1828 WILLIAM CAREY. Autograph Letter on the Difficulties & Dangers of Their Method of Missionary Work
1828 WILLIAM CAREY. Autograph Letter on the Difficulties & Dangers of Their Method of Missionary Work

1828 WILLIAM CAREY. Autograph Letter on the Difficulties & Dangers of Their Method of Missionary Work

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What a phenomenal letter, both historically in the context of missions and the Baptist Missionary Society, and being that of William Carey, one of the single most sought after autographs we handle.

The present letter is incomplete, but a very important example as it appears to be unpublished and in it he discusses their sufferings at the mission, ongoing challenges, etc., It is then further signed off, as somewhat usual, with a postscript in the hand of John C. Marshman.  

I believe this is only the third William Carey letter we have handled in over 25 years. 

Contents as follows: 

"December 8, 1828 [Addressed to Joshua Marshman]

. . . not without its weight. He said that, considering what we had suffered for the last ten years in slander and calumny because we had chosen to act independently in missionary work, the prospect which was unfolded to him by joining the new connection was not inviting. Our path has certainly been one of difficulty and danger, and unless a man possess strong nerves, and great resolution, he is perhaps wise in not continuing with us.

That Mr. Swan's secession from us will, under existing circumstances, be turned against us, there can be no doubt; but we trust the effect will be transient. It remains now to see how the vacancy can be supplied. Our first glance is to Mr. Burton, who we think would join us and be a great acquisition. But we do not feel authorized to mention it to him till we have the consent of the Society. We wish you therefore, in the first instance, to ask the Society's permission for us to invite Mr. Burton to become the Divinity Professor. We would offer them Joshua . . . 

. . . a copy of the correspondence may be entered on the records of the College.

In this matter, however, after having stated our own views, we think it right for you to be left unfettered to act as circumstances and your judgment may dictate. 

Dear Bro. M.
Yours very affy,
W. Carey

My Dear Father,

The original of this went by the Cesar. I sign after Dr. Carey, as I cannot sign with him to call my self brother - But I am always yours most dutifully & affy, 
John C. Marshman"

Remains of mounting in margin. Else, very good, clean, and legible.