This letter was written by Rev. Ralph S. Crampton of Madison (1799-1864), the son of Darius and Prudence (Monger) Crampton, of Madison, Connecticut. He studied Theology in the Seminary at Bangor, Maine and was ordained in 1827 and appointed to served the Congregational Church in South Woodstock (1827-9); at Willimantic (1830-32); at Hadlyme (1832-1834); at Litchfield South Farms (1834-36); as a Presbyterian at Mount Clemens and Monroe City, Michigan (1836-1838); at Warsaw, N.Y. (1839), and then served as District Secretary of the American and Foreign Christian Union for Central New York in Rochester. He was married to Tirzah Ingham of Saybrook, Connecticut.
Crampton’s letter offers a recommendation for his colleague Rev. Oren C. Thompson (1806-18xx), a graduate of Western Reserve College and the Princeton Theological Seminary, who came to Michigan in 1831 as a representative of the American Tract Society and the American Sunday School Union. He resigned that position in 1833 and went to St. Clair where he was ordained to preach by the Congregationalist Society. He served as pastor at St. Clair and Port Huron for fifteen years. Thompson also served as a teacher at the Academy at St. Clair from 1843 to 1849. He retired from the pulpit in 1847. During the Civil War, it is reported that served as a member of the U.S. Christian Commission. It is reported that Thompson was an ardent abolitionist and a station master on the underground railroad in Michigan. Thompson married Lucy Alice ____ of Hudson, Ohio. Supposedly, his wife’s aunt was married to John Brown.
The letter was addressed to Walter Lowrie (1784-1868), Secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Missions in New York City.
Addressed to Walter Lowrie, Esq., Secretary of Presbyterian Board of Missions, New York
Mt. Clemens, Michigan
April 12th 1838
Having learned that Rev. O. C. Thompson of St. Clair, Michigan, has offered himself as a Missionary to be stationed at or near Mackinaw under the care of of the Presbyterian Board of Missions, I take the liberty to recommend him for the station. I am his nearest neighbor in the ministry, & for the last year & a half, have been acquainted with his character, labors, & success.
For devoted consistent piety, I think few are before him. His natural & acquired abilities are very respectable — his manners conciliatory & affectionate, are calculated to secure the respect even of enemies. He is diligent & persevering & I can not doubt would be exceedingly useful in that station.
Mrs. Thompson is also, in my opinion, eminently qualified to be an efficient helper in the work.
Brother Thompson has had little to say or do respecting those subjects which have so unhappily agitated our beloved zion for the past few years. I have heard [him] claimed as belonging to the “old school” & by others as belonging to the “new,” — but the truth is, he is no party man but seeking to be an instrument in the hand of God of saving souls from ruin.
Yours in the Gospel of Christ — R. S. Crampton,
Pastor of First Presb. Ch. in Mt. Clemens, Michigan