Henry Allen, Iowa City, to Rev Robert Allen, Dublin.

		                    Rev. Robert Allen
                           53 Wellington Street

     MAR [MARCH?]

Send your next letter to Iowa City. Iowa

                              Iowa City, Iowa.
                                        March 17th 1856.
     Rev. Robert Allen.
                    My dear cousin your very interesting letter
bearing date the 4th of Feb. [February?] last was received a few
days ago; & though cloathed [clothed?] in [mourning?] was right
heartily welcomed by me. It is truly refreshing to pursue such an
epistle from such a friend, & from such a country your apologies,
however, were uncalled for. I am not shure [sure?] but I am as much
in falt [fault?] as you are. Why did I not write to you? To this
inquiry I can only answer I knew not certainly where to address you.
It is said our bodies are constantly changing, we know we often
change our localities. Let us hope that our sentiments of attachment
shall never change. Let our prayers be that they may continue to
florish [flourish?] in increasing loveliness & perfection on earth,
& mellow, in the eternal world, on the banks of the river of life!
     Of the death of my two cousins, Harry [Harry?] & Catherine
Allen, in Ireland, as well as of that of your Sister Mrs. Davidson
in Alleghany City, in this country, I heard nothing until the
receipt of your letter With your sister I spent, during the meeting
of our General Synod last may, in Pittsburgh, a few days & nights
pleasanty [pleasantly?]. They were then all enjoying good helth
[health?] Mr. Davidson seemed to be doing well, as he deserves to
do. He was an affectionate husband, & a kind open-hearted friend _
such a friend I have no doubt he still continues to be. Our General
Synod meets this coming May in Alleghany & I was antisipating
[anticipating?] a happy sojourn in your sister's family. But alas!
how uncertain are all human expectations of earthly good! My dear
cousin I shall see no more on earth; but please God we shall meet in
heaven where no pestilence can enter & where sickness,& death,&
parting shall be known no more!
     Your labours in your present field are, I have no doubt, many &
onerous. When you look around you & consider the worldlyness
[worldliness?], the carelessness about spiritual & eternal things _
the idolatry & superstition which prevail on every hand  & among
every class _ when you think of the duties resting upon you as a
labourer in our Master's vineyard & the obsticles [obstacles?]
internal & external which lie in the way of their proper performance
no wonder if you should be often found adopting the language of Paul
& saying "Who is sufficient for these things." The sentiment of the
Psalmist suits me often.
         "O that I like adore, had wings
            said I, then would I flee
          For hence, that I might find a place
            Where I in rest might be."
But from this toil & conflict there is no honourable escape. He who
expects to conquer must fight. he who desires a crown of immortal
glory & honour  must run the race that is set before him. To assist
you in accomplishing the great work lying before you in the
fashionable city of Dublin, by lending you material aid, would
impart to me great pleasure were it at all in my power. This is a
great country & as you will have seen from the heading of this
epistle I am now far beyond what a very few years ago was called the
"Far West." My home at present is west of the Mississippi "The
father of waters". I came to this state last june with the view of
being more useful in the Church of God & of obtaining a permanent
home for my rapidly increasing family. We have only six children
now, three sons & three daughters! The opposition you speak of as
existing in the city of Dublin is even here. "Fullness of bread &
abundance of idleness" _ worldly pride & the monster Romanism are
all here . If Rome is loosing [losing?] ground in Europe she is
moving heaven & earth to plant & cultivate her heresy in America.
Every new place here in the west that is likely to be a place of
importance she is occupying, & by those arts known only to her she
is labouring to disseminate her dogmas. It is here the great battle
of freedom must be fought And to carry on our operations sucessfully
[successfully?] we need very many meeting houses, the want of which
you seem to understand. At every meeting of our Presbytery new
places are reported where preaching is wanted & of course [a?]
meeting houses. In this place, at present the capital of the state,
our congregation is small & we have no house of our own wherein to
worship. I preach at present in a school room. We may after a while
occupy the senate chamber in the state house, should I remain here,
which I am not certain I shall do. There is a more encouraging
prospect about 60 miles from here, in the city of [Lerlaire?], on
the banks of the Mississippi, where the people are about to make out
a call for me _ perhaps I may accept it. But as here they have no
meeting house there. Our field is large it is almost boundless & we
have nothing like a sufficient number of labourers & nothing like a
sufficient amount of material means for its proper cultivation. Some
how or other Rome can & does build fine chapels - cathedrals -
convents, & schools wherever she needs them in this country, whereas
Protestants cant [can't?] always do so _ Why should not truth be as
well supported as error.
     There is at present a good deal of talk about a rupture between
this country & England, here. I fondly hope it will terminate in
talk. This is beyond any doubt a fast country & contains many
restless ambitious spirits that are ready for any desperate
undertaking. Are there many such over with you?
     The institution of Slavery in this country has been the cause
