This letter was written by Rev. Thomas Powell to Rev. Benjamin M. Hill, the Corresponding Secretary of the American (Baptist) Home Mission Society in New York City.
Addressed to Rev. B. M. Hill, Corresponding Secretary of American Home Mission Society, NYC
October 20, 1845
Rev. B. M. Hill
- The application of the church at Knoxville to sustain Elder Joseph O. Metcalf for one year from October 15, 1845 at a salary of $100 from you.
- The application of churches at Paw-Paw & Somonauk & Rock Creek to sustain Elder Norman Warriner for one year from June 1, 1845. Appropriation asked $100 from you.
- The application of church at Dundee to sustain M. L. Wisner for one year from Nov. 1, 1845. Application asked $100. This case laid over and not at present recommended by us.
- The church at Bloomington to sustain Lyman Whitney for one year from November 1, 1845. Appropriation asked $100 from you.
- The church at Paris, Edgar County, Illinois to sustain Gerard W. Riley for one year from November 1, 1845. Appropriation asked $100 from your society.
- The churches at Peoria & Tremont to sustain J. D. Newell for one year from November 1, 1845. Appropriation asked $150 from your society.
- The Springfield Association to sustain Elder Thomas Taylor for one year to labor as an itinerant within the bounds of said Association. Appropriation asked is $…..
The preceding applications were received, considered, and the appropriations named above were approved and the whole arrangement approved in the several instances named above. With one regulation adopted and understood to apply to every case recommended by us. Viz=
“We recommend that a direct appropriation to the amount of one cent per w__ for each member be required from each church receiving aid from the Home Mission to be appropriated to the Home Mission cause.” This regulation was adopted by the Board here (previously adopted at Canton) and it was distinctly explained to each of the Missionaries whose cases are specified in the page preceding and it was acceded to by the persons who are interested in the applications.
Knoxville church has 54 members. Their direct appropriation is $28 to be deducted from $100.
Paw Paw church &c. has 51 members. Their direct appropriation is $26 to be deducted from $100.
Bloomington church has 80 members. Their direct appropriation is $41 to be deducted from $100.
Paris church has 10 members. Their direct appropriation is $5 to be deducted from $100.
Peoria & Tremont have 84 members. Their direct appropriation is $43 to be decocted from $150.
All the applicants cordially agreed to this arrangement excepting Brother Whitney who appeared very reluctant and unyielding to the better suggestions of our whole board. If these applications are granted, you will please to prescribe in your directions to the Missionaries how you wish them to pay in these direct appropriations — by decucting it or otherwise — as you may deem expedient.
The application from Gerard W. Riley I especially recommend to the board as deserving of patronage. The man is a very interesting brother and the place regarded as an important one in a section of country which is very destitute and which has heretofore been unsustained by any appropriation and therefore demanding regard.
I have collected from Home Missions in each since my appointment from individuals & churches (as published in our Baptist General Association minutes) = $85.44 and I have subscriptions pledged to be paid this current year amounting to $74.15. The meeting of our General Association has been the most interesting and promising I have ever witnessed in Illinois. Every measure has been harmonious and apparently satisfactory to every section of our state represented. Every Association in the State which has expressed anything on the subject has approved the union of the two conventions &c excepting the Northern. Three delegates from it who were instructed to vote against the union, attended and united cordially with us. The North Western Convention met and adjourned Sine die.
The General Association organized by choosing Thomas Powell moderator, H. G. Weston clerk. The officers appointed to act this year are A. Bailey, President. Buman, Recording Secretary. Josiah Francis, Treasurer. A quorum of directors also at Springfield. Thomas Powell, Hennepin, Corresponding Secretary. I will forward you as speedily as possible our printed minutes. The General Association declared itself auxiliary to the A. B. Home Mission Society and voted to sustain an auxiliary relation according to Article 8th of the constitution of your society. By this act the General Association have voted all their funds to be paid over to your society understanding that they reserve only what is expended in contingent expenses, and what is paidover by the donors to Foreign Mission Bible & Education &c. &c. &c. The General Association suppose that all future appointments are to be made exclusively by your society, only that their recommendations in given instances where funds are expressly given to be expended in a given field will be acceded to by you. If any mistake is entertained by us, you will please correct it, and if additional explanations are needed by us, please furnish them in answer to this. The exact amount in our Treasury and other particulars I will forward you as soon as our minutes come out. I will endeavor to get them into your hand speedily.
My health is still poor but I am gradually recovering from my late attack and I have been remarkably sustained in conducting this session through as Moderator and affording apparently entire satisfaction to all who were interested in our business concerns. I am yours &c., — Thomas Powell