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Rush's letter to Samuel Bayard


To Samuel Bayard

Philadelphia, October 23rd, 1810

Dear Sir,

The bearer of this letter, the Reverend Mr. Gloucester,' an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church, visits your town in order to obtain pecuniary aid to enable him to purchase the freedom of his wife and children, for which the extravagant sum of 1,500 dollars has been demanded by their master and mistress. The friends of religion and of the poor Africans in Philadelphia have sent 500 dollars to them for that purpose and have subscribed liberally towards building him a church. At present he preaches to crowds of his African brethren in a schoolhouse every Sunday, and to great acceptance. The prospects of his usefulness to them are very great. Perhaps the best mode of obtaining a contribution for the emancipation of his family will be to invite him to preach in your church, and, after he has finished his sermon, for your minister to appeal to the Christian sympathy of the congregation in favor of Glouster's wishes.

From, dear Sir, yours truly,

BENJN: RUSH

P.S. Subscription books are now in circulation in our city for building three more African places of worship besides the one for Mr. Gloucester. By the present census it appears that the blacks in our city will amount to more than i 2,ooo souls. Their late great increase is from migration from the southern states. It will be much cheaper to build churches for them than jails. Without the former, the latter will be indispensably necessary for them. The late excellent Mr. Thornton' of London bought churches and livings for evangelical Episcopal ministers. Let us if possible exceed him by purchasing evangelical ministers and their families for our churches.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania





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