To James Barlow

22 June 1865


[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/2]


Oberlin Ohio U.S.

22d June. 1865.

My Beloved Br. Barlow.

I wrote you soon after the death

of my beloved wife, I have not heard

from you since. Did you receive my

letter? I should have written you

again before this, but have waited

that I might be able to say that our

prayers are answered. Our horrid war

is over, Slavery, it cause [sic], is abolished &

things are settling we trust into a desira

ble shape. It really seems strange that

the war so suddenly coll[a]psed, & that

so great a change in national feeling

& opinion should have come about in

so short a time. We have some very impor

tant questions yet to settle, but they will

be settled without any more armed force

on our part or resistance on the part

of the South I trust. The rebels fully concede

their complete inability to withstand the

power of the government. Revivals of

[page 2]

religion are quite numerous in this

country. The great revival that swept

over the free states of the north just

before I was last in England, prepared

the north for this war by arousing the

northern conscience more thoroughly in

regard to the sinfulness of slaveholding.

That revival saved this country by preparing

the northern people to insist upon the

total destruction of slavery. Our leading

politicians, who by the bye are seldom

converted, would have dodged the question

had not God & the Churches rendered

all dodging impossible. When the

mission of Pres. Lincoln was fulfiled

God suffered him to be removed by

an agency that put the finishing

stroke to the last hope of any comprom

ise with the slave Oligarchy. Mr Lin

coln was a man so intensely kind

& accommodating that many of us felt

that he might be induced to leave

the power of the great slave holders unbroken,

[page 3]

by too lenient an exercise of the

pardoning power. Mr. Johnson will

be enough inclined to forgive, but

he better & more fully appreciates

the intensified wickedness of the

rebels than Mr. Lincoln did.

But you are probably posted in regard

to these matters. Your Mr. Bright has

all along understood the "situation"

& has kept Lancashire informed to

a good extent. God bless him.

Dr. Campbell, of London has taken

a strange course, of late. I have seen

the explanation. Dr Houghton who

owns the Standard, & on whom the

Dr. has leaned, had invested largely

in confederate cotton bonds. Well

he will lose every dollar of it & he

deserves to do so.

You will soon have all the Amer

ican cotton you desire. There is any

quantity of it ready for the market

as soon as the Rail Roads can be rep

aired & the way open to get it to market.

[page 4]

I want much to hear from you my

brother concerning the state of religion

in Lancashire. How are you getting

on? The state of our college is highly

interesting. It seems good to see our

young men returning in good heart

& Spirit from the war & taking their

places in society, & in their classes

much developed & improved. Many

have been killed. Many have died of

disease. Many return cripples for life.

But many also return safe & sound &

all return in the best of spirits.

How is your Dear wife? What is her state

of mind. How is Thomas & how are all

the children? Will you not write me

& tell me how you all are. How is Mary Ann

Is she happy in her marriage? O how

I want to see you all again. I am quite

well. God is blessing my poor labors yet

by giving his spirit to seal the truth.

We have an interesting state of religion

here. We are looking for a greater revival

of religion in this country than we

have ever had. With any amount of

love to you & your Dear family & most

Christian regards to all friends I am as always

your brother. C. G. Finney


[across the left hand margin of page 1]

P.S. Your two scholarships are much obliging some of the poor students

from time to time.



This word is unclear.

Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the 17th president of the United States, succeeded Abraham Lincoln after Lincoln's assassination on 14 April 1865.

John Bright (1811-1889), the orator and statesman, was the son of a Rochdale miller. He supported the northern cause in the Civil War. See DNB.

John Campbell (1795-1867), minister of Whitefield's Tabernacle in London, was editor of The British Standard. Finney held revival services for nine months in his chapel in 1850-1851.

There was an impression that Campbell had fully supported the North in the War. His biographer wrote:

From the moment that the Civil War broke out in America, as soon as the North and the South stood to each other in the attitude of belligerents, Dr. Campbell not only ranged himself on the side of the Federals, but denouncing the Confederalists, poured out upon them vials of wrath, and to the utmost of his power held them up to the execration of the whole civilized world. ... Never did he waver in his belief that the North would conquer (Robert Ferguson and A. Morton Brown, The Life and Labours of John Campbell, D. D. [London: Richard Bentley, 1867], p. 475).

The following notice, however, appeared in The Independent (New York), 18 April 1867, p. 4:

The Rev. Dr. John Campbell, whose death is announced in the English papers, was well known as an English Congregational clergyman, ... "During our war," says The Tribune, "Dr. Campbell was equaled by few English journalists in his warm advocacy of the cause of the United States against the rebellious slaveholders and their sympathizers in Great Britain." This statement is inaccurate. Dr. Campbell publicly advocated the war for the Union, but not till after 1863; that is, not till after it became popular in England. He was in no sense such an early upholder of the American struggle as several well-known Englishmen honorably proved themselves--for instance, George Thompson and John Bright.