The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY
To Julia Finney
15 May 1861
[MS in Finney Papers, Supplement # 95]
Oberlin 15th May 1861.
My Dear Julia.
I wrote you a
line yesterday & afterwards
recd yours of the 12th
We have heard nothing from Helen.
We learn that Helen Cobb is failing
fast. Do you hear from her.
Had you forgotten that your last
letters to us before this of the twelfth
left us in the expectation of your
return home in a few days at
the least out side. We were
alarmed to neither see nor hear
from you so long. I can not
feel as if Dolson acted wisely after
all in going into the Army.
However he must judge for himself.
I hope there was no worldly ambition
in it. Helen will see enough of
camp life in one week.
The roads have been so bad of
late that we have not been out
for a drive for some days
It has rained almost every day.
Yesterday & to day pleasant.
We hear no more of the Goodmans.
We know not what has become of
them. Mrs Sumner is moving
her hous[e] back & is going to put
on a new front which is
to range with Mr. Henrys. This
will give us a better view of the
church & its surroundings.
We are as well as usual. I went
to meeting a part of the forenoon
last sabbath for the first time
since I have been ill. I do not
know that it impaired me.
We hope Helen will come here
on her return. I would write
her to day but dont know what
direction to give a letter to have
it reach her. We hope to see
you at home soon. You say
nothing about your health.
I am improving in health slowly.
Give any quantity of love to the
children. Shall you not bring
one of them with you.
God bless you my Dear Daughter
C. G. Finney.
Julia Finney wrote in pencil above this:
! She lived many many years -
Finney is referring here to Henry and Albert Goodman from Huntingdon, England, who were on a 6 months' tour of the United States. They had arrived in Boston late in January and were at the time travelling through New York State. After visiting Niagara Falls, they left on May 24, and travelled to Cleveland, "and thence to Oberlin where we stayed with Professor Finney, president of the theological college and from there to Chicago and on westward. ..." (Albert Goodman, "Genealogical Book of the Ancestry of the Surrey Goodmans the Descendants of Albert and Olivia Goodman" Typescript in Huntingdon Record Office, p. 161.)
According to local maps of the period, Mrs Mary Sumner lived in a house just to the east of where Carnegie Library now stands. The one belonging to H. L. Henry, who ran a drug store in the town, lay to the west of Mrs Sumner's, on the North-East corner of Professor and Lorain Streets. Carnegie Library is built over part of the site. Finney's house was on the South-West corner of Professor and Lorain Streets on the site now occupied by Finney Chapel.
It is evident that the Finneys were not able to enjoy their unobstructed view of the church and its surroundings for long. Two further buildings were soon put up between Mrs Sumner's house and the Church, and in 1871 the site was cleared to make way for Council Hall, which was completed in 1874.