From Our Research Collection: Jesse Lee and Boston (Jan 3, 1791)

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One of the many crown jewels in the School of Theology Archives Collections is the Autograph Letters Collection. Archivists and historians use the word autograph here because all of these letters are signed. If you are a fan of Methodist history, the early history of Boston University, or even just New England history, there is something for you in this collection.

Another significant letter from the late 18th century in our collection was penned by none other than Jesse Lee, the man who brought Methodism to New England. He established the first Methodist class in New England at Stratford, CT in 1787 and then in Boston on July 13, 1792.  He was a friend and assistant to Francis Asbury helping him with his work.  Rev. Lee served as chaplain for both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

In this letter written in January 1791, one year before the first, formal Methodist meeting takes place in Boston, Jesse Lee writes of his experiences with the different denominations in Boston.  He feels there is much faith among the people.  The letter is written to Mr. Richard Douglass of New London, CT.

There are three boxes of these Autograph letters in the School of Theology Archives. Please take a look at this inventory in our Archives database to learn more about this unique collection.



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