This letter was written by Rev. Julius Jesse DuBose (Abt 1808-1852) while serving as an agent of the American Bible Society in South Carolina in 1833. Julius was the son of Jesse J. DuBose and Rebecca Wilds. Julius married Margaret Eliza Thompson. He resided in Darlington, South Carolina and is buried there.
Rev. DuBose 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.
Addressed to Rev’d J. C. Brigham, Secretary, Americal Bible Society, New York, New York
Darlington Ct. House [South Carolina]
October 12th 1833
Rev’d & Dear Sir,
You have doubtless expected a report from me long before this on the subject of my agency for the Bible Society; but my excuse, I hope, will be satisfactory for what under the circumstances would have been a highly reprehensible neglect. I had commenced my labors as an agent but a few days before I was attacked with fever & chill. This prevented me from leaving Lancaster C.H. for two weeks, when I again commenced my duties, but was imprudent in having left Lancaster while so much debilitated & had traveled but little more than seventy miles before my disease assumed the form of a violent inflammatory billious fever which confined me about six weeks. The physician leaving that the disease would terminate fatally directed that my friends be written to, & after several weeks, I was moved back home in a bed.
Owing to these circumstances, I have been unable, until recently, to make a report. I have dwelt this particularly on my sickness, that you might the more readily excuse my seeming negligence.
Indeed, I had but just reached my field of labor when I was taken sick & consequently did very little for the Society. But as my health is still delicate & the winter is at hand, during which it would be imprudent for me to travel, I feel bound to resign my agency. I hope my doing so will not be viewed as the result of caprice, but rather as a necessity growing out of my feeble state of health.
The section of country assigned to me I think needs an active agent very much. The objects seem to be very partially known in many places as far as I could learn from observation & from other sources; & the importance of unrelaxing exertion too little felt in many of those places, where the objects of the Society are better known.
I hope, my dear Sir, I shall not be though presumptuous in suggesting the importance of having ministers of the Gospel as agents. Had I been licensed to preach, I feel assured that I could have served the Society far more efficiently than I did. For many will go out to hear a sermon and thus afford the agent an opportunity of bringing the subject before them who could scarcely be induced to attend a meeting simply for the promotion of the Bible Cause.
Annexed is a summary report of my agency. I have done too little for the Society to wish for any remuneration; I shall, therefore, submit no account.
June 25th 1833. Commenced my agency. Rode to Society Hill (14 miles). 26th — rode to Cheraw (15 miles). 27th — rode from Cheraw to Chesterfield Ct. House. Found the Bible Society in a very languishing condition. This society owes about Twenty Dollars (I could not find the Treasurer’s Book) which Mr. H. Craig says he hopes will soon be paid. Mr. C. is an influential man & seems interested in the cause. He says the Sabbath School scholars at the Village School are supplied with testaments. 28th. I endeavored to get the cooperation of the Rev’d Mr. Freeman (Methodist) & visited his church for that purpose, but he objects on the ground that his denomination had Bible Societies distinct from the one I was acting for. I could not set a meeting of the Society as one had been previously appointed to take place about two weeks from that time.
29th. Arrived at Lancaster Ct. House (44 miles) and waited on Col. J. H. Witherspoon (President of the Lancasterville Society). Ascertained that the DIstrict had been partially supplied two years since. The Society since that time has languished. Indeed, had become almost extinct. The Anniversary had been neglected for two years, I believe. The Society owes about Thirteen dollars, but expects to pay it as soon as the distributing agents return the _____ they have, or hope to collect.
30th (Sabbath) Visited Mr. Cammelo’s Church (Presbyterian) and had an appointment given out for the Society to meet the 8th of July (I was told a meeting could not be obtained earlier). Mr. C. said that he had intended to form Branch Societies in two of his churches & would do so.
July 1st. Returned to Lancasterville. Conversed with Rev. William Burdett (Babtist) who promised to cooperate cheerfully. The officers of the Society, as many as I saw, seemed concerned for its prosperity & I think it will go into operation again with renewed vigor.
15th. Have been sick since the 3rd & unable to travel. The meeting on the 8th was thinly attended (unable to go out myself). A Committee from the meeting waited on me to know if I had any communications to make. I told them my object was to get them to resupply the District, to ascertain the amount of their debt (if they owed anything & when they could pay it) and if they could not do something for Foreign distribution. The Society agreed to meet again on the second Monday in August & expected then to adopt measures for a resupply. The prospects of its acting vigorously are somewhat flattering.
17th. Arrived at Winnsboro, Fairfield District (about 40 miles). The Society is doing well. Meetings had been previously appointed in different parts of the DIstrict to form Branches, or increase the number of members. Was told that the Society expected to do something for Foreign distribution.
18th. Rode to Rev. Mr. Boyd’s (4 miles) & appointed to visit his churchs (two) on the Saturday & Sunday week following — one day at each.
19th. Rode to Rev. Mr. Stafford’s (Chester District). The Society here is doing well. Rev. J. LeRoy Davies, President. I visited his church on Sabbath 20th & addressed the congregation. A meeting was then appointed for Tuesday to form a branch. I attended & ____ ten subscribers. They desired Mr. Davies to select officers, who promised to attend to the organization of the Society.
Wednesday, I started back to Mr. Boyd’s to fulfill my appointments at his churches, but was unable to reach his house from sickness — the same I mentioned above as rendering me incapable of continuing my agency through the summer & autumn.
I have now briefly sketched what I did during the little time I acted as an agent for the Bible Society. I feel truly grateful to the Society for the appointment I received. But my circumstances compel me to decline acting longer.
With sincere respect & Christian love. Yours truly, — Julius J. DuBose