Saturday, January 22, 2022

1835 Letter from Elizabeth Waldron in Eastport, Maine, to Rev. & Mrs. Wakefield Gale in Boston, Massachusetts - Controversy

October 7, 1835 letter from Elizabeth Waldron in Eastport, Maine, to Rev. Wakefield Gale (1797-1881) and Wife Mary Louisa (Bigelow) Gale (1806-1861) in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Gales were staying with Mary's sister Ann Eliza (Bigelow) Safford (1802-1874) and brother-in-law Deacon Daniel Safford (1792-1856) at 7 Montgomery Street in Boston.

The letter hints of the displeasure of some in town with Rev. Gale, with Elizabeth stressing her loyalty to him. According to a bio on his FindaGrave Memorial, Rev. Gale was dismissed from his pastorate in November of 1835, a month after Elizabeth started her letter.  Elizabeth mentions Rev. Gale's future return to Eastport, but perhaps he intended to return only to settle his affairs there.

A transcription appears at the end of this post.

See other letters regarding Rev. Gale:

There were two women named Elizabeth Waldron in Eastport, Maine, during this time, according to FindaGrave memorials, both born in 1786 and born dead in the same year as well, 1874.

They are: 

People mentioned in the letter - some multiple times

If you have a theory as to the identity of Elizabeth Waldron or any of the other people mentioned, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Transcription - loose, some misspellings left intact, some punctuation added for comprehension - suggest corrections and/or additions in the comments sections

Eastport Oct 7 1835
My Dear Mr and Mrs. Gale
I have been waiting to try to learn, what god intended to do with this people, and as I was informed last evening by Mrs. Weston that you should give up your house in six weeks, from this I think we may say as she of old did, the glory is departed from Eastport, and learn that god intends to take a away our greatest blessing and bestow them on those who will better praise his worth, but I blame you not, for I believe unering wisdom is your guide and that you have sought it with deliberation. I have often thought that you was too bright a light to be Extinguished on this remote Island and Mrs. Weston has the same mind. but we were selfish and gain yet. I shall not attempt to discribe my feelings. Go on on thou man of god in the way He directs you,and I have a hope at the end of our race I shall meet you in that Kingdom of glory where sin can have no control and where you will receive your reward for all your labours of love to us. I can so no more.
After you left us, I thought our case much like the children of Israel when they saw Pharaoh and his host pursuing them after they had left Egypt, but I thought you would remain a Moses and intended for us and I believe you did, and in answer to prayer we still remain a church. that affair is not settled yet. I have done all that I can do without telling a falsehood that I shall not do I hope while I have my reason. I think if Mr. L had no more earthly riches then myself it would have come to a conclusion long before this. You will understand my meening, but is it not better to put our trust in Him who has all the money and the cattle upon a thousand hills at his disposal, then to place any confidence in man that has nothing but ungovernable temper to guide him. It has been said that we cannot support a Minister if Mr. L. withdraws his assistance, but I say we did have the gospel preached to us in its purity before he united with us and better is a little with the fear of the Lord then great treasures and trouble therewith. but you will say no more of this and I will forbare and strive to do right and keep under subjection all wrong feelings.
We were without preaching 4 sabbaths after your departure. In that time we meet once at our Meeting house and ___ Shays read to us, and then came Mr. Holcome and I am at a loss what to say of him. He is pleasant man, and in his preaching you would think he was coming right to the point and he will slide of so unpenceivable that one cannot trace the way he went. he tells us what we must be, before we can be admitted into heaven but what the sinner must do to acquire those attainments he does not clearly set forth. I have been thinking every sermon the whole would come but as yet it has not. but don't say that I do not like him, but as yet he has not enlarged nor united our society and would all our people speak the truth they would say they are disappointed in him. He has made me a visit and I should take him to be any thing but a minister if I did not know.  Mr. Chute preached one Sabbath and Mrs. Weston thinks he is the man for this place if you don't come back again. She says he came from a good soul and your recommendation we think much of, but I ___ [dare ?] not express my opinion for they say I like to much depravity so I say I like them both. 

The widow Buckman told me she thought Deacon Safford encouraged you to leave here. I told her she was misinformed and I presume she was. The Baptist have their Minister and are so pleased with him that they are not willing for him to come into our meeting house, for they have withdrawn from us altogether. They hold the monthly concert in their own house and we in ours. No great harm done yet. I believe Dea. Wheeler is at the head of the sepperation. Our vestry is ocupied every night in the week of singing and 3 meetings. Mr. Holcome or Mr. Halfcome gives us a sermon on Thursday eve'g. The meetings are very well attended. I have heard every sermon he has preached. Capt.Childs sought to see me out evenings. He knows my Motive. It was thought I should not go because you was away but they get disappointed in all their conjectures. You know who I mean. I shall not loose any friends. I have not attended any of the Maternal meetings, since you left and don't know when I shall. They have done a little to have me come in in an underhanded way, that is, Mrs. Childs told Mrs. L. that she ought to come and see me and invite me to attend. And I wanted to see Mrs. L on other business and I sent for her to come in which she did, and just as she was going I mentioned about her husband and told her I wish her to converse with him and let me know what he said. She said she would. I heard nothing more from her until meeting day. About 4 o'clock Mrs. Whitcom came in and asked why I was not to meeting. Said I, you know the reason. She says why. Mrs. L. says you can come but she had been so busy that she had forgot to say anything to her husband. From that Mrs. L. said she had been to see me and she did not know why I did not come. You understand the Matter. Now I was cast out publickly and I must be brought in more Publicky, that he or she must give me an inventation, the prayer meeting at this house has been well attended and only one refusal. There sisters down ____ attend and the young sisters have joined with us, and you have been remembered in every prayer that has been offered in this room since you left it and the ___ has been that you might be restored to us again in god's own time. The ___ is quite heavy. Deacon Prince has just left here; he sends his love to you and says he hopes God will bless you wherever you are and that he shall write you as soon as his eye gets better. It is now very sore, his heart was to full for ___ but says he feels resigned to his heavenly Father's will. I went over to your garden once and got some squash and turnips and but I could not go again it was too much for me to pluck up what My Minister had planted and in his absence to.  She that was Emma Hayden sends her love to you. She is quite low but appears very much resigned and composed. Mr. Green has moved to Calais. Mr. Shaw has moved in where they lived. Mrs. Levett has another daughter about 2 weeks old and is very comfortable. Mrs. Weston sends her love you and says she wants to write you an ___ soon. Mary Ann wrote you, 4 weeks ago but presumes you have not received. Emeline is working Mrs. G's watch mat but will not send it until Mr. Gale comes.Will Mr. Gale be so kind as to stop the Youths Companion when this year is out for we cannot take it longer. I believe it is paid for until then. Give our love to Miss Ann Eliza and tell her we should be glad to hear some of her interesting conversation. I must now think of drawing to a close, my best love to Mr. and Mrs. Safford and tell them that I do feel thankful that my Dear friends are under the protection of such worthy people - I shall expect to see Mr. G in about six weeks. I hope you will ever bear this church on your minds at the throne of grace and intercede for us that we may not be left without a teacher and one that shall declare the whole truth if we were delt with according to our deserts we should be shut up in heathenish darkness. I believe god will over  rule all things for his own glory and our best and I hope that all his dealings with us will prove for our everlasting good. I have written you both together for what interests one will the other. You must rectify all mistakes and imperfections in reading and pardon the writer who is your affectionate sister in the Lord.
Elizabeth Waldron

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