Letter of introduction for William Cox Cochran to friends in Britain:

Daniel James, Baptist Noel, James Harcourt, Potto Brown, Robert W. Dale, Peter Spence, James Barlow, Robert Best, John Kirk, and Fergus Ferguson Jr.

November 1870


[Autograph signed letter in the possession of Mrs. Ellen Speers, 3915 Sierra Drive, Austin, Texas 78731.]


Envelope: William Cochran Esqr

New York city.



Oberlin College, Ohio, U.S.A.

William James Esq, Liverpool.

Hon. & Rev. Baptist Noel, London

Rev. James Harcourt, Oberlin Cottage,

Southampton St. Camberwell, London.

Potto Brown Esqr, Houghton, Huntingdon.

Rev. Mr. Dale, Birmingham.

Peter Spence Esqr, Manchester.

Hon. James Barlow, Bolton.

Rev. Mr. Best Bolton

Rev. John Kirk Edinburg.

Rev. Fergus Ferguson Glasgow.

Dearly beloved Brethren in the Lord.

Permit me to introduce to your

acquaintance the bearer, William

Cochran A.B. A grand son of

mine. He travels east for his health,

hoping to unite recreation with

instruction. He is a graduate of our

college & more recently a student at

law. He is, I hope a Christian.

[page 2]

& of course a young man of

good principles & morals.

His father was one of our Professors

& his mother my eldest Daughter.

His Father died before his birth, &

his mother is now the wife of

Hon. J.D. Cox, Ex Sect of the Interior.

He has known no Father other

than Mr. Cox. The boy was born in

our house & spent his college life

in my family. He is a Dear

young man & much beloved

by myself & by all his acquaintan

in this country. I can not but

hope that Christ will call

him to the ministry.

Any Christian kindness shown

him will be gratefully appre

ciated by him & by me as if

shown to myself. Grace mercy

& Peace be multiplied to you

through our Lord Jesus christ.

C. G. Finney.


William Cochran went to Europe in the company of James H. Fairchild, the president of Oberlin College. They set sail for England and the continent of Europe on December 1, 1870, and returned to the USA in August 1871. There is no evidence that Cochran met any of the people in Finney's letter. See the letters of Cochran in The Lorain County News, 12 January 1871 &endash; 26 January 1871; and Albert Temple Swing, James Harris Fairchild; or Sixty-Eight Years with a Christian College (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1907), Chapter 18.



This was Daniel (not William) James, who lived at Oakwood, Aigburth, Liverpool. He was a partner in the New York firm of Phelps Dodge & Co. Finney had known him in New York in the 1830s and had stayed with him on his visit to England in 1859. Finney made the same error with the first name as he had done in his Memoirs (p. 576).

Hon. Baptist Wriothesley Noel (1798-1873) was a prominent Baptist leader, and minister of the John Street Chapel in London, where Finney had known him. See Finney's Memoirs, page 266.

James Harcourt (1816-1896) had been the minister at Potto Brown's Church in Houghton, Huntingdonshire, where he had been the first to suggest getting Finney over to England in 1849. He named his house at 131 Southampton Street in Camberwell, "Oberlin Cottage". See Memoirs, page 580.

Potto Brown (1797-1871), the miller of Houghton, was the person responsible for inviting Finney to England. Finney had stayed with him during his visits to England in 1849-1850 and 1859.

Robert William Dale (1829-1895) was a leading Congregational preacher, and successor to John Angell James, at Carr's Lane Chapel in Birmingham, where Finney had preached in 1849. Dale had been greatly influenced by Finney. See Finney, Memoirs, page 491.

Peter Spence (1806-1883) was an alum manufacturer in Manchester. Finney stayed with him and his family in 1860 while he was preaching in the area.

James Barlow (1821-1887), the wealthy Methodist mill owner of Bolton, Lancashire, had been Finney's host while he held revivals there in 1860. See Finney, Memoirs.


Robert Best (1823-1887) was the Congregational minister at the Mawdsley Street Chapel in Bolton, where Finney had preached in 1860. See Finney, Memoirs, page 600.

John Kirk (1813-1886) was one of the leaders of the Evangelical Union in Scotland, and minister of the Brighton Street Church in Edinburgh, where Finney had preached in 1859.


Fergus Ferguson Jr. (1824-1897) was minister of the Blackfriar's Street Evangelical Union Church in Glasgow, where Finney had preached in September 1859. See Finney, Memoirs, pages 596-597.

Finney appears to have started to write the remaining letters (ces) of this word but there was not room on the line to complete them, and they appear as a blot. He omitted to complete the word on the next line.