1833: Rev. James Wilson Moore to Rev. John C. Brigham

Rev. James Wilson Moore

This letter was written by Rev. James Wilson Moore (1797-1873), a Presbyterian minister who settled in Little Rock, Arkansas Territory, in January 1828. He was educated for the ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary and ordained to the gospel ministry in November 1827. He organized the first Presbyterian Church in Little Rock in July 1828. He was married to Elizabeth Guild Green (1807-1895).

Rev. Moore wrote the letter to Rev. John C. Brigham, the Corresponding Secretary of the American Bible Society during at least the 1830’s and 1840’s.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Reverend Mr. John C. Brigham, No. 115 Nassau Street, New York [City]

Page 1

Little Rock [Arkansas]
June 6th 1833

Mr. Brigham
Very Dear Brother,

A few weeks since I received a communication from you for which I feel grateful. My occupations have been such since that time that I have not found it convenient to return an answer.

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I here transmit you sixty dollars received principally for sale of books. I am deeply sorry, my dear Sir, that we do no more in this section towards the advancement of the great work. But if our circumstances were known, it would excite no marvel. Oh that we could only have the presence of an agent for a short season! Brother Chase made us two visits but he remained only one day or so. Consequently he attended no meeting nor has he any interview with any of the persons who required to be excited on that subject. This we require greatly. Likely it is that we can never have the pleasure of a real visit from any agent in this Territory?

Page 2

All our facilities flourished when first commenced and for a season afterwards, but as we have few here capable of giving interest to such institutions at public meetings, in a short time they began to languish. Now had there been an agent from abroad to attend some of our meetings, it would have & would still give impulse & energy. I have urged it but as yet in vain. Please dear Brother, keep this in mind.I thank you ex animo for the sincere & continued interest you take in regard to the building of our church. I have written thrice to the Brethren you named to me but have never received a line. I cannot think it necessary to do any thing more. I must confess, I felt at least slighted. It would have been a great favor to have known something one or the other way as it kept me in suspense not knowing whether it would be necessary to write to others or not until I should hear from them.

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I am glad you have taken the course you mention with Mr. Stevenson & his Campbellite Brother. That sect may if they choose pay C for circulating Campbellism. It would be outrageous to expect it from the American Bible Society.

Poor Stevenson’s course seems “downhill.”  It is deplorable!

Page 3

I have several times requested that Messrs. Morse’s should be paid by the Bible Society for certain papers I ordered New York Observers. Has this been done? I a_____ to know it & if not, please still to do it & I will arrange it here either with Mr. Stevenson or the Society. Please tell Messrs. Morses that the fluctuation of the people has prevented them from desiring the papers continued. Of course others need not be longer sent.

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Your affectionate Brother, — J. W. Moore


On 5 November 1862, Henry W. Moore (1844-1822), a son of Rev. James Wilson Moore, began to share a room with Ralph Leland Goodrich in the boarding house run by Sarah Adamson in Little Rock, Arkansas. See The Ralph Leland Goodrich Diaries, 1859-1867.


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