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to be discouraged and faint in your minds: under a sense of which, I have felt a near sympathy with you. As it has been the lot of a number of us to undertake the work a little before you, I thought a true statement (for your information) of some of our strugglings and reasonings concerning the propriety of our moving;—also of our progress on the way, and the extension of heavenly regard to us-ward; together with the progress of Friends, both temporally and spiritually, since we have got here,—might afford strength and encouragement to you in the arduous task you have in prospect.
I may begin thus, and say that for several years Friends had some distant view of moving out of that oppressive part of the land, but did not know where until the year 1799; when we had an acceptable visit from some travelling Friends of the western part of Pennsylvania. They thought proper to propose to Friends for consideration, whether it would not be agreeable to best wisdom for us unitedly to remove north-west of the Ohio river,—to a place where there were no slaves held, being a free country. This proposal made a deep impression on our minds: and it seemed as if they were messengers sent to call us out, as it were from Egyptian darkness (for indeed it seemed as if the land groaned under oppression) into the marvellous light of the glory of God.
Nevertheless, although we had had a prospect of something of the kind, it was at first very crossing to my natural inclination; being well settled as to the outward. So I strove against the thoughts of moving for a considerable time; yet the view would often arise, that it was in accordance with pure wisdom for Friends to leave that part of the land. But I had often to turn the fleece, as Gideon did, and to ask counsel of the Lord, being desirous to be rightly directed by him: more especially, as it seemed likely to break up our monthly meeting, which I had reason to believe was set up in the wisdom of Truth. Thus, I was concerned many times to weigh the matter as in the balance of the sanctuary; till, at length, I considered that there was no prospect of our number being increased by convincement, on account of the oppression that abounded in that land. I also thought I saw in the light, that the minds of the people generally were too much outward, so that “ there was no room in the inn" of the heart for much religious impression; being filled with other guests: and notwithstanding they have been visited with line upon line and precept upon precept, yet they remain in too much hardness of heart.
Under a view of these things, I was made sensible, beyond doubting, that it was in the ordering of wisdom for us to remove; and that the Lord was opening a way for our enlargement, if found worthy.Friends generally feeling something of the same, there were three of them who went to view the country, and one worthy public Friend. They tràvelled on till they came to this part of the western country, where they were stopped in their minds, believing it was the place for Friends to settle. So they returned back, and informed us of the same in a solemn meeting; in which dear Joseph Dew, the public Friend, intimated that he saw the seed of God sown in abundance, which extended far north-westward. This information, in the way it was delivered to us, much tendered our spirits, and strengthened us in the belief that it was right. So we undertook the work, and found the Lord to be a present helper in every needful time, as he was sought unto; yea, to be as “the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night:" and thus we were led safely along until we arrived here.
The first of us moved west of the Ohio in the 9th month, 1800; and none of us had a house at our command to meet in to worship the Almighty Being. So we met in the woods, until houses were built, which was but a short time. In less than one year, Friends so increased that two preparative meetings were settled; and in last 12th month, a monthly meeting, called Concord, also was opened, which is now large. Another preparative meeting is requested, and also another first and week-day meeting. Four are already granted in the territory, and three meetinghouses are built. Way appears to be opening for another monthly meeting; and I think, a Quarterly meeting
Having intimated a little of the progress of Friends in a religious line, I may say that as to the outward we have been sufficiently provided for, though in a new country. Friends are settling fast, and seem, I hope, likely to do well. Under a sense of these things, and of the many favours the Lord has conferred on us, I have been ready, and do at times cry out, “ Marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! just and true are all thy ways.” And Oh! that we may ever be sufficiently thankful, and ascribe the praise to him alone to whom it is due. Now I
a little of the nature of this country. It is in the main, very hilly; though most of the land may be profitably cultivated, and produces abundantly. Corn, from thirty to forty
crplane - on the Trent River in lones County 350 ora 30 about Wr of Washnig tin hommary
A BRIEF ACCOUNT.
Feeling my mind clear of apprehended duty towards you, and not desiring to enlarge, I bid you farewell; commending you to God and to the word of his grace, that is able to make a way for you where there may seem to be no way, and to direct you aright in all things, yea, to make you wise unto salvation, and to build you up in that most holy faith, without which (I believe) you will not journey safely along,–I conclude, with unfeigned love, your friend
A brief Account, &•c. It appears by a copy of the minutes of a monthly meeting on Trent river, in Jones' county, North Carolina, held in the 9th and 10th months, 1799, that the weighty subject of the members thereof being about to remove unitedly to the territory northwestward of the Ohio river, was and had been before that time, deliberately under their consideration.And the same proposal was solemnly laid before their Quarterly meeting held at Contentney the 9th of the 10th month; which, on weighing the matter and its circumstances, concluded to leave said Friends at their liberty to proceed therein, as way might be
opened for them: yet the subject was continued till their next Quarter. And they having (before the said monthly meeting ceased) agreed that certificates be signed therein for the members, to convey their rights respectively to the monthly meeting nearest to the place of their intended settlement, showing them to be members whilst they resided there; such certificates for each other mutually were signed in their last monthly meeting held at Trent aforesaid, in the 1st month, 1800; which was then solemnly and finally adjourned or concluded; and their privilege of holding it, together with the records of it, were delivered up to their Quarterly meeting held the 18th of the same month, 1800.
They removed accordingly; first to the settlement of Friends on each side of the Monongahela river, in Fayette and Washington counties, in Pennsylvania, to reside a little while, in order to prepare for beginning their intended new settlement over the Ohio. Having brought their certificates with them, they laid their circumstances, with extracts from the minutes of their former monthly and Quarterly meetings in Carolina, before Redstone Quarterly meeting held the 2nd of the 6th month, 1800, and received the advice and assistance of Friends there.
Thus they proceeded and made their settlement in the year 1800; and were remarkably favoured with an opportunity to be accommodated with a quantity of valuable land, even at the place which was chosen for their settlement by the Friends who went to view the country, before the office was opened for granting lands in that territory. And thus they were allowed to enter for, and secure divers sections (so called) or tracts of land, containing square