To Levi Burnell

15 December 1837


[Autograph signed letter in Correspondence of Oberlin College.]


Levi Burnell (1803-1881) was the Treasurer and Secretary of Oberlin College. Born in Northampton, Massachusetts, he went to Rochester as a young man. There, he ran a drug store, and became involved in the religious and reform movements. But he had a bent for scientific invention. He became a member of the Franklin Institute, where he delivered a pioneering address on electric telegraphy in December 1827. He was head of the Lorain Iron Company in Elyria before taking up the post of Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary in Oberlin College 1835. It was his plan for a cooking stove that led to Philo P. Stewart's invention. (See Chellis S. Hopkins, "Recollections of Other Days" in The Oberlin News [May 17, 1901], p. 8.)


Finney received the following letter from Josiah Chapin when he was in Cleveland.


Dr. Brother Finney Providence Nov 22d 1837

Your letter of the 10th inst came

[to] hand yesterday. Annexd. you have H. E. Hudson Cash.

check on the Bank U. State Philadelphia for one

hundred dolls, which please accept in part payment

of your salary as Professor in Oberlin Institute &endash;

I hope soon to hear of the arrival of Prof. Morgan

who will from what I know of him be most likely

to suit our people the best, of the two who are coming East

of your Profs. We have all most daily some Minister

proposed to us, but we do not yet find one who

appears to be suited for us --- Your Bro in christian love Josiah Chapin


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P.S. I could not find readily a check on New

York, and when to be had, they are 2 per cent premium.

I could have got a check on Cincinatti Ohio, but I

presume this will be best, as funds at the west are

wanted[?] by Merchants to [? ] as well as Banks

J. C


Finney then wrote to Levi Burnell as follows:


Cleveland 15th Dec. 1837.

Dr. Br. Burnell.

I recd. your communication

in due time. I wrote to Br. Chapin

informing him that Br. Cowles & Morgan

were going East & one of them would

be at Providence I did not know which

(for then it was not determined.) He wrote in

reply that they should prefer Br. Morgan &

requested that he might come. This was the

reason of his saying to Br. Cowles that they did

not expect him. But Br. Chapin's last letter

I did not receive until since I have been

here. With that letter he sent me a

check on the U.S. Bank for 100 dollars

I recd 75 cents premium on it, so that you

may charge to me on the treasurers Book

one hundred dollars & seventy five cents

recd on my Salary per Josiah Chapin.

The state of things here is interesting. I am at

present laid aside by a cold. Last evening

was the first meeting I missed.

Your Brother in the best of bonds.

C. G. Finney.

I wish you wd notify my wife when there

opportunities to sen[d?] to me at Cleveland.


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[Addressed] Levi Burnell Esqr