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letter, McIlvaine, Bedell
McIlvaine, Charles Petit, "To Bishop Bedell" (1862). Charles Pettit McIlvaine Letters. 176.
[?]: Affairs in the war
Feb. 13. 1862
My Dear Bishop,
I am writing at the beautiful place of the Bp. of Rochester, about 5 miles from [?]. On Tuesday, my daughters & I joined the Bps. of R. & of [Riffon] & Mr. [?] at the R. R. [statin] in [Linda] & went to dine & spend the night at the sect of [Ld.] [?], a few miles from here. Lady R. is [?] to Capt. [?]. There we met a large part of [?] gentlemen [?] many of whom staid [sic[ the night. The Bp. of Riffon conducted prayer in the Eve & I next morning. There were 24 at breakfast, all guests but the Lord & Lady of the mansion. Thence after lunch we all drove in [four] carriages to [Chelseaford], to attend a meeting for the [?] Ch. [?] at which the Bp. of Riffon, [?] [Cam] Rv. [?] & I made addresses. Thence yesterday to this house, where we stay till tomorrow & then to London again when my work chiefly lies, because of the concentration of chief persons there especially now that [?] is Ministry is considered sure against [?] & [Ecl] [?] says forwardly it will not be done. That means now, as things now are. In other words we will not wait. France are, recently, or the Emperor, about determined in it. But he could not get England as he [?] to join. He now is determined to wait. But the waiting will not be many months, unless decisive events take place in [?] former.
As to my returns, I have made up my mind to wait for the May [?] & the Great [?] which will bring to London much a concourse of all natures. My work will not even then be done—if the man is not chiefly decided then. There is no need of haste. I shall need a short [?] opinion in the continent, where I shall be [?] of another tongue & where for that reason I shall not-to recruit after this may [?] & exacting work— the quiet. My health is wonderfully good as yet. You [must] so [?] the minds of our brothers, that such absence will not [?] to them [?] or [?]. I have them sitting. How beautiful these homes of the high ranked Christian people of England, how high & edifying the convention, & yet of the [?] & most [informed] & most cheerful happy kind, no effort, no [?], no [?] of the loveliest playground of spirit & yet so loving & kind & considerate & refined in feeling. I find all this most especially where clergymen make a large uniform of the Company. Such meetings of course give me for any peculiar work, every [?] of opportunity, without seeking it. It is the most matured thing in the world. They inquire & I answer & enlarge. Scarcely do I ever see a person of any rank but I have an opportunity made by him. [?] exceeds my expectations in this respect, & I am assured by now that it is doing a great deal towards making our cause & condition & prospects appreciated. [?] help me wonderfully. She is kept as busy as I am, in all companies & I constantly hear from those who have conversed with her what new views they have attained of our affairs. at the Bp. of London’s ([?]) we recently dined & spent a night meeting [?] great men [?] away than from Bp [?]’s sides the [?]. Dear [?] was there & I could amuse you with a conversation between [?]& him about our mothers, of which he is intensely [?], & how he was arrested. The most American people [?] knowledge & sympathy [?] I have found away the [?], [?] as the Duke & Duchess of [?], with whom we three [?] a short time since meeting them a high assortment of guests. They seem strongly to feel with us & can give a [?]. He you know is Lord [?] [Deel]. I have had opportunity to converse with three Cabinet Ministers about our matters, & I operate through a leading member of the N. J. [?] on [?]. Just as the Prince of Wales was leaving for his Eastern Tour, having that day [?] to land, he sent for me asking that I would go to Buckingham Palace. I went & spent a short time with him & Gen. Bruce, & a longer time with the letter after the Prince had left—for they were just about to start. The Gen. said the Prince had often [endorsed] his [?] to make a move marked recognition of my being in England. This regret that the [?] of the family prevented. I think more of the Royal [coffeee] & things with it. All the mint war so easy & [?] as of I had met him among where else. Next Sunday I precede to the great-Congregation (4000 at cent) under all the [?] & in the naive & transcepts of St. [?] at night. The Lord enable me to forget all of [?] but his [?] & all of myself but my duty, dependence & [?], thinking of, looking [?], I am. I have preceded every Sunday, but two, [?] I came. I have seen in a N.Y. paper a [?] copying of my first letter to you, intended for publication. I wish I had thought of [?] the W. Ep. to be sent [?]