Alex McLeod, New York, to Rev. William Stavely, [?].
New York 17th Feby [February?] 1825 Revd [Reverend?] & Dear Sir I am happy to learn, from Mr Agnew, that you are still not only in health, but able to officiate as a Minister of Christ to your Pastoral Charge. I presume you have held that sacred office upwards of half a Century: and I pray God to prepare you, in due time, for the Crown which you have had in view. The Church, in this land, is as neat & in peace. We enjoy as much prosperity, in a backsliding age, as is for our good. My own Congregation is peaceful, is I hope not declining in personal piety, though increased in numbers. We have many precious & pious, as well as public spirited saints, in our fellowship. Now & then they have their trials, and I get many a brushing from my foes. Yet all is not enough to keep my Garments clean. In Twenty five years I have been personally attacked, in print, upwards of one hundred & ten times; & yet, I never yet replied. I have always held myself a fair mark for the disaffected to shoot at, & have even depended on God as my shield. You have heard of a Mr Douglas, whom I patronised, at some expense to my purse. He has repaid me & my Congregation. But he has injured himself. He took, as his Association, three bad men who had been under Church Censure; & he took with him, of my fine flock, one foolish & well meaning man, whose family are afflicted at that event, & who, I fear will smart for it, as he is connected with him in pecuniary transactions. Except him, his labour for these four years has made no proselyte. They both abandon the [City?] on the first of May, to seek a more hospitable clime. His own books have been his ruin. Our people are virtuous; & if any stand like Douglas our Church is better without them. His last pamphlet goes to disprove the necessity of any Ordination to the Ministry, & he has offered to baptise. Your sister is in ordinary health; and not much declined in strength since the departure of Mr Agnew. The sons are all as yet, in a sense, together; I do not, indeed, know how. They seem to be Tenants, in Common, of the prosperity, & yet disconnected in trade. Wm [William?] is a Deacon of the Church. Cornelius is a member. John is a steady friend, and attendent on Ordinances; but has been persuaded by political friends to become an Alderman of our City. On the first of January, he accordingly took his seat in the Common Council. He & Cornelius are unmarried & still live with their Mother. Wm [William?] has a fine wife, & three fine children. Jane, Mrs Crawford, is settled in Chambersburgh Pennsylvania, 150 miles from Philadelphia. I presided, at Wm [William?] Crawfords installation, in August; and he & his wife have since visited New York. They have recently purchased, at Sherriff's Sale, a great bargain, a very handsome estate which of itself will furnish a competency for a family: & they seem to be prudent & happy. The Congregation is small, but firm sound biblical Covenanters - tenacious of truth, but liberal of temperalities. Old Wm [William?] Cusick is alive & well. He lives with Mary Ann, his daughter, a prudent pious woman, who does well for him & her two fatherless children. I have been at the house today & they are well. My own family has been much [afflicted?]. We have another daughter born nearly two months since; & there now live Four Sons & two daughters. I have buried three. My household at present is convalescent. My oldest Son is this year, the third, in Columbia College. He is neither strong in body, nor great in mind; but hitherto he is unexceptionable in his department. I send this by a Nephew of mine, who takes passage in the Helen, for Sligo, in order to cross from Belfast to Greenock. If he should be detained, for any time in Belfast, he will visit you. He was brought up in my house; but by disease became deformed. With great respect, I am yours most sincerely Alex McLeod.Close