Christian Recorder: August 1, 1878
MR. EDITOR:-After taking my departure from the city of Brotherly Love, I proceeded to Washington, D.C., where I remained a few days only. Here, as natural, I met several prominent characters, politically and ecclesiastically; but nothing that came under my observation so seriously impressed me as a talk with I had with Bishop Brown, relative to his trip to California to hold that conference. The immense distance on the one hand, and the terrific heat through which he would have to pass, with rather an enfeebled constitution were apparently weighing heavy upon his mind. I could but feel that the task was one of fearful proportions, considering all the surrounding, which I shall not mention at this time, and that should anything serious result, the blame will be traced to folly, and not to the dispensations of Providence. An awful expression I confess.
On the 12th inst. I left Washington, D.C., by steamer for Norfolk, Va., and made the trip safely. Stopped at Mrs. Williams’ boarding house, where every comfort awaits the weary traveler, and where can be found some of the most pleasant sleeping compartments that the city can afford. I commend this house to all who wish to find the comforts of order, quietude, respectability and good dainties combined.
During the Sabbath I preached for Rev. B.F. Lloyd, pastor of our church in Norfolk, whose congregation was out in heavy numbers. I also had the pleasure of hearing an able sermon most eloquently put together, by Rev. W. D. Schureman, P.E., whose pulpit fame needs no comments. Brother Lloyd betrays the part of a perfect gentleman and Christian.
I lectured for him, too, on Monday night, but as it was quarterly meeting &c, his people did not have a fair chance. Sabbath night I spoke at the church of Rev. W.H. Brown, of Portsmouth, to a very poor congregation compared with what I had seen there, though the heat was so intense I could not blame the people for remaining at home. Elder Brown purchased a good supply of books for his church, and set a commendable example for others.
Tuesday morning I left Norfolk for Richmond, but the heat was so fearful that I come near being prostrated in the cars. I became so sick that I became serious over my condition. However, I reached Richmond alive, and tried to lecture at night in our publishing interest. People were out in small numbers, but those present appeared to be much interested, and promised to do well.
Next morning, as per appointment, I arose to proceed to Danville, Greensboro, &c, but Rev. Joseph Nichols, the pastor, objected to my going a step farther till I got better, and refused to allow me to leave. So I remained here three days, taking medicine, resting, &c. I was sorry to miss Danville, but had I gone, it would have been to no purpose, as I could not have talked a bit. Brother Nichols did well in the book line; he brought a host of books for his members, and is going to do well in Richmond. He is a man of fine parts. Here, too, I met Presiding Elder Derrick, and was astonished to find him so reduced from overwork. He appeared to have lost 40 or 50 pounds within the last six weeks, yet he is on the go, and seems to be glad of his physical reduction, says, there is none morally or intellectually.
Thursday night we raised our hat and look leave of Richmond, making Raleigh, N.C., next morning or noon. Here we found Rev. G. D. Jimmerson, P.E., holding the quarterly conference of Rev. A.H. Newton, A.M. Elder Jimmerson is one of the able men of this State, and is cutting a wild row now; by shrewd, intelligent and active workmanship &c. He has a bright future. I need not refer to either Elder Newton or his church, as this was amply done a few months ago. I may mention the fact, however, that he and his noble congregation are purchasing a beautiful lot in close proximity to their present property, and will enhance the value of our church inestimably. Miss Ida Newton, his lovely and handsome daughter, is destined to become famous in this life. She is one of the most intellectual young ladies I ever met. She appears to have nothing trite or tame about her. She soars in the lofty and sublime, and if she keeps marrying out of her head, she will live in the memories of the unborn, and will do so if married, too, providing she does not get tied to a numskull or a bigot.
I never come into North Carolina unless I become indignant at the miserable condition of our great church. Somebody must go to h---l for the way our church has frittered away here; it would never do for them all to go to heaven after such a willful dereliction of duty, such a result would corrupt messengers of God throughout the universe.
I have forgotten to mention what was done by the several churches I have visited for the reason, they did not have a fair chance.
I wish that some of those wiseacres who are always fighting every project suggested in favor of a negro nationality either in Liberia, Africa, or elsewhere, and who are eternally howling at every man who proposes to better our condition by doing something for our future, would come to North Carolina and tell these poor men, who only get from 20 to 25 cents per day and have to pay house rent and support their wives and children out of that, what they can do to make a decent living. If men can do any worse in Liberia or Siberia than that, they had better ask God to kill them at once.
Now is a chance for the resolution men of some of our conference to do something worth the pen and paper they use. But they will take good care, I venture to predict, to say nothing about this, because it is a question involving brain and work; and not mere gas. I spent four hours at Goldsboro, the other day, and as hard hearted as I am, I had to cry like a child at statements made to me about the condition of our people. One man, with a wife and five children, had not had a dollar this year. What little compensation he received, was paid in an order to a store, where he had to pay two prices for anything he got.
I had contempt for the sense of a class of men, before I left home, but Oh! Heavens, what have I now-contempt is no longer a word.