To The Trustees of Oberlin College

and James Harris Fairchild

10 August 1869


[MS in Finney Papers 2/2/2, Box 9]


On June 24, 1869, the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College turned down a written resignation by Finney from his chair of Theology. At the next Annual Meeting, on August 2, they passed a motion that was copied out and sent to Finney, as follows:


Resolved that in connection with the appointment of two new Professors in the Theological Department the Board deem it due to Brother Finney and to the Institution that he should be relieved of the labors and responsibilities of the Department which he has long filled so ably and acceptably, deeming it at the same time highly important that his official connection & his valuable personal influence & interests should be retained; and that Rev Messrs J. A. Thome and Rev Wm B. Brown be a Committee to confer with him on the subject.

Adjourned to meet Wed. morning at 8 eight & one quarter o'clock.


This was evidently page 5 of a letter sent to Finney (Finney Papers, addendum, Microfilm roll 8).

Finney's reply was as follows:


Oberlin 10th Aug. 1869.

Trustees of Oberlin College,

Dear Brethren.

Accept my thanks for releasing

me from further responsibility in the

department of instruction in your College.

You wish me however to retain an official

relation to the college without informing

me as to what will be expected of me.

Please excuse me in this [reg]ard & allow

me to be rid of all offi[cia]l responsibility

in the teaching & man[agem]ent of the

Institution. Let this be accepted as my

resignation. God bless you & your charge

C. G. Finney.



Pres. Fairchild.

Dear Brother.

The above would ha[ve] been sent

to the Trustees before their adjournment

had your committee informed me of their

action in time. It will make no difference,

as you can act in view of it as if the

trustees had accepted my resignation.

God bless you evermore

C. G. Finney.


P.S. As usual I am quite overdone & sick

since commencement. I have risen from

bed to say the above that you may act

accordingly. C. G. F.


The Prudential Committee minutes note under the date Sept 9, 1869:

The relations of Prof Finney to the College having been considered it was voted to refer the matter to the Faculty.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on July 30, 1870, the following was reported:

Ex President Finneys letter of August 10th 1869 resigning his chair, was committed to Prof Henry Cowles to draft a reply

And on August 1, the following entry in the minutes of the Board reads:

Rev. Henry Cowles reported the draft of a letter to President Finney above refered to which was acc[e]pted as follows:

To President C. G. Finney

Dear Brother

Your note of August 10th 1869, is before us - tendering your resignation. We beg to say in reply, as we have said in substance before, that it would be very grateful to our feelings and also in our view desirable for the interests of the Institution that your official connection with it and your work in it, should not be terminated, but should (if agreeable to yourself) continue as during the year past, with this exception viz that you should receive compensation for whatever services you render - Praying that God may spare your health and strength for much useful labor yet in Zion


At the Prudential Committee Meeting on October 13, 1870 Deacon Merrill and President Fairchild were to confer with Finney "with reference to his services in the Theol Dept and compensation of the same."



Thome's name is written before Brown's on the document, with a bracket inserted to reverse the order, as it appears in the Trustee Minutes.

Finney continued as Professor of Pastoral Theology until he died in 1875.

Parts of some words are missing due to damage to the manuscript.

The following notice appeared in The Lorain County News (Oberlin), 1 September 1869, p. 3:

PRESIDENT FINNEY has not been able to preach since the Sabbath before Commencement; the excitement of seeing so many old friends, and the interest he took in the question discussed at the Theological reunion having proved too much for his nerves. He is gradually recovering and will in all probability soon preach again. ...

A report appeared in the same paper on August 1869, p. 3 under the heading "Theological Alumni Reunion"

This letter is not in the Finney Papers.