Monday, July 27, 2015

1847 Letter from Deacon Eliashib Adams of Bangor, Maine to his Son Rev. George Eliashib Adams at Brunswick, Maine

April 7, 1847 letter from Deacon Eliashib Adams of Bangor, Maine, to his oldest son, Rev. George Eliashib Adams at Brunswick, Maine.   The reverse contains a note from Deacon Adams' daughter Mary Ann Adams.  Transcript at the end of this post.

The letter contains news of the formation of a new Congregational parish in Bangor, Central Congregational Church, which existed from 1847 until 1911, when it and another church combined to form All Souls Church.

An issue of the Maine Historical Magazine, Volume 8, covering January 1893-December 1893, contains an article about the Adams family, including mention of the letter writer Deacon Eliashib Adams and his family.

A highly interesting account of Deacon Eliashib Adams, his son Rev. George Eliashib Adams and other family members is contained in the book Fanny & Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams & Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, written by Diane Rowe Smith and published in 2013.  Frances Caroline Adams, "Fanny", and the much older Rev. George Eliashib Adams were cousins.  When "Fanny" was four, Rev. Adams and his then wife Sarah Ann (Folsom) Adams took Fanny into their Brunswick home as their adopted daughter.


Bangor, April 7, 1847
Dear Son,
On the 19th March past I sent you a check on Boston of $60.50 on John's [possibly John Calvin Adams, Eliashib Adams' second son] account with a request for you to acknowledge the receipt, but have not heard from you since.  Will you say whether it has come to hand?
You will be pleased to learn that another Congregational Church has recently been formed in this City.  The organization took place the first day of this month as you may have seen by the papers.  The Church consists of twelve brethren only, of whom I am one.  We expect to receive to our communion about thirty more, male and female, as soon as we can have time to go through with an examination.  This course is thought important in order that those belonging to the same church may become acquainted with each other's Christian experience.  We have held meeting on the Sabbath in the new Market hall since March came in, and listened to the preaching of Prof. Shepard much to the edification of all present.  About three hundred have attended.  We have had a weekly prayer meeting at private homes, most of them of deep interest.  It is expected that for some time to come Prof. S. will preach half a day each sabbath when at home, and our parish committee informed me that they had agreed to invite John (who is still at Bucksport) to engage as a Colleague with Prof. Shepard, for the time being.  Have heard that you have rather an interesting time in your place; when you have time please write.  Mary will finish this sheet.  Your affectionate father, Love to you all, Eliashib Adams.
[Mary now writes]

James wishes me to say that he hopes you will come here soon.  His heath is somewhat improved.  Still he is far from well.  We went to meeting, last sabbath morning, for the first time for months.  He cannot read at all but he has a great faculty of furnishing himself amusement and his spirits are very good.  Prof. Shepard goes to New York after two sabbaths more, to stay several weeks.  He said he would go and see Aaron [presumably Aaron Chester Adams, third son of letter writer Deacon Eliashib Adams].  
We were very glad to hear through Mr. Crosby that you and Ann [presumably Sarah Ann Folsom,  first wife of letter recipient Rev. George Eliashib Adams] think of coming here this summer.  We hope you will not fail to come.   I expect to be somewhere about here, though there is no place particularly that I can consider a home.  Our love to the folks.  I am in a hurry as you can see.  Your affectionate Sister [Mary]

If you have more information on Deacon Eliashib Adams and his family, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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