the most beautiful and cleanly, as well as the most healthy, city in the world. Since stone coal has come into such general use there, however, its aspect is sadly changed.
In company with a brother, I visited the Museum, which is full of natural curiosities, and worthy of the attention of the Christian, and everyone who cares to become acquainted with older and stranger creations than those of his own land and age. I beheld in this Museum the skeleton of the Mammoth, besides strange animals from every part of the world, and mineral specimens, fossils, etc. I went next to see the great war-ship Pennsylvania, then on the stocks and ready for launching. She is said to have been the largest ship in the world.
9th. Visited the prisons and lunatic and orphan asylums and was greatly interested. In the afternoon, I arranged my business and put everything in readiness for leaving the following morning. Elder Ira M. ALLEN put a number of Baptist Tracts in my care, for delivery to the Agent of the Tract Society in Ashtabula County. (These
I promptly delivered to Deacon CHAMPLIN, of Rome, and still hold his receipt. Elder Allen also placed in my hands some copies of the "Baptist Register" to sell or leave with his agents. I therefore left some of them with Elder Jacob BAILEY, of Jefferson, and disposed of five copies, myself - for which I am still indebted to Brother Allen, $5. I have written to him on the subject but have received no answer. (If this work should fall under the Elder's notice, and he will send me at Gentry Courthouse, Mo., his address, I will forward him the money.)
10th. At half past 6 o'clock A. M., I left Philadelphia, by steamboat, and at Boardingtown took the cars (then drawn by horses) to Amboy; and from that place, went to Albany via New-York.
11th. Spent the forenoon in going about the city, to see whether the brethren had raised me any funds, or would yet do so. I got no encouragement, and was told that I must attend meeting and make my business known, when all who saw fit could have an opportunity of contributing. I therefore agreed to attend prayer meeting on the following evening. In the afternoon, walked eighteen miles to Schodack, and put up with Capt. John SCHERMERHORN.
12th. Visited some of the brethren in Chatham, Columbia County. They themselves were begging for means to build a church and could give me nothing. I also called upon the brethren in Schodack but found them an impoverished church, scarcely able to support preaching. Returned to Albany and attended the contemplated prayer meeting. It was a delightful season of devotion. I read my credentials and received $7.50. Supped with Brother MCINTOCH and passed the night under the hospitable roof of Brother Halsey WOODRUFF.
13th. Desired to start home by canal today, but as the water is not to be let in until the 29th, I have concluded to travel eastwardly and spend another week, in trying to raise a few dollars more. Reached Stephentown and put
up at Uncle Isaac HUMPHREY's. Very thankful to meet his household again.
14th. Sunday. Went to Black River, with Cousin John HUMPHREY, and heard Elder DEAN preach a most excellent discourse from 1st Peter, I, 11. Had an interesting conference meeting in the afternoon. I am now in the neighborhood where my school-boy days were passed. Here, when a child, I spent in innocent amusements, with my little mates, the happiest hours of my life - undreaming of the thorny path my feet were yet to tread! Once more I gazed upon the old familiar scene but recognized no faces that I loved. Long years ago they "fell to formless ruin" or were scattered by misfortune and scarred in the battle of life, that now, no feature is left to remind me of their former being. Solemn thought! May I - may you, my reader, profit by the moral it conveys.
15th. To-day I visited the church in Hancock, Massachusetts, but received nothing from the brethren. Went to Lanesborough and stopped with Brother Nathan N. BRIGGS - a member of Congress, and a very pious, intelligent man. I enjoyed myself greatly, walking over the hills and mountains, meditating upon the mercy of God toward me, and a lost and wicked world, in the gift of salvation through the Redeemer. I was filled with gratitude, moreover, for the kindness and hospitality shown me by brethren, wherever I went. I trust the Lord will reward them.
16th. To-day, the brethren in Lanesborough raised me $2.50. I then went to Pittsfield and called on Elder BEECH and the brethren, who contributed $5.75. Stopped with Brother Josiah FRANCIS and was very agreeably entertained.
17th. Crossed the mountains and visited the First Baptist Church in New-Lebanon, N. Y., which donated $2. Put up at the house of Brother J. GILLETT, who was married to Lydia HASCAL, an acquaintance of my youth. I enjoyed myself in their society, and that of their parents, who lived with them. All were members of the Baptist Church.
