To James and Julia Monroe

14 April 1869


[MS in Finney Papers, microfilm, roll 5, supplement #171. There would appear to be at least one page missing.]


Oberlin Ohio, 14th Apr[i]l, 1869.

Dearest Children,

Julia's of the 19th March came

duly to hand. We were much inter

ested in Julia's description of

your mountain home & niegh

borhood. I suspect that she

has some of my love of mountain

scenery. I am passionately fond

of the wild, grand, magnifi

cent, sublime & yet graceful

scenery of mountain ranges.

To one born on the plain of

Oberling [sic] where neither hill

nor valley is to be seen on

the whole horizon such scene

ry as surrounds you must

possess an unspeakable charm.

I don't know how you can ever

again endure the almost dead

level of Oberlin. Perhaps you

never will be called to do so.

[page 2]

Emma has been too busy to

give us your description of

your work in the mountains.

I see by to days paper that a man

from Missouri is appointed to take

the place of Mr Webb at Rio

de Jeneiro. I did not see much

chance for Jame's appointment soon

after my last, as I learned that

there were many clamoring for

that place with strong & ear

nest backers to sustain them.

James has been out of the politics

of the country during the great

Presidential campaign & stood

but little chance. Dolson is

from principle very chary of

interfering in behalf of a relative.

I suppose James would be the same.

I should be. Soon after Dolson

went to Washington, a nephew &

name sake of mine requested

me to recommend him to Dolson

[page 3]

for an Office under him, but I

declined, saying that I could

not recommend a relative or

any one else unless I was

satisfied that the government

needed his services. Charles

is at Washington looking

for some position that will

require a western tour

in the open air & keep

him out in the mountains

& prairies, until he can

regain his health. His

health suffers in the

Office of a daily paper

He wishes, not to give up

his paper, but to be able

to employ an Editor until

he can regain his strength

in out of door life. Dolson

feels embarrassed. He wants

Charles to have an office

but being a relative he does

[page 4]

not like to give him one.

Charles has powerful friends

both in the Senate & house

who will probably help him

to what he wants. Besides

his paper is by far the

most influential republican

journal in that state, I believe

& did much toward procuring

the republican triumph in

that state. I see from her

letters that Ange is nettled

at the course Dolson takes

in the matter. I write to her

that I approve of Dolsons

course. Your friends Mr & Mrs

Blackford spent a Lords day

at Oberlin, but not at our house.

Mary Dascomb must have them

He preached for me sab, morning & for

the 2d Church in the evening.



This word is spelt thus. Against this sentence in the margin is written in Julia's handwriting: "Tijuca &endash; Rio de Janeiro". Emma Monroe Fitch recalled:

"Some very, very happy months during the hottest months were spent on Tijuca, a mountain, only about eight miles out of the city and about 3,000 feet above the sea level. They lived in a cottage close by a hotel in a little valley on the Tijuca mountain side. They could see the mountains rising on all sides magnificently foliaged and many trees in blossom. Mother was quite a child in her enjoyment of it all." ("In Memory of Our Step-Mother Julia Finney Monroe" typescript [c. 1931] in Special Collections, Oberlin College Library).

This word appears to have been underlined by Julia.

This line and the next two are marked off with a bracket in the margin, evidently inserted by Julia.

Brackets in the margin mark off this and the following lines, to the bottom of the page.

A visitor to Oberlin in 1871 reported that "the country is so flat that there is no outlook save heavenward." (David Peek in the Gazette and Courier reprinted in The Lorain County News, December 21, 1871, p. 1)

Emma, the eldest daughter of James Monroe, was in her senior year at Oberlin College.

There is a tick in the margin here.

James Watson Webb had been the United States Minister in Brazil since 1861. He was replaced by Henry F. Blow.

This was Charles Grandison Finney, a son of Finney's brother, Harry.

The Rev. A. L. Blackford was minister of the Presbyterian Church in Rio de Janeiro, where James and Julia attended.

Mary Dascomb had been the governess of the Monroe children in Rio for two and a half years, and had worked in the mission there. See "Miss Mary P. Dascomb." The Oberlin News (13 January 1899), p. 1.

The following paragraph appeared in The Lorain County News of Wednesday, March 31, 1869, page 3:

Rev. Mr. Blachford [sic], of Brazil preached at the First Church Sunday morning, and at the Second Church Sunday evening on the progress of the missionary work in Brazil. His address in the evening took the place of the "Monthly Concert," which would otherwise have been held next Sunday evening.