James J. Ferree to Richard Yates



James J. Ferree to Richard Yates


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum








Waukegan Ill Feby 2nd 1861

Hon R Yates

Dear Sir

Your very kind letter came to hand on yesterday. Permit to express my thanks for your very kind offer & for your generous appreciation of my poor services to the cause. Would it be any trespass upon your time & patience, to suggest to me what course I had better pursue, about class or grade of appointment it would be proper for me to apply for, & through what channel I had better make the application &c &c Any suggestions from you will be thankfully received & duly appreciated Since I saw you, I have been confined to the house almost all the time & it is now reduced to a certainty that my health will not sustain the labors of my present position & I will be compelled elsewhere to seek the "bread that perisheth" & to

relinquish the ministry as my exclusive business & make my labors in that line incidental. This is a very great trial to my feelings for if ever a man loved to preach I do & if I were so situated that I could, I should delight above all things to be instant in season & out of season in preaching to the poor & needy, the destitute & the afflicted, without fee or reward. The mere labor of preaching is not the labor that prostrates my body, but it is the anxieties & mental exercises growing out of my responsibilities as a pastor which so thoroughly uses up my strength

My health is sufficient for any business which does not involve this mental anxiety, nor extraordinary physical exertion. I suppose that the Albany Regency will absorb all the foreign consulates that would pay a man for leaving his native shores. But perhaps a subordinate place in some

of the Departments at Washington or a berth in some of the Land offices of the New States or Territories or an appointment among the other officials of the Territories.

I would like something which would enable me to lay up enough in 4 years to start in some business which would bring me a living

I have written thus frankly to you, because I felt from the tone of your letter to me, that I could do so without annoying you. With many prayers for the Divine blessing upon you & yours, I remain

Your sincere friend

James J Ferree

PS Permit me to congratulate you on your firm adherence to the declarations of your inaugural as indicated in your reported refusal to appoint Commissioners to the Grand Patching convention at Washington on the 4th. My deliberate opinion is that every thing that even squints at concession on our part is widening a chasm that nothing but the blood of our citizens will ever fill up consequently, the more of it the worse it will be for the incoming Administration I think our duty is simply to stand firm


Rev. Ferrees letter -

Write Ferree know not what to recommend - he had better write Washburne Arnold &c & interest them - that so many look to me, fear very many be disappointed



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