Lorenzo Waugh



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Rev. Lorenzo Waugh has transferred from the Ohio Conference to the Missouri Conference [appointed to Farmington Circuit, Cape Girardeau District, St. Francois County]. There have been fears of a slave rebellion. Last night, people spent the night vigilantly armed in anticipation of a revolt which thankfully never happened. The curse of slavery has been rendered worse by abolitionism. Slaves in Missouri have more liberty, are in good health, and armed. Thus, folks here have more reason to fear a slave rebellion than those living in slave states. There is much drinking, gambling and horse-racing in the towns. Folks on the circuit are "lukewarm" and "indifferent" church members. Nevertheless, he feels called by God to serve here. Abstract Number - 796

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Waugh_ab796 Fredericktown Mo. [Missouri] Dec. 25th 1835 Dear Father Finley My delay in writing to you is not the result of forgetfulness. I have thought of you oft. Several things have forbid my writing till the present. And now I have not everything that is the most pleasant to write. A rebelion [rebellion] of the slaves has been much feared lately. On last night the fears of the people were aroused to a great highth [height], owing to late appearances seen, & threats heard, in connection with old reports (for instance Murrel’s scemes [schemes]). Nearly every house in town was armed. Little rest was taken. No interruption took place, & the pious blessed the Lord for the return of an other [another] Christmas, which they were permitted to see & commence in peace. We now begin to feel the blighting chills of the curse of Slavery, which are rendered tenfold more poisonous & deadly by modern Abolitionism. I think myself, the people have more reason to fear here, than in some of the older slave states. The slaves here, have had more liberty. They are generally fed & clothed well & in the mining country especially, are generally armed. Many of them from their unrestrained mingling with the whites, have long since grown independent & saucy (being ignorant & uncultivated no other could be expected). Again there are those who associate with them especially about the miners who are more niggerish than themselves – who for whiskey & other plunder would as leave take up the hatchets against their countrymen as not & so I think, should a rebellion take place, it would be searious [serious] times indeed. I scarcely know how to describe times & things here to you. There is a great deal of wickedness among the people. In many places intemperance prevails alarmingly. There is more gambling & horse rasing [racing] than I have ever seen in any place before & what is still more afflicting some of the Baptist clergy encourage much of it from their pulpits. We have one on this Cir. [Circuit] who preaches expressly against all the benevolent society of the day & is himself a distiller. Though strange to tell he is heard by some with a degree of interest & appears to exert considerable influence. Sometimes since I commensed [commenced] my work on this Cir. [Circuit] I have found myself a good deal cast down, when witnessing the lukewarmness & indifference of many of the members of the church. They had a dull time last year, & every thing [everything] seems to be on the dull order. Some favorable omens have lately appeared, but I do feel, that it will require extraordinary exertions to get much affected [effected]. One thing I do know, God is able to help & I have felt for some time the spirit of prayer increasing. When praying I have felt greater access to God, & an enlarged expectation that he will cause the gloom to give way, & the cloud of mercy to burst; so that showers of grace – reviving & converting grace may pour upon us. I have covenanted a new [anew] this Christmas morning to be more fervant [fervent] & to spend more time in prayer. I know you will join me in asking God to send his blessing on us. I would not suggest we have no good members. No! But I say, it is too plain that we attend to religious service as duty because it has been acknowledged wright [right] & is customary & wordly [worldly] matters because we love & are delighted in them & hence the reason the former seems often so incipid [insipid] & almost or quite lifeless, & the latter so pleasant & agreeable. This is beyond a doubt clear, when we just reflect, what a fullness in the Gosple [Gospel] & how little we enjoy. We have in this conference some blessed good men. Oh what a field is here. I had no idea of it before I came. Methodism is I think before any other ism among the Americans & the remark made by an individual in the W.C. [Western Christian] Advocate is literally true; there are some which in order to be in any way successful have to cover up or in someway [some way] conceal their own peculiarities & take up Methodist ways: & in my candid opinion the reason why they do not prosper more & have no more than “three preachers” is they employ too much extensive learning, zeal & charity in the concealing & covering up business. I have enjoyed the best of health since I left Ohio & never for one moment have regretted volunteering. I believe a preacher whom God has called &c can only be happy in doing wright [right] & in order to do that he must labour where he is needed – Where he is most needed; & I do believe Father Finley this is the very place where I should work at the present. Many more are needed here. Oh the Lord would send &c. My journey to the Conference (which we reached on the 12 Sept was not quite so pleasant as I expected it would be. Br Jesse [???] became low spirited soon, & grew extremely iritable [irritable] & peevish so that I found it impossible to please him. To my great satisfaction Mr Wm Lucas who lives near Portsmouth overtook us in Indiana & crossed the Mississippi with us there. When we parted with Wm L. [Lucas] an other [another] yong [young] man from Ill. [Illinois] fell in with us, who proved a good comrade. The people were truly sickly both in Indiana & Ill. [Illinois]. They have had in Mo. [Missouri] more severe sickness during the past summer & fall, than they have had for many years. I am inclined to think on the whole Mo. [Missouri] is a pretty healthy state. This is a productive country. Crops this year are generally good. The early frost hurt late corn & cotten [cotton] some. We have had coald [cold] freesing [freezing] weather & one clever snow. Please remember me to the friends & brethren of Ohio. May the Lord prosper you all there. We hope you will still remember us here. Do please Fr. [Father] Finley write me a long letter informing me of times &c with you there. I need much counsel of the experianced [experienced]. Write freely if you please. Direct to Farmington, St. Francis Co. [County] Mo. [Missouri]. I remain dear Father your humble son in Christ Revd J B Finley Lorenzo Waugh Envelope: Fredericktown Mo [Missouri] 25 28th Dec 1835 Revd Lorenzo Revd J.B. Finley Chillicothe Ohio Lorenzo Waugh 1835 Missouri

Publication Date



Fredericktown, MO


Slavery Letters; Abolition; Slave Rebellion; Missouri Conference; Farmington Circuit (MO)

Letter from Lorenzo Waugh to James B. Finley