Rev. Alanson Alvord (1803-1862) “entered Yale College in 1830, studied divinity with Dr. Cox of New York in 1833, settled in the ministry at Chester, Mass., 1835.
“In personal appearance Alanson Alvord was tall, very erect and of fine physique. As a young man he was athletic and displayed un- usual strength in lifting weights. He was fond of engaging in the sports of the young men of his time. He also had a fine voice for singing and while studying theology in New York City he received a good salary for training choirs six evenings in the week, a part of the time leading the music in a large church, besides having a number of pupils in vocal culture. He took lessons of Lowell Mason, then considered the best of teachers. He gave to Bradbury his first lessons in vocal training. He was a masterful man and usually accomplished whatever he undertook. He died of malignant erysipelas and was buried at Warren, Pa.”
Rev. Alvord wrote the letter to Rev. Dr. Milton Badger, one of the secretaries of the American Home Baptist Mission Society headquartered in New York City from who he received financial support.
Addressed to Rev’d Dr. Badger, No. 150 Nassau Street, New York
Downers Grove, Dupage County [Illinois]
July 2d 1851
At our last communion we received six to this church by profession & 3 by letter. We hope to receive as many at our next. Besides the Baptist & Methodist Societies have received some. Our Sabbath School, which has been continued for several years, having on the best of Superintendents, & other faithful Christian friends to sustain it, has opened with new interest this year.
More than $40 have been collected for the Bible Society, between 20 & 30 subscribed for Foreign Missions. Our design was to take a collection for Home Missions previous to the one for the Foreign field but Geo. Weed, the Agent at Chicago, unexpectedly spent the Sabbath with us & we could hardly so less than take a collection for that object while he was here. Sickness, absence & unfavorable weather have prevented our having a favorable opportunity to make a collection for Home Missions.
I preached on the subject of Missions the last SAbbath but we thot it better to wait until next Sabbath before making the collection. One of our converts in the late revival paid his $5 for Foreign Missions & we shall confidently look for an increase of benevolence among those lately entertaining the Christian hope as well as others. In taking a subscription recently for my salary, altho some few have fallen off, in consequence of a strong effort among the Baptists (& those few have subscribed only small sums) still others have greatly enlarged, & some doubled the amount. New ones also have been added so that, altho the subscription is not yet completed, there is already an advance on the last year. There are probably few churches anywhere better united & more peaceful on all subjects than this. A considerable sum has lately been gathered for the Sunday School library which we hope soon to see greatly enlarged.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude & praise for what God in His Sovereign Mercy has done for us, but feel that we deserve none of this great goodness but can, we trust, from the heart say, “Not unto us, but to thy Great Name be all the Glory.”
The last year’s subscription $250 among this people I am happy to say has been promptly paid in quarterly payments only a very little remaining behind, which will be settled immediately. I state this now as application is to be renewed soon for further ____.
Amount due from the Society July 1st $37.50. Please forward as soon as convenient & oblige your brother in the Lord, — Alanson Alvord