Antioch, Cal., Oct. 4th, 75. 7 pages on two lined bifolia, 8 x 5 inches, approx. 740 words. Some occasional smudging and light soiling; in very good condition. Item #16002
A fine and, to judge by the content of this letter, justified example of congregational indignation, the church in Antioch writes to esteemed pioneer California Congregationalists William Chauncey Pond and James Henry Warren to argue against a bit of mild sophistry poposed to make up a shortfall some business contracted by Pond and Warren on the Antioch church's behalf: "You ask us to pay you Fifty dollars for money paid by you to the Rev. Mr. Stovall for services rendered to the Church at Antioch and in the event of our failure to raise the money then you ask us to Apply to the A. H. M. Society for one hundred dollars ostensibly for the support of the Rev. Mr M----[illegible] but in fact for the purpose of reimbursing you or Dr. Clark for the money advanced to Mr. Stovall. You pat us on the shoulder & say that it would be a Glorious thing for us to foot the bill ourselves without having to draw a check on the A. H. S. for the amt. You understand but little of the financial condition of the membership of this Church or you would not thus advise or propose. . . . The proposition comes to us (after divesting it of all Ecclesiastical technicalities) unsophisticated Antiochans as an attempt to obtain money under false pretenses. It is to ask the A.H.M.S. for money for the support of the Rev. Mr. Misi---- that he may proclaim the truth to the people of Antioch that they may be saved from impending ruin. This is false in fact contrary to the principles of religion, truth & common honesty. Better stop preaching. Close the churches. Empty the treasury of the A.H.M.S. into the Ocean & send minister and agent to the four corners of the earth than teach any of Christ’s humble followers to dissemble. Take heed ye Watchmen upon the Walls of Zion that ye give no uncertain sound les ye cause some of the little ones to fall away & perish." The American Home Missionary Society was of course charged with insuring the financial success of pioneer churches until they could sustain themselves. An M. C. Parkinson shows up in slightly later California state publications as an Antioch grape grower; he may also have been a physician.