1843: Alanson Dustin to Luther Hagar

This letter was written by Alanson Dustin (1795-1875). Alanson was married to Philena Wilcox (1800-1881). One of their daughters, Marcia A. Dustin, married (1845) to James Strong — an 1844 graduate of Wesleyan University.

He wrote the letter to Luther Hagar (1786-1853), the son of Benjamin Hagar (1749-1823) and Ester Child (1751-1837). Luther was married (1813) to Sarah (“Sally”) Addoms (1791-1849), the daughter of Major John Addoms (1737-1823) and Mary Townsend (1750-1839).

The subject of this letter has to do mostly with the religious revivals taking place in Vermont during the winter of 1842/43.

1843 Letter

1843 Letter

Addressed to Mr. Luther Hagar, Plattsburgh, [Clinton County] New York

Middlebury [Addison County, Vermont]
January 23d 1843

Brother Luther Hagar,

I embrace this opportunity of writing to you to inform you of the late revival of religion in this place. It began with prayer meetings every evening. Several were awakened. At the end of the first week was our Quarterly Meeting. Since that, the spirit of the Lord is here in deed & in truth. You have seen several revivals here. So have I. I never saw it on this wise. It is believed that there were 75 converted last week. Our house is full to overflowing. It is believed — says our preacher or preachers Ayers & Gridley — [that] not less than 120 have been at the alter and in the forward pews at a time. We have had no help. We have sent different ways [but] none [are] to be had. All [are] engaged at home. Sent a brother to White Hall on purpose the preacher sick a bed. The Lord has sustained the preachers. We have had about 90 gained society. I have no doubt that there is 30 more that have been converted — yea, more. There is no stir with the Baptist nor the Episcopal’s — the other church. Last Wednesday, ___ called to gather. They have no minister. The president takes or gives advice. Nothing doing as yet. They stay together till about 8. Then they rush in our house above & below. It is increasing. Last evening 7 or 8 came out clean. Oliver Wellington ¹ has found peace, is from house to house happy & bold in his lord. His influence with a certain class in valuable. I might mention 20 or more that you are acquainted [but] I can not do it now.

Br. Bonner’s son from Montreal is here. [He] lately found the Lord & is happy. He found peace at the school in Poultney [Vermont]. It has taken almost an entire sweep in the school. He says all the teachers have been sent for to help in revivals in that vicinity. I think this will be joyful news to his father in Montreal. Quite a stir in Vergennes & Weybridge. It is said by them who have been present that 90 have been torn at a time. They have a good preacher. We never saw it on this wise here before. We say ride on, O Lord, from conquering unto conquer. I have often thought of you since this work began. O, how you would rejoice to be here. I have often asked your brother if you was not expected. I hope your business would be directed this way. I think you never would regret it to be here preaching. At 2 o’clock each day & half past 6 evening, then prayer meeting, then a rush for the alter. It is hard to get the people away at all to draw out the lights & carry some & lead others. You may think I have given this a strong coloring. The half is not to be put on paper by me as said the Queen of Sheba as to Solomon’s glory.

B. Stain’s last child — a clerk in Doctor [Sidney] Moody’s drug store — came out clean last night. Two, I hope, in my own family. It has run like fire in the Sabbath School. My love to your family. O, how sister Hagar would rejoice if she was here. Also Brother & Sister Addoms with their children. Old Brother Bordman cries, trembles, & rejoices. Several Catholics have come out clean. One said I have been very wicked. I have served the Devil faithfully & my priest helps me many times. This is his relation. Another said he was a _____. He believed that the Devil was about to take the Bankrupt Act. He said he had no capital, not a foot of land on this earth did he own. The sinner might serve him all his days and then he would send him to Hell at last. He was happy & meant to serve God & get to Heaven. Several Universalists have been sound clean & conversions here.

My love to your son. So I add no more on this subject. — A. Dustin

N. B. Brother Hagar, it is well known to you that I have wrote twice to Brother Addoms on particular business with reference to our contract. One was to a transfer of the insurance. If you gave them to him, I do not know why he does not write me. As to that paper, the policy I found after I had wrote that the policy was not of any value to either of us the moment. I began to repair my place that moment I forfeited the policy according to the laws of the company of insurance so it would of done me no good. I wanted him to write me what book or what No. the book was that the deed was recorded in, that he had reference to in my last contract. It would of  saved some trouble in looking over so many books for it. I do not know but Brother Addoms’ family has been more unwell & perhaps him suppose too. This I do not know. As to my offer for the place and his compel__ng with a particular understanding that he was to unite to Brother Barlow soon after I left. It appears he has not done so or his letter has miscarried. I got Mr. Bowen to write & get the answer & gave them to you. I suppose you gave them to him. I wrote how if he did not write Brother Barlow, would be at the expense of coming from Utica to Troy on that business. I have just got a letter from Troy saying he had been there & borrowed some money from a young man who I formerly sent the rent to. To get back now, Brother Hagar, make this your own case, I took that property in good faith as being perfectly understood. Just as I left his house, he said to me I must say to you — you might sign it or not. You are my witness. I said so to you. Further, if your wife was opposed to your doing so, I did not want you to sign it. I said to be sure I had stayed one day longer on that account. Brother Hagar, I begun my repairs as soon as I could after I got back. I had to get 70 or 80 perch of new stone, it was do much more than I expected. I kept at it till January & quit [due to] cold weather, short days, [and] poor health myself. I have been sick, confined to my house. I have had a very sick child with the croup. It has but just been saved beyond our expectations, given up by the Doctors Allen & [William] Bass. The Lord saved it from death. We have cause to praise the Lord for this.

As to the road or lane, Brother Addoms told me to shut up. It has been open 20 years. It is gone to the public according to our statute, so says Daniel Chipman and other judges of the case. I went in with my family the 18th October expecting to stay there 2 months. I am in yet. Brother Addoms said to me he hoped I should think best to split. His first offer was 700 hundred. I told him I [thought] that was as much as any man could give as it was. I had rather of given that then after our trade not to of wrote me or Barlow. I will satisfy you both on this head when I see you. You must know I could not rent the place at all. As it was, tenants quit — drowned out as it were. Now write Mr. Barlow that the place has run down so bad that it will cost me hundreds more than I expected. I had to quit work. I have not got all the lathing done, no hearths laid, no blinds on nor painted, all the plastering to do, painted on the outside & in if at all. If you can see B___ & see if he has written at all to J. Barlow, do give me answer. This trade embarrasses me both in mind & in purse. I do not get my interest on my bonds from Georgia as yet, due January 1st 1843.

¹ Oliver Wellington (18-1878) was married to Lucretia Barnaby (1796-1876) in 1816. They resided in Middlebury, Vermont.

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