AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Sharing a Wonderful Research Document
I would like to share with the AfriGeneas Community a wonderful document presented to me by our fellow AfriGenean and my friend, Jari C. Honora.
During his research on Charles Henry Thompson, the first African American Episcopal priest in Louisiana, Jari came across this document that references a father Adams. This "father Adams" is a 3rd great-grandfather of mine, Lewis Adams (1785-1864), who after becoming a free man in 1813 settled in Champaign Co., OH.
Lewis Adams was very active in the AA community of that area. Among his many activities he is documented as being an UGRR operative, a co-founder of St. Paul A.M.E. church in Urbana, Ohio, (1824), a property owner in Concord Twp., Champaign Co., OH (1829) and a Trustee of the "select school for colored children" (1844).
And now from Jari comes this letter written by Charles Henry Thompson in 1860 while he was a student at Oberlin College in Ohio.
I'm tremendously appreciative and indebted to Jari C. Honora for this wonderful doucement.
Jari, Thank You!!!!
The Lord has been very precious to me and to the people among who I have been laboring this winter. The gospel has been preached to the very poor and God has been pleased to visit them with an outpouring of His spirit. The following is a brief account of the work of the Lord at the several points in my mission since my last report. At Pickreltown Logan co.there have been three conversions. At Bellefontaine ---- eight. At Urbana Champaign Co three. At Troy Miami Co four. At Muddy Creek Champaign co there is a settlement of colored people; about thirty five. Among them there is an old man from the South who has goes by the name of father Adams. He is now near or quite seventy years old. A man full of faith and of the holy ghost. He with some four or five praying woman have been trying for some years to sustain a church here in the back woods. He himself acting as Sexton, Trustee, Steward, Teacher, & Exhorter. Indeed the building they hold their meetings in. And which is a very good long house answering for both the church & school house he built of his own hard earnings & labor.
The place is far out of the way that they very seldom have preaching: frequently not more than once or twice a year. Here in this lonely place the Lord has visited us this winter with a Pentecostal Shower. The whole settlement with one or two exceptions have united with the church. And we have reason to hope they have been truly converted to Christ; at least the greater part of them from what we have seen of this work and conversation since. The whole number that has professed faith in Christ at this place is about twenty five. Among whom is an old man I should think about fifty six and his wife a very old woman perhaps sixty. They are now a very happy couple and have commenced life a new in their old age.
And as to father Adams I need not say that this old servant of God is happy. He seems to feel as good old Simeon felt when he said “ Lord, now lettest thou servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” May the Lord bless his people, and keep them in the path of duty & of holiness! ----- I have met with some opposition this winter, more I think than usual. Most of the colored people are from the South and their language is very broken. And at many places the lower class of white men & boys are in the habit of attending their meetings to laugh and make sport of them. IN some instances they have spit upon the poor people while at prayer. And at other times have acted so badly as to make it necessary to close the meeting. This is the Spirit of the Slaveholding. May God hasten the day when Slavery and its spirit shall cease to exist both in the North and South.
Yours in Christ
PS. Please send me some money as soon as convenient as I am about out and considerably in debt. C.H.T.
1857 Concord Twp. Champaign Co., OH Plat Map w/location of Lewis Adams property on Muddy Creek