Geneva, New York: November 18, 1829. First edition of the circular. 4 page folio (one page printed, two inside pages in autograph ink), 9.88 x 8 inches, plus integral address franked in red ink for six cents postage, Perry Center, N. Y., Nov. 18. A couple small tears to the fold, a little loss to the first leaf from the wax seal; some light wear and toning and old folds, especially to the cover; in very good condition. Item #19792
An early ephemeral publication from the American Home Missionary Society and some hint of the establishment Protestant efforts to bring some orthodox order to the Burned Over District, this extensive printed circular letter intended to be read from the pulpit to congregations in western New York to line up annual pledges for continuing work in the frontier of settlements of the region: “The most of our beneficiary congregations and destitute districts lie west of the Genessee river and near the Pennsylvania line, and the present crisis with them is truly eventful; and the question eminently at issue, whether with seasonable assistance we shall enable them to gain a name and a place among the congregations of Zion. . . ?” Miles Powell Squier, the Vermont native and corresponding secretary of the Western Agency, here writes to the missionary clergyman in Gennessee County to ask, “Will you not be the man this year to look after our work, & see to the gathering of the much needed annuity from the congregations, south of the main road, & within your Presbytery?” The autograph letter from Squiers includes fundraising goals for Day from each congregation. A printed footnote to the circular reminds congregations that the organization keeps operating expenses low and that Squier’s salary is “defrayed by an individual Friend of the cause; so that the entire amount received from all other sources, is appropriated to the support of Missionaries at the stations to which they are sent.” Later sources suggest Day spent a year in the mission pulpit in Orangeville.