Hartford, CT: Peter B. Gleason, 1817-1822.
Softcover. Very good. Five pamphlets in original sewn wrappers, pp. 23, 19; 24; 28; 24; 23, all in very good condition, one with a long tear to the front wrapper. Each includes reports from Society-sponsored missionaries in all of the “new settlements,” including parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana. In addition to enumeration of sermons preached and books distributed, the reports often quote directly from the diaries of the missionaries, with (often dismal) assessments of the character of the settlers in different communities. A preacher assigned to Tennessee writes: "I know not what I shall do. I am but a feeble man, and almost the whole region, on every side, lies destitute [of religious instruction.]" Another, writing from the Missouri Territory, complains "Most of the preaching in that region had been by travelling Methodist preachers, who, as is common with such as have great zeal and little knowledge, have exerted themselves to excite prejudice against Ministers of the Presbyterian order." In Louisiana, however, the people were found "desirous of settling a minister" as they were "sensible that they were perishing for lack of knowledge." Dwight’s address, which is bound with the 1816 report, offers reflections on the critical role of early settlers in planting “the foundations of literature and religion” and shaping the institutions of a community for decades to come. Dwight was a Congregationalist minister and the eighth President of Yale College. Sabin 21546 (Dwight); 15812 (Reports).