18th. Returned to Stephentown and dined with Mr. Caleb CHAPMAN. From different sources $0.75 were donated. I have now ceased to solicit contributions, and expect to visit among old acquaintances, and attend religious meetings, until Monday. Called, this evening, on Samuel UDELL, first cousin to my father, and spent the night at his house.
19th. Visited Wm. GARDNER, Esq., Deacon GARDNER, old Father Jas. ADAMS, and Mr. Henry PLATT - all acquaintances of my youth. Spent the night at Uncle HUMPHREY's.
20th. To-day, I attended covenant meeting at the old Baptist Church in Stephentown. The brethren and sisters were very much engaged, and I trust the Lord was in their midst. My soul was abundantly fed from the Savior's bounty.
21st. Sabbath. Heard Elder JONES preach an edifying discourse, John ii, 2, after which I had once more the blessed privilege of communion with the brethren of Stephentown. I then bade them farewell, with the expectation of never seeing them again until we should all meet in that blessed Kingdom prepared for all those who love and serve the Lord.
22d. This morning I bade adieu to all my relatives and started for my home in Ohio, Cousin John HUMPHREY accompanying me thither. Reached Albany at 12 o'clock, after twenty-two miles' walk. In the afternoon, we took the cars (said to be the first ever propelled by steam) to Schenectady - a distance of fifteen miles, which we made in 30 minutes. Here we immediately took passage on a canal-boat for Buffalo.
23d. This morning we took breakfast at a tavern. The boat travels so slowly that we have time to eat on shore, and overtake her within 6 miles. We boarded ourselves. Passengers and crew are all well-disposed, and civil. I have some consolation, too, in reading the word of the Lord. My health is good.
24th. Reached Utica, where I took breakfast with Brother BALDWIN. I left the boat and went to see a relative
living thirty miles from Utica, and nine from New London on the canal, which place the Captain said the boat would pass about nightfall. Supped at McConnelsville with my brother-in-law, at 4 P. M., and proceeded to New London. There I was told the boat had passed two hours before. I then ran nearly twenty-five miles, and overtook her at 11 o'clock, that night, after having walked and run sixty-three miles.
25th. Were detained three hours at the Syracuse locks, and reached Jordan at night. We travel day and night but only make about sixty miles in the twenty-four hours.
26th. To day we passed Clyde. The country is very pleasant and beautiful.
37th. [sic - 26th?] Arrived at the city of Rochester this morning, and I went in company with several of the passengers to view the Genesee Falls. This cataract is a perpendicular descent of seventy or eighty feet and, with the canal aquaduct [sic] above, is a grand spectacle. Nor is the canal itself, as a work of art, less deserving of the admiration of the traveler. Perhaps no other enterprise in our country has involved in its execution so great an amount of ingenuity, intellect and patience.
A Baptist Elder from Vermont took passage at this place. His name is Wm. ARTHUR; he is a man of talent and very interesting manners.* There are on board Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Seceders, Christians, Baptists, and how many other sects I know not. We have had singing, praying and exhortation, which has made the time pass away pleasantly. Passed Brockport this evening.
28th. This morning I left the boat six miles from Lockport and walked forward to call on Cousin Jane UDELL; delivered to her a letter from her father, had a short but agreeable interview with her, and then went on board the boat. It being Sabbath, Elder Arthur preached in the cabin, an edifying sermon from Math. Vii, 26, and we had singing and prayer. What a contrast to the Sabbath spent on the steamboat between Albany and New-York. Landed at Buffalo, and put up at a public house.
29th. This morning we took passage with six others on the steamboat Pennsylvania, for Ashtabula. I was rejoiced to find that Elder Arthur and most of the pious canal-boat passengers were to accompany us. The lake was calm and the weather fine, and we had a very pleasant trip.
30th. This morning at 6 o'clock, we landed at Ashtabula, and by noon I arrived in safety at my peaceful, pleasant home. Found all my family and friends enjoying good health, for which I thank and bless the Lord.
Transcriber's note to the reader: On his return to Jefferson, John learned of a controversy in the church that eventually would split the congregation into two. Also, John would learn that his family had been living on credit instead of on the support of the church. He raised a total of $262.94, less $46.75 for expenses, less $52.25 for remuneration which gave a net of $163.00 for the building of the church.
Note from Lin Van Buren: In 1833, this very Elder William Arthur had a three-year-old son at home who would grow up to be the 21st President of the United States, Chester Alan ARTHUR.