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William B. Crosby Letters

Six letters, 1812-1818, addressed to William B. Crosby, New York, from friends and family members in Charleston convey news of interest, such as young W[illiam] N. Clarkson's decision to study medicine at Philadelphia, announced in a 18 December 1812 letter. The Rev. Dr. Andrew Flinn (1773-1820), pastor of Charleston's Second Presbyterian Church, is represented here by four letters. That of 15 February 1814, reports the death of "that excellent Man of God, the Revd. Dr. Keith" and notes--"By order of the Board of Managers of the Charleston Bible Society, the painful task of preaching his funeral sermon devolved upon one who was very inadequate to its just performance. As a small testimonial of unfeigned love & affectionate regard, I have sent to some of my particular friends in N[ew] York, a copy of the discourse delivered on that mournful occasion. You will find little to recommend it, but the truths which it contains." Flinn's funeral sermon, preached 4 January 1814 in the Circular Church, was issued shortly thereafter as A Funeral Discourse commemorative of Rev. Isaac S. Keith, D.D. late, one of the Pastors of the Independent Congregational Church in Charleston....

Another of Flinn's letters, 14 July 1817, details meteorological conditions which were adversely affecting crops in South Carolina. "The present has been, & continues to be, one of the most alarming seasons that...this section of our Country has ever witnessed," Flinn laments. "After languishing, for years, under the withering influence of a draught, which had dried up the fountains, & scorched the surface of the land, it has pleased the Sovereign Disposer of all things...to open the flood gates of heaven, & to deluge our land with torrents of rain, which, in a great measure have blighted the hopes of the husbandman, & filled many hearts with dismay. In many places the crops of Indian corn, which is the principal stuff of bread, have been totally destroyed. There will not, I think, be an average of one half crop, perhaps not one third of a crop, of Cotton. I greatly fear that the provision crop will be little better."

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