of much unpleasant feeling & talking & acting both in Church &
state. The accursed business has brought us to the confines of civil
war. That it will bring about the dissolution of this confederacy I
have not a doubt. The North - that is the free states, & the South,
namely the slave states are becoming more & more alienated. The love
of slavery seems to be increasing in the South & the detestation of
it to be growing more extensive & deeply rooted in the North. The
South wishes to extend the bounderies [boundaries?] of slave
teritory [territory?] the north is becoming more & more determined
that it shall not proceed any farther.
      On this momentous question many branches of the Church have
realy [really?] divided. We have the Associate Reformed Church North
& the Associate Reformed Church South, the Baptist Church North &
the Baptist Church South, the Methodist Church North & the methodist
Church south, & I dont [don't?] know how many more. I believe the
nation is divided in heart in like manner & will at last be realy
[really?] & visibly divided also.
      Nothing has contributed so much to this alienation of late as
the passage of the Kansas & Nebraska bill & with it the repeal of
the Missouri compromise _ Perhaps "Uncle Tom's Cabin" _  which I
doubt not you have read & if you haven't [haven't?] you should give
no rest to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids until you do,
helped on the matter very considerably. It is a true picture of
slavery & its workings in this country. Is it not a true picture of
it & its workings in every country where it exists?
     A most interesting & exciting trial for some fugitive slaves
came off a few days ago in Cincinnati ohio _ The slaves six or seven
in number fled from their masters in Kentucky & availing themselves
of the frosen [frozen?] state of the Ohio river crossed over on the
ice & took refuge in a house in the subburbs [suburbs?] of
Cincinnati. They were soon missed & pursued their hiding place was
discovered, a warrant was procurd [procured?] & officers went to the
house for the purpose of arresting them. The slaves resisted
manfully as long as they were able. Among them was a mother & three
children who, finding that they would be captured beyond a doubt
resolved to murder herself & children rather than go back to bondage
Sadened [Saddened?] by this resolution she seized a butcher's knife
cut the throte [throat?] of one child _ slightly wounded another &
struck the third on the head but did not do it any serious injury
before she was taken into custoday [custody?]. They were all tried &
remanded back into slavery. This was hard it was, you will perhaps
say, cruel. It was, however what was required in the case by what is
called here the fugitive slave law. Had these slaves been brought
into Ohio by their masters or with their masters consent they would
have been free the moment the [they?] tuched [touched?] the soil of
Ohio, but coming there as fugitives the law gave them back to their
legal owners. Now is it not remarkable _ something that is a
disgrace to our common Christianity that the man Archibald K. Gains
who claimed the woman who killed one of her children & endavoured
[endeavoured?] to kill them ^all^ rather than that they should go
back into bondadge [bondage?] is a member in the Old school
Presbyterian Church, the woman is said to be a Methodist. Is this
the religion of Jesus? Does the mind _ the Spirit of our blessed
Saviour prompt to acts of such a character? Can that Church be
regarded as faithful to God that countenances & legalazes
[legalizes?] such conduct upon the part of her members? If Slavery
is right I dont [don't?] know for my part what is wrong If the above
mentioned Gains can have an honorable [honourable ?]place in the
visible kingdom of our Lord & Redeemer why may not the drunkard &
the impure? While I would not justify the enslaved woman in
murdering her dear child is she not inosent [innocent?] before God
in comparison with the man who would sell her body & soul into
slavery for many?[money?] "Give me liberty or give me death!" Such
is the language of Patrick Henry a man of whom this country is
deservedly proud. We admire the principle as anounced [announced?]
by him. Shall we love it less because practiced [practised?] by a
poor digraded [degraded?] daughtr [daughter?] of Africa? Blessed be
God the day is coming in which each one will do to others as he
would have others do to him. May it spedilly [speedily?] come! Some
of us are beginning to care little whether it comes in peace or war
so as it comes.
     Well I shall drop the subject of slavery at present best I
become too excited _ & turn to another subject with which perhaps
you are more familiar I have just been reading Thackeray's sketches
in Ireland. They are certainly interesting & amusing if nothing
more. I am inclined to regard them as instructive also. He relates
what he says he saw in the neighbourhood of Westport in the Sixth
chapter of the second volume. Is that chapter deserving of credence?
Were those awful _ abominable rites performed as he says the [they?]
were? You must certainly know. Dear Robert I want you to write me
soon & tell me if those things be so.
     The friends here are well as far as I know I received from
Father a few weeks ago & they were all in the enjoyment of usual
helth [health?]. Father, however is becoming very frail yet his
general helth [health?] is good _ The paper you sent me came to hand
in due time _ For the favour you have my thanks _ you may repeat it
as often as you please _ Mrs A. thinks you had better come here &
get married _ she sends you her kindest regards _ Remember me to
those of my friends you may hapen [happen?] to see _
            your loving cousin Henry Allen