To George Whipple

Secretary of the American Missionary Association

1 January 1870


[MS in the American Missionary Association Papers, # 115466, Amistad Research Center, Tulane University.]


Oberlin 1st Jan. 1870

Dear Br. Whipple.

Miss Dowling has just called

& showed me her recent letters

to you. & yours to her kindly releas

ing her from her engagement to go

to Mendi. Of this correspondence

I have known nothing until now.

Nor did I know that she had

any misgivings in regard to going

since the visit to Mt Vernon.

Your reply to her was written

before you recd her last letter.

From your letter it appears to her

that she has caused you considera

ble disappointment, & that you

feel & justly feel that she was

rash in committing herself

as she did at Mount Vernon.

Now my Dear Br. Whipple let me

speak freely to you of this deeply

tried child. As I have said

I have had no knowledge whatever

[page 2]

of her state of mind, or of her

action on the subject since she

committed herself at Mt Vernon.

She has now opened up to me for

the first time her misgivings & inter

nal conflicts sin[c]e that time.

She has passed through deep

waters; & as might be expected

of a young woman in her

situation, & with her conscienti

ousness & fear of getting out

of God's order, she has been up

& down & in much perplexity

in regard to the question of duty.

This is very natural in deciding

that what

so important a question & ^ what

from my knowledge of her, I should

expect of her, after making

a decission under the excitement

of the meeting at Mount Vernon.

I have never thought her rash but

the reverse, but the circumstances

at Mt Vernon it seems led her

[page 3]

to decid[e] before she was well

prepared. Since there she has

seen some friends of some of

your former missionaries to

Mendi, who have given her new

ideas of that country & work.

This has occasioned her last two

letters to you. She can not rest

under the feeling that she

has so much disappointed you

& that you blame her for rashness.

She also fears that if she declines

to go, or that it is so understood

it may injure the mission.

She is greatly obliged by your

consenting to release her

but can hardly accept the

release under the impression

that you feel that she has

done wrong. She thinks that

God would rather have her

go, at any hazzard to herself,

than to leave an impression

[page 4]

that she selfishly declined to

go or that she had in any

wise wronged or injured the

mission or those connected

with it. It was this feeling that

led her to write the second letter


which you at ^ not recd at the date

of yours. Now Br. Whipple if you

feel, as she fears that you do, that

she has done wrong, in asking to

be discharged, or if you feel that

under the circumstances she ought

in Christian honor to go, she prefers

to go, & will go cheerfully & work for

souls with all her might. But

if no such feeling is in your mind,

or in the mind of your board, she

will thankfully accept your offer

to discharge her. Dear Br. Whipple

act just as you would with a

sister or daughter & dont fear to let

her see your heart. She will deal

kindly & truly with you. God bless you.

C. G. Finney


[page 1, along left-hand margin]

P.S. Miss D. has heard this read & says it expresses her mind



The word appears to be spelt this way.

The word "Rev." has been inserted here, probably by Whipple.