. Whatever you print of mine send it care of Peabody Ho. London with a 3 cent stamp. But don’t publish any thing but what I say [?] he published I have had two letters from you. We are all encouraged by the aspect of our cause at home. The battle at [?] (Ky) is a great fight of heart. We wait earnestly for more. There is a desperate effort making [?] with be us [?], to get the Government to break the blockade or acknowledge [?] independence of the Confederate States, but the greatest consolation in knowing that I am serving our dear country, thence Ohio, & the Church, by being here, as (pardon me) no one else of America could, for [?] could go where I go, & no clergyman of our land has the acquaintance & the [entrée] among clergymen of all portions & religious leagues of all rank, which God has given me. The difficulty is to know what, not of all the persons & places & [?] is to which we are urged to go, & where [?] may be used, we should select since we cannot go to all. I expect to return in good time for the Convention, but I hope you will in regard to ordinations, within examinations [?] consult your own mind entirely. How sweet home & to be at home, sympathy in every [?] with the tread of the country, seems time. How keenly I feel here what I have to see & know as to the feelings of many towards us, [?] myself [?] with the greatest kindness & respect. These three things I see—first that the best, warmest most considerate feelings towards us, so among the religious people, & the middle classes, indicating the highest next to the [?] - Secondly - they are more among church clergy evangelical than other church clergy, & more among the former than among [dissenting] [ministers]. Thirdly [?] in the country than in London, where [?] centers & the Jews, a paper which I often called here a wicked paper has its chief sway.
My intercourse with Mr. Adams is very confidential & agreeable & he is an excellent representative of our intents. I often feel a great burden to bear that which [?] to me here, & had I [?] all the portions I have been obliged to take should hardly have had the courage to come. For instance to give Sir Gen. Gray. of the Cabinet my mind about various things of the English Government & that not very equivocally either. But I have not regretted any [?] & I trust for the future. Think of my [?]! Except [?], who is doing a very good work, discreetly & intelligently & is much received in the best circles & much considered, I [?] me, am literally the only American person whose work at is to affect public opinion as to us, or who has any opportunity except in every [?] sphere. The three gentlemen of Mr. Adams, suite do not go with English [?] at all. Under this weight, I often sigh for home, especially when I think of the war so near Ohio. I want the [cheering], at home, in our dear diocese, contributing me more helping heart to those that keep up under the country [?]. The Lord bless you all—clergy—flocks—(dear people)—all the dear land, guide the Government, give us an honourable law, honouring peace to the putting down of rebellion & the mercies of just & righteous Government. The Lord bless the College & [?] [?], all the officers, all the students. The Lord especially teach them who are those to learn how to teach & preach Jesus Christ.
London. Feb. 15. I have kept my letter to a few hours before the mailmen take it. I have many evidences & [?] that public opinion is decidedly changing & growing in the right direction.
[Letter is torn here.]
...knowledge of our cause gets [?] …..false views which have been diligently ….get corrected. The feeling in [?]....which at one time we feared so much is decidedly kind, patient, & disposed to wait & see how we get on. A gentleman (a clergyman) who writes for the [?] has just been in & assures me of that improvement & that it is going on all now depending on our army & navy. Last Eve [?] & I were at Lady [?] ([?] was a little unwell & did not go). The Duke & Duchess of [?]. The [?] of [?] & the [?] Lord [?] for [?] [Graham], Sir Fowler [Buscton], [?] were present. The Mechaniship of [?] came in late. The true of convention was decidedly right & just towards our cause. I came to my [?] yesterday * found letters from Oxford urging that when I go there. (Last of this month.) I will preach in Great [?] Mary’s the [?] Ch. for which the [?] had already taken [?]. Thoiugh I much prefer to preach in one of the smaller & humbler Churches, I cannot refuse. I pray [page is torn].... help from our High. There is nothing in this long lett[er] …..which I would like to be exrac[ted]....(as I have written it,) for the pe[ople].....but if there is any matter of fact which you would like to give, in your own words, you may. I trust your very sound judgement. What I place on another page you may put in the paper as an “extract from me.”
Now with much love to all,
Yours very affectionately,
Charles P. McIlvaine
When I returned yesterday from the country I found a long & most acceptable letter from Mr. [McElroy].