“I had determined to go to the
Cherokee nation as a missionary.”
~ 1840 ~
Jessamine County Kentucky
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Stampless folded letter sheet.
Circular black postmark:
       NICHOLASVILLE Ky OCT 22
Manuscript rate:
       25
Addressee:
       Mr S. Barnett Esqr
       Bentleysville
       Washington county
       Penn.

Letter:
Nicholasville, Oct 21st 1840

My dear father,
  After a long interval I now sit down to address you. My last letter to you, I believe you never answered. I have not heard from home for three or four months excepting a letter that I received from John about a month or six weeks ago.
  I am now well. About three weeks since I had a slight attack of jaundice; but I have recovered. You will perhaps be surprised to hear that I am still at this place. I will tell you how it is.
  In my last letter I told you that I had determined to go to the Cherokee nation as a missionary. I accordingly made application by writing to the Editors of the Western Christian Advocate in Cincinnati. I expected them to write to brother Harrell, who is the presiding elder of the district in which the Cherokees reside. After waiting a considerable time without receiving an answer I again addressed the editors to know if they had written to brother H. Still I received no answer. I then gave up the intention of going to that missionary and wrote to the Corresponding Sec. Of the Presbyterian board of foreign missions respecting a mission in the Northern part of Michigan on Grand Traverse bay. This morning I received an answer from him which leads me to conclude that I will remain in Ky this winter. My school closed on the 27th of August, and I have been out of business ever since. I resigned my situation in the academy here, and will now seek a school elsewhere. It is altogether probable that I will get one about five miles from town. They have wanted me to go there. My school here has been worth about $370 during the year. When all my expenses are paid, I will not have $100. My boarding has cost me $150.
  It seems to have been God’s will that I should not now become a missionary, and it is all for the best. What I shall do, I know not. I will endeavour to be resigned to the will of the Lord. If in his providence he calls me to be a missionary I will go. He knows and will do what is best. I desire that he should be my counsellor and guide. I know that if I trust him he will bless me.
  How are you getting along at home? Is John with you yet? He told me that he had some notion of taking a school over on ten mile. I suppose he could not do better. How does Martha get along keeping house? How is business? How does Holland do? John tells me that Mitchell has sold his tavern. How has the election gone? Are you still trying to serve the Lord? Are you making it the great business of your life; and do you live in the enjoyment of the smiles of his reconciled countenance? Strive to enter in at the strait gate. As for myself, I am still struggling to go forward. I find corruptions to contend with, and cannot do the things that I would. But I hope through grace to conquer. I hope that wherever I may be, I will live for God, and for him alone.
  Give my respects to all my friends; to Mr. & Mrs. Holland, to Mr. & Mrs. Bentley Vc. If you see Uncle Thomas soon, you may tell him that I intend to write to him. I shall expect to hear from you soon.
I remain your affectionate son
Wm G Barnett
Samuel Barnett Esqr
    P.S.
      When I next write to you, I will forward the money that I borrowed from you. I would do it now, if it were convenient.

      Transcription: © Melanie Hamilton 2005

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