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Letter from Aratus Kent to the AHMS, as transcribed by Rodney Nelson

January 15, 1856

Dr. Badger

Dear Br.,

I do not know what I have done to Br. Gray of Mt. Carrol. But I will state the case. During the time that he has been on your books, he has built a house in Savanna and a house in Mt. Carrol and a church and diverse other works with his own hands pretty much. and I have felt that he did not give that time to visiting which he ought and at times I have talked freely with the Elder in whom we both have the utmost confidence as he had requested me to do, respecting the propriety of his seeking another field.

He lives 35 miles south and I made arrangements with him that he should spend a Sabbath at Garden Prairie and a Sabbath at Clyde some 20 miles further south and I engaged to supply him. I preached for him and his wife handed me an application which I handed back for him to forward by mail because he had not certified to their having fulfilled their pledge to him. And when I received his letter some of which I will copy, I immediately wrote and stated the reason, c.c. wherein the application was not complete, but have heard nothing more.

“I think it my duty to tell you kindly yet decidedly that I consider the appointment at Clyde yours and not mine. I trust you will meet them for I shall not. On returning home and learning the manner which you treated the application of this church for aid, I find myself reduced to the resources of the church and myself if I would retain due respect for either. Whatever else may seem necessary to be said, I think from your knowledge of the circumstances, you can easily supply. I will only add that I suppose I will have to rely exclusively upon about $250 from the church and my own efforts to sustain my family and meet a debt of about $400. I doubt not the purity of your motives. But I suppose Dear. Br. that you and I view these things from two very different stand points, while then I feel determined to cherish the most kind feelings towards you. I also say with equal firmness that I now retract all my pledges to you and to the Home Miss. Soc. implied or otherwise which seem to place me at your direction.
Yours affectionately,
C. Gray”

Now if I have treated this Brother (whose extreme sensitivity I have wounded years ago but which I thought was entirely healed) as badly as his insinuations imply, it may be your duty to open a correspondence and inquire after your agent for surely the Society in New York are no was implicated.

Perhaps I should add that Garden Prairie & Clyde are two feeble churches which Br. Walker served before he removed to Iowa and Br. Gray expressed the opinion that Br. Walker had not done his duty there, and the arrangement alluded to in his letter was a plan of mine into which Br. Gray entered cordially, to have them enjoy each a communion season which they had not enjoyed for a good many months before Br. Walker left them.

A. Kent

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