Saturday, March 17, 2018

This Week in Texas Methodist History  March 18

William Craig Reports on Church Conditions, March 22, 1861

William Craig transferred to Texas in 1841 from Mississippi.  He was born in South Carolina in 1785 and became a preacher at age 18.  Robert Alexander had been his Presiding Elder so perhaps he had a personal connection.  When the Texas Conference was divided at the Trinity River into two conferences, Craig remained in the East.  He served a number of appointments and organized the church in Henderson.  At one time he served as Chaplain of the Texas Senate.  He died in 1865 and is buried in the Old Henderson City Cemetery.

His letter of Mar. 22, 1861 to John Woolam is difficult to read because of the phonetic spelling.  Here it is.

Rev brother Woollum,
Thes leves us all well & striveing [to] serve the Lord & tu get sumthing tu live on. Tho times are exceding hard her so fare as munney matters are consernd & equele sad about bread stufs. I no not how we shal mak out but the [hartchering?] promes the Lord will provide. The people are striveing for another crop, small grain lookes well & if it should not be over taken with summer feed then it will mak[e] fair cropes.
Times relegesly are very dul. No revivels amunst us. Brother Burkes is getting along in Henderson [? a month early?] he has a good del of affletchen in his family. He has lost his Negro woman Bell & left a young child, but I hope she died in pes. Thare has ben a good many dethes in & about Henderson the past winter. I often think of you & of our gon[e] by dayes in the serves of the Lord but tho[se] are all past away & more than likely we shal not ingoy the lik[e] probledy again, but I am bound for a land of eturnel rest & I find the Lord is my porthen. Caul on us as you  pass[?]. I reacon you go to see your children in Mount Enterprise. I should like tu see you very much. I all so wish you tu be shur & right tu us. I want to no how you are getting a long in Gilmore[?Gilmer] & if Sister Fowler is with you thare or not & if my fren Mac Wilson is well & I want tu no how you are getting along with your work. I hope you are [p. 2] doing well among them people. I would [like?] tu be with you at sum of your meetings. I dou feel lost when I am out of the work. I have a few apointments & try tu prepare my self as well as I can. I have more invetations then I can a tend tu but so fare as preatching is consernd I still can preatch long & loud but the preatching I delit in is the holy gost preatching the sort Bishop Andrews spok of as in the dayes of William Gasaway  & many others that have gon and now my der John let us clam the promies of godes ful salvation through Jesus Christ in being [?] humble & truly desirous tu be a Christian that is tu be the best the Last servant of all. We avoid runing our selves into difficultyes we a scape many temtations and many mortifying disapointments fur my part as I ecept nothing from men tho cannot disapoint me & as I expect all good thing from God in the time wayes meeasur and mmanes it pleseth him tu besto  I cannot be disapointed because he does & will do all thing well. I trust you labor for god & soles not fod. Not for prayer & self when we thus labor god bleses in his grat mercy, blesses us & may god bless you & your labours is the pray[er] of your old brother. My wife sends you a grate many loveing expratchings tu you as ever yours in the bonds of a pure & peasable gospel of Christ.
W. & R. Craig


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