Letter from Lewis Bodwell on slavery, politics, and faith


Letter from Lewis Bodwell on slavery, politics, and faith


Letter from Lewis Bodwell to Reverend Horace Lyman. He discusses slavery, corruption, and faith.


Bodwell, Lewis

Is Part Of

Lyman Family Papers








Pacific University Archives





Other Media

Topeka Mch 1859.
The Grail Association of Kansas to the Oregon Association of [?] + new School Pres. Ministers + churches

Dear Brethren

Your welcome letter of sympathy + friendly greeting was duly read + in Oct lst was presented to this Asso. at its meeting in Manhattan Please accept our assurance that it was to us the sounds of no little pleasure + incouragement. Your familiarity {by [perennial?] [?]} with [?] of the works of our troubles makes your sympathy the more welcome as learning from knowledge of our ears.

Since your meeting + the writing of your letter many a year has gone by, to no one of no little excitement tho. In [this?] reflect falling below from ours.

Election after election has been holden at each our of which to ingeniously have our foes planned, that but little progress has been made toward [pardon?] of action.

Our [?] Constitution the brothers first choice, was rejected really because it was for freedom – nominally for want of new legal forms, have legal forms complied with, a new Constitution was found at Searsworth during this last year, + because hill [to?] likened this is permanently ignored, + a bill is passed by which our voting against admission with Slavery “shall be [?] an expiration of our [?]' to amount the burdens of self government. Because we are unwilling that our brothers blood, the blood shed for freedom, should [?] us as [?], we are to live under [?] [?] as hands and the limbs of no one of our Sister [?].

But we bide our time, fully believing that 'the morning cometh' slowly it may be, but no life hardly. We are hopeful believing in that natives of this old heathens which [?] us that tho. 'We will of the gods grinds slow, it grinds to powder' This 'why' we do not always see, but that [?] makes + [?] will we firmly believe. That He has been with us we cannot doubt, has history of our bloody struggle proves this. On the one side was a small sompany, but a few hundred of freedom loving men + women; on this other the whole South; [?] on quite a half of this north; with all His influence; His civil, political, [?] + military [?] of an utterly corrupt + partisan administration. Truly on the side of their officers was power' From the President in his mansion to the smallest postmaster or the humblest [?]-waiter; among the wide [?] army of government officials, our friends were scarcely known. Army, navy + training were at the services of our enemies. A shameful, but a literal + undeniable fact is it that the bloodiest murders among our enemies, have uniformly been made the recipients of governmental patronage.

Against all this array of power by [?] half we have made [?] with hammer + trowel in hand and sword girded at the side, His servants have builded + morally we are the victors.

This kidnapper may quit when our soil [?] his foul wrongs + by then [?] of our rulers go unpunished. To clear him a judge, a federal appointed may dim the [?] to {/} in court. Our citizens may be hired upon our own soil + taken to another [?] for trial upon charges of which our laws know nothing, _ a federal governor may know of us way to half this wrong; but we are morally the victors. I write of bloody warfare, of want + suffering, of worry of every kind. [?] hurting + [?] [?], those citizens of freedom, have been [?], + am being filled with those who in this school of a bitter experience have become an [?] hatred of slavery + have taken pledges of undying hostility to it + its supporters. Better [?] than this the [?] of its supporters has led them to such [?] as has fully examined the character, demands, + [?] of them [?] to all who will learn. Our sufferings + their causes have been made by the nation + so our enemies have fallen into their own pit. + was [?] 'Sing until the Lord for His [?] [?] gloriously'.

Our minds of which I [?] send two copies will tell you of the work which we have in [?] times been enabled by God's help to do. Twenty one living churches, already found; eleven within the year, [?] to day as tokens of God's [?] to help faithful prayer a Christian effort. Evidence of his favor toward the cause of [?] [?] God U.S. [?] Church healthy + growing under the care of the H. U. [?] is also in existence, but the very large [?] of the U. England [?] among [?] profit + ministers from the first settlement of the year. makes the bough the the prevailing form of elite government. The light of the H. U. [?] will at any time in any allowable way will aid in the organization of any [?] of [?] orders as the people may ask.

Our Methodist brethren, imported after 15, '58 in Kansas about 1778 numbers + probationers + an action their efforts, having among them many good + faithful men and ministers.

Amid the excitement of war, of frequent political contents, of a spirit of speculation, + now the gold fever rained by the Rocky Mountain minus [?] religion + undefiled has found poor soil + air in which to grow. We [?] not tell you of [?], indifference + backsliding of Christian character wicked + ruined amid such strife, [?] + suffering. You can well understand how [?] in heart well filled with grace, that grace finds little to aid its growth in a [?] [?] of [?] a wrong inflated [?] by a power won to aid + protect us. Yet trusting in the one who hitherto hath helped us in spite of our [?] + pray that we may be [?] + [?] by a [?] of His continuous presence.

In the [?] of your work is from here to there set before us we put that [?] which companionship in labor should produce. At the work you are our neighbors but believe us [?] under land to be possessed - ruled by truth or error. Great as is our work it must [?] into utter insignificance, in the eyes of him who puts his masters power + who courageously can say 'I can do all things through [?] which strengthens me.' May we view, [?] faith, this motto be our own.

With the warmest of [?] + fraternal greeting, + asking still a place in your sympathy + prayers.

In [?] of [?]. I am truly yrs in Xu love.

[?] Bodwell