To Julia Finney

23 February 1854


[MS in Finney Papers, Supplement # 48. Extracts from this letter were published in Frances J. Hosford, "Finney and His Children" in The Oberlin Alumni Magazine, Vol. 30 (July 1934), p. 300.]


Cincinnati 23d Feb 1854.

Dear Julia.

I have been threatening day after

day, to write to you, but am so busy & fatigued as

to have but little time. How is it my Darling

daughter that we receive no letters from you? Is

it because your eyes are too bad to write?

We have hoped the way would be opened

for you to be with us. We are now in the

third place we have occupied since we

came to C. We have but our room & it has

not been so that we could have you with us

at any place. Other families would take

you, but we think you would be homesick

here in a strange family & not with us.

Besides you could not be as comfortable

here with their cold rooms, open grates,

oceans of smoke &c. as at home. We feel

the want of your society. But if you are

contented you are better off where you are.

Ange writes such beseechings [sic] letters that we

will come to N.York & bring you. Dear children

it is a pity that you should be separated.

[page 2]

We suppose your New Piano has plenty

of employment in our absence. Be careful

My Dear, in practising not to get into any

bad habit. I suppose you are correcting

your habit of lisping. You should ask

those around you to call your attention

to it when ever you do it. They must not

neglect you in this respect as much evil

will result to you. The affectation so man

ifest in that habit, though endurable in

a child will be insufferable in a

woman. No person of taste could brook

such a habit in a companion.

You have been so much regarded as a

child & indulged in lisping becau

se a child, that your friends have failed

to realize the impression of disgust that

would surely be made upon strangers

when you become full grown. Every one can

see that it is a childish & an affected

habit. Dear Julia I beseech you put

it away forever. Practice pronouncing all

that class of words that have s's & c's &c,

before some one whose ear will correct you

I have heard of the Death of Emma's Father

[page 3]

since I have been here. He was my own

brother next older than myself. I have

invited Emma to come to O. to school.

She is still at Toledo. I suppose Norton

is at home. None of us here have heard

from him of late. We are usually well.

Hope to be home as early as the beginning

of April. May get away before. The work

of the Lord is extending here. How

does your soul prosper Dear Child.

Hope you are all well. Ask Miss Tucker

to write us without delay whether Jane's

health & habits are such that she will

meet our wants the coming season, & whether

she is expecting to remain with us.

Do not fail to speak to Miss Tucker about this

& to have her write us without delay.

We hope Dear James is well. Give

our kindest love to him & to Dear

Norton if he is with you. We expect

Dear Julia, that you will be very

guarded about gathering around you

companions of either sex in our

absence. The eyes of the people & of God

are upon you dear child.

[page 4]

We hope & trust you do not neglect the

Savior. Do write us if you are able.

If you cant write let some one write for

you. We unite in a world

of love to you all.

Your aff. Father

C. G. Finney


Harry Finney was born in Warren, Connecticut, 14 May 1790, and died 16 January 1854. He lived in Ellisburg. Emma was his eldest daughter who married Minot Wilcox of Toledo, Ohio (see Helen B. McDonald and Elizabeth L. McDonald "Finney Genealogy" [1992] William C. Cochran, "Family Record" in William Cox Cochran Papers, Oberlin College Archives)

She did not attend Oberlin College.

Probably James Ford Atkinson, Mrs Finney's son.