Hillsborough, N.C. Sept. 15, 1834. 4pp. Folio. Old folds. Minor soiling. Highly legible. Very good plus. Item #WRCAM48343
A long letter concerning the advancement and coordination of domestic Presbyterian missions in the southern states. McDowell speaks of his travels through Petersburg, Norfolk, and Baltimore, apparently on a journey to meet with church officials and promote and organize the missionary work of the various churches: "I was detained at Petersburg... and met with Mr. Plumer, a plan was arranged for the Presbyteries in Virginia - and letters were written to several of the brethren - Mr. Plumer manifested a deep interest in our cause and has promised to do all he can for us." McDowell also writes of personnel changes in the church: "Brother Brown and Brother Kollock will both be at the meeting...the prospect of a union with our board I think is good, and if that Presbytery comes in, it will do much towards bringing all Virginia into close union with us. Brother Plumer expects to remove to Richmond...in the last Richmond TELEGRAPH you will find a rather interesting account of Mr. Brown's parting with his people." The writer, Rev. William A. McDowell, was Secretary of the Board of Home Missions for seventeen years as well as the first pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Bound Brook, N.J., and later at the First Church in Morristown, N.J. From 1823 to 1833, he was pastor at the Third Church at Charleston, S.C. He was also a trustee of Princeton College. The "Mr. Plumer" her refers to in the letter was William Swan Plumer (1802-80), a Presbyterian minister who served in Petersburg, Richmond, Baltimore, Allegheny, and Pottsville, Pa. He was likewise and author and a professor in the Seminary in Columbia, S.C. from 1862 to 1880. Dr. Alexander W. Mitchell, the letter's recipient, had an involvement with the United Presbyterian Church, which was formed by the union of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (often referred to, mostly by Southerners, as the "Northern" Presbyterian Church) with the United Presbyterian Church of North America (a smaller church of Covenanter-Seceder tradition).