Letter from Varnum Noyes to his "dear Parents," June 17, 1836


Dublin Core


Letter from Varnum Noyes to his "dear Parents," June 17, 1836


Parents; Clergy; Presbyterian Church; Sons


In this letter to his parents, Varnum begins by apologizing for not writing more and discusses how he will not be visiting this summer. He informs his parents that he and his wife have had their second son, Henry Varnum. He would like his parents to visit him. He concludes by musing about Christianity, and the Bible--although much of the letter is cut off because the page has been ripped.


Noyes, Varnum


Loose, The College of Wooster, Special Collections, Noyes Collection






Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Special Collections Grant




eng (English)





Text Item Type Metadata


Guilford Medina Co Ohio June 17
My Dear Parents,
It is a long time since
I have written to you and I do not know but
you begin to think me an ungrateful son.
I have however many things to attend to
that I cannot find much time to write
letters, and were it not that you were strong
claims on a porter of my time I should
not think I could ever more spend time
to write you. I received a letter from sister
N. sometime since and was gratified to hear
of your health and welfare. Although I
am far distant from you I do not forget
you nor lose my interest in your welfare.
You are perhaps expecting a visit from me this
summer. And I should be very much gratified
in coming but I have concluded that I must
wait another year. My people have made
commendable efforts to have me preach in
Guilford all my time this year and as I have
been prevented from preaching a number of
sabbaths by sickness and have been absent
four weeks attending the general assembly
of the Presbyterian Church at Pittsburg
I feel as though I could not reasonably
have them destitute any more this sum
mer. I have all along made my calcula
tions to visit you this summer, but it
appears to be my duty to relinquish the
object. I mentioned that I had been sick.
I have not been confined to my bed at any
time, but had symptoms of the billious
fever and was obliged to make use of power-
ful machines to throw it off which greatly
weakened me and rendered me unable to preach
for three or four sabbaths. I was quite feeble
when I set out for Pittsburg but thought
that possibly a journey might prove ben-
eficial to my health, and had it not been
for the long and tedious session I should have
claimed considerable advantage from the journey

And even now I am better than when I left
and am in hopes that I shall pass through
the season without a ton of fever. the
other members of my family are well. It may
be news to you to learn that we have been
presented with a second son, a fine healthy
boy whom we call [u]Henry Varnum[u/]. We have
now two lovely little boys which we hope to
bring up for the Lord. Sister Fay is now with
us. She deeply feels the loss of her husband
and I fear will grieve so much as to destroy
her health and life. Although I have been
afflicted since I have been in this state yet
I have good reason for gratitude. I have an
agreeable companion and a pleasant home.
I should be exceedingly gratified in visiting
my relations in New England especially my
aged parents, but I question whether you
would think it admiseable in my pres
ent circumstances. I intend to come another
year if the Lord permits. I should be very
much gratified to have you come and visit
me and spend six months or a year with
me. I will endeavor to make you as comfort
able as I can if you will come. Father Walker
has been here twice and I think he is older
than you. I have built me a house so I that
I can accommodate you pretty well for
this country. If you should come in the
fall and tarry till spring, you would be in no
danger of suffering from the climate of this
country. But I hope that whether we shall
see each others faces again in the flesh or
not we shall mak it our principal busi
ness to prepare for the future world. You
dear parents have almost reached the period
of three score and ten, an age reached by
few and you cannot but look who your-
selves as standing on the brink of eternity.
You will son have done with all things
terrestrial and go to your reward. And I
hope you will spend your few remaining
days in making preparations for the future

world. Somehow or other we are apt to let the
world engross our attention too much and
neglect the concerns of our souls. But soon
the things of this world will appear as vain
and empty as the bubles of the deep. Then
to have an intrust in the Saviour will be
of more value than worlds. I think that
one point in which all christians are defi
cient is studying the bible. I am confident
that we cannot study the bible too much or
too carefully follow its directions.
The state of religion in this plase is [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
holy love, and I know because almost [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
I do not know of any class of men [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
more patience than ministers of [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
ful. We may preach the most affec [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
and our people will appear to literal
attention and then go away and forge [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
every thing they have heard and live as [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
they were to remain in this world forever. [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
I do not know what to do in order to [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
up the stupidity of this church and exc[Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
them to [?actively?] in the presence of God. [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
sometimes think that I am standing in [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
way, and the Lord will not bless this [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
ple because I am here. We have been [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
led the past year with cases of discipl [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
The church is divided and the cause i [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
[?pased?] to reproach by professors of [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
The whole Presbyterian church is [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
agitation and I do not know but [Note: illegible because the paper is ripped]
will be a division soon. I was exceed
ingly worried with the proceedings of the
general assembly and unless the state of
things shall alter for the better shall
hope never to allow another meeting of
this body. I believe the Presbyterian Church
is too large and ought to be divided. I
trust you on [illegible] from the unhappy
contentions which are reaching the Presbyterian
Church. May the Lord overrule all these
things for his own glory and bring all things
to a happy and glorious [illegible]. From yours
Varnum Noyes

If sister Z was here I think she might teach
school to good advantage. It was my inten
tion if I came to New England this summer to
have brought her back with me if she was
willing to come, but as it is I do not know
as she will know any opportunity to come
but if she should I hope she will improve
it. W send many teachers in this country
who are well gratified.
[Note: this page is folded into three parts. In the middle section, the following is written]
Dr Josiah Noyes
Westmoreland Newhampshire
June 22
[Note: the following text can be found on the third section of this page]
If I should be released from preaching for any
length of time I should take to set up a
school and I am not sure but I could in
this way do more good than by preaching.
A good school mistress can have a dollar and
a half per week and an ordinary master
twelve dollars per month. If sister Z is in
clining to consumptive complaints this coun
try would most likely be conducive to her
[?math?]. Consumptions are real in this coun
try. Billious fevers are the most prevalent of
any diseases. I think upon the whole this is a healthy

Original Format



Noyes, Varnum, “Letter from Varnum Noyes to his "dear Parents," June 17, 1836,” Letters from Harriet Noyes: Missionaries and Women's Education in Nineteenth Century China, accessed August 15, 2022, https://noyesletters.org/items/show/1021.

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