1.1 Reverend Handt's Letters

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i. 8 October 1830

Handt to Coates, 8 October 1830, p.1.
Class Mark: C N/O 51/
MS page no: 1-001


[note] Rec’d Oct 9/30

Walthamstow, October 8, 1830 [1]

Dear Sir

You will excuse me, I hope, for taking the liberty to address you these few lines.
After I had been in the Missionary situation in Basel four years, Mr Blumhardt [2] asked me in the year 1827 on the 14th of January, whether I wished to go to West Africa; I replied joyfully in the affirmation. He gave me also the liberty of choosing a companion, and I chose Mr Hearle. When afterwards Mr Lessing was joined to our company. I immediately appealed against it; for whatever Mr Lessing’s character may be, I clearly saw that he would cause disagreement in the Mission. Mr Blumhardt, however, requested me to go with him, and I obeyed. When we came to England, some of our friends, with whom we became acquainted, received the same impression concerning him: though I had not told them a single word of my own thoughts. They requested me, therefore, earnestly to write to write to Basel, and to state these things. I did so, accordingly, requesting the Committee to take from our company either him or me. But Mr Blumhardt persuaded me again, and I thought it my duty to obey him. I hoped also, that in the course of time we should be able to [?] on better together. But the event proved just the contrary. A short time afterwards, two other Missionaries were sent to join us, for the company of one of them Mr Lessing had been desirous long time before, being agreeable to his own character. This same person had also, in order to enjoy Mr Lessing’s company, given up his former destination to Brazil, as [?]


Handt to Coates, 8 October 1830, p.2.
Class Mark: C N/O 51/
MS page no: 1-002

in a European Settlement, and requested the Society to send him to Africa. You know him very well, for you wrote several years ago a letter to Mr Blumhardt concerning him and his doctrine. You will, however, excuse me for not mentioning his name, for he has [?] been called out of this world. The event, however, showed that they had mistaken each other; for as close as their friendship had seemed to have been before, so bitter became their hostility afterwards to each other. And by their means the peace of our whole Mission was entirely broken up. This then, is, in short, the reason why I, in great distress of mind, left my Brethren in Liberia, and went alone into the interior of the country to instruct the Heathen there. [3] It was also, indeed, according to the instruction of our Society, that all of us should go among the real natives, and not remain in Liberia; for this was considered only to be our place for going over the country fever, and to be the centre of our subsequent communications. One perhaps therefore, [?] only to remain there.
I think it proper to write this to you, and to request you to submit it to the Committee. After having put into your hands Mr Blumhardt’s letter which I received before yesterday in the evening from the post-office. [4]
Although I expressed to you immediately after my arrival, as well as afterwards, my desire of going back to Sierra Leone; yet I do not wish it to be thought as my exclusive object, especially as some of my friends think

People in WellPro Directory: Blumhardt, Reverend Theopilus | Coates, Dandeson


Handt to Coates, 8 October 1830, p.3.
Class Mark: C N/O 51/
MS page no: 1-003


think my constitution altogether not suitable to that climate. On the contrary, I wish that the Committee may appoint me to any place, for which they think me fit. I desire nothing more than to be sent out as a Minister of the Gospel, in order to do something for him, who died for me on the cross. I do not seek emolument: let me have as much only; as I want for my necessary support. When I was in Africa I had frequently not that, and nearly half the time I was there I lived by my own exertions.
You know very well, or at least Mr Raban, that I could not stay in Sierra Leone so long, as to write first to Basel, and then to wait again for an answer from Europe; because the Brethren there found it not proper, though I sincerely wished it. On this point therefore, Mr Blumhardt seems to have misunderstood me. The reason, perhaps, may be that I not treated this point of my [?] minutely, when I wrote to him.
I feel [?] very sorry to write this about my Brethren, but it appears to me necessary for my justification, not to conceal it.
Mr Blumhardt calls me in his letter: "[?] [?]" (the healthy person), but you know very well, Mr Blumhardt also, for I wrote it to him, and Mrrs Weitbrecht and [?] certified the truth of it, that I was sent back on account of ill health, according to the Doctor’s advise in Liberia [5]; his certificate he gave me is still in my hands, and I did just show it to rev. William Wilson; though it is true I became afterwards soon well.

Your humble servant
J.C.S. Handt

Corporate Bodies in WellPro Directory: Basel Missionary Institute
People in WellPro Directory: Blumhardt, Reverend Theopilus | Coates, Dandeson | Wilson, Reverend Daniel


Handt to Coates, 8 October 1830, p.4.
Class Mark: C N/O 51/
MS page no: 1-004


[addressed to]
D. Coates Esq.
Church Missionary [House?]
Salisbury Square

[addressed from]
Walthamstow Oct 8/30
Rev J.C.S. Handt

People in WellPro Directory: Coates, Dandeson