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This rare collection of letters and journal entries authored by James S. Griffing and J. Augusta Goodrich span the period from 1841 to 1882. James and Augusta grew up within a mile of each other in the area known as Goodrich Settlement, west of Owego, in Tioga County, New York. James' father, Rev. John Griffing, was a Methodist circuit rider, and one of the earliest to cover the region encompassing Tioga County. After attending the Owego Academy in nearby Owego, James was awarded a scholarship to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. To defray the expense of room and board, James taught Select Schools throughout his college years in Connecticut as well as Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, and Kings Ferry, New York. He wrote letters to his fiancée Augusta from each of these locations and other eastern seaboard cities that he visited, including such places as Baltimore, New York City, and Washington D.C.
After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1852, James peddled maps throughout the Midwest to pay off his college debts -- an occupation that took him to most of the major cities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Early in 1854, he became affiliated with the Methodist Society in Indianapolis where he was asked to join the ministry and start a church. A few months later, after building his church, the Methodist Conference of Northern Indiana reassigned him to the Kansas & Nebraska Territory, just opened for settlement. Here in late 1854, after an overland journey in covered wagon, Rev. James Griffing began his career as a circuit rider. Following a year's work on the Kansas frontier, James returned to Owego to marry Augusta and together they returned to "Bloody Kansas." For the next twenty-five years, James labored as a Methodist minister in Kansas. His last years were devoted to assisting the freedmen who came to Kansas in large numbers following the end of Reconstruction.
This page was last updated on 11/27/02.
When Augusta Goodrich went to live with her Uncle Elizur Goodrich in Hartford, Connecticut in the fall of 1846, she attended the Congregationalist Church of Rev. Joel Hawes. With other young ladies affiliated with this church, Augusta joined the Sabbath School Missionary Society and raised money to support various protestant missions around the globe. One such beneficiary of their Society was the Grande Ligne Mission established by Madame Henrietta Feller  in the Province of Quebec near Montreal, Canada. To raise money for her crusade to convert souls from Catholicism to Protestantism, Madame Feller often traveled to Eastern American cities where she was warmly received and abundantly supported. She undoubtedly visited Hartford in the fall of 1846 on the way to Brooklyn, New York, where the following advertisement ran in an October 1846 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:
Grande Ligne Mission - MADAME FELLER - Rev. Mr. FYFE (of this mission) will address the friends of this distinguished mission on SUNDAY evening. at the Pierrepont street Baptist church, at 71/2 o'clock. - The general history of the mission, and it's prospects, will be presented. It is expected that Madame Feller will be present on the occassion.
That financial support from the Sabbath School Missionary Society in Hartford to Madame Feller's Grande Ligne Mission in Canada was periodically sustained is supported by the following letter written by Sarah E. Beach. It reads:
Hartford [Connecticut]In response to Sarah Beach's letter, the following letter was received by the Sabbath School Missionary Society in Hartford. It was written by the wife of Rev. Louis-Leon Normandeau, a teacher in Madame Feller's Grande Ligne Mission. Rev. Normandeau was a former priest in the Catholic Church who was converted to Protestantism by Madame Feller.
April 29, 1848
Dear Madame [Henrietta Feller],
It is with the most sincere regret that we hear of the pecuniary embarrassments of the Swiss Mission. This regret becomes sorrow when we read of your privations the past winter. Surely our hands would not have been so slow to perform the intentions of our hearts if we could have been aware of your trying circumstances.
We send you our earnings for the little girl we are trying to assist, with the prayer that our mite may be blessed by the same Omnipotence that has no power since the widow's oil and meal were multiplied. The enclosed sum of 20 dollars we forward to you trusting that the constant remembrance of your self-denying labors may induce us to be more active in future.
With the greatest respect, -- Sarah E. Beach 
In behalf of the Sabbath School Missionary Society
Madame Feller, Swiss Mission, Canada
St. Pie, Canada EastWho's who:
June 26, 1848
“Miss Sarah F. Dodge  & her associates”
Thus has a kind and unknown mutual friend begged me to address our little band of fellow laborers in Hartford, and though I cannot name you, or call up before me the varied features of your youthful faces, still I think I know your hearts, and we all feel that you cannot be strangers when your sympathies are so warmly engaged with ours in behalf of our dear Canadians. We talk of you therefore as friends and call you “our little Swiss Mission band in Hartford,” and our dear Madame [Henrietta] Feller thanks Heaven with tears of gratitude that even little children aid her in her work. She says it is a blessed privilege you have, to have your hearts thus early opened to deeds of Gospel charity and to be surrounded by Christian friends to guide you in the way. It was not thus when she was a child in her loved Switzerland. No one then told her that she had a soul to save, or that a Savior was born for her, & must be made known to a ruined world.
You have already received some of our thanks for your late contribution through a few lines we addressed to Miss Beach immediately on its reception and now I will hasten to tell you something of our friend “Brigitte Auger” – as the name is spelled in French – in order that you may feel acquainted with your protégé and stimulated to further efforts in her behalf. It may add to the interest of my story when you know that my present residence, consequently the place from which I write is her birthplace. Here on the banks of a beautiful winding stream, under the shadow of a lofty hill she first drew her breath, and her parent’s humble cottage is the one adjoining the Mission House at St. Pie. It was here she learnt the knowledge of a Savior under the ministrations of Dr. [Cyrille] Cote , here she applied herself with so much diligence to her studies as to gain the first rank in her little school, and all these things induced us to receive her for instruction into the institution at Grande Ligne, that she might realize her fondest hopes and one day be qualified to take charge of a school herself. And now before following her to the Grande Ligne, I know you wish to know just what I mean to tell you, that she is small of stature, has black eyes and hair, and without being pretty, has an intelligent agreeable expression.
She was thirteen years of age when she came into our family, and though conscientious & manifesting some knowledge of a Savior, it was evident to us that she had not yielded her heart to His empire. About eight months after this she was suddenly called home to attend the death-bed of her loved father. She, with many brothers and sisters (for she is one of sixteen), heard words of counsel and admonition from that dying parent which she can never forget. She heard him say that he was a great sinner, but that Jesus had pardoned him and saw him go with joy to his everlasting rest. Such a death-bed she had never seen before and it impressed her deeply. She resolved to give herself entirely to this same Savior for life and for death, and God strengthened her resolution, accepted the offering of her heart, & shed abroad His peace there – a peace which has given new expression to her already intelligent features and a new principle of action to all she does. This was nearly two years since, and from that time the character of Brigitte has developed and the progress in her studies been such, as to rejoice her warmest friends.
She passed her last examination in the month of April with great credit to herself & gratefully ascribes all her progress to the kind friends God has raised up for her, and to His grace shed abroad in her heart. With all this she is far from being perfect, feels that she has much to learn at Jesus’ feet, and needs much your prayers in order that she may become fitted for the responsible charge of guiding others. Our unknown friend asks if she can read English. I am happy to say that she reads it a little and have no doubt she would be much interested in [reading of] Mrs. [Mary E.] van Lennep’s life if [the book were] sent to her. 
And now my dear young friends, if these few hasty lines penned in the midst of interruptions do not tell you all you wish to know of Brigette, you have only to write me and I shall be most happy to give you any other information you may desire, and in return I must beg Miss Dodge to tell me the number & names of your little circle and anything of interest she may have to communicate. I will try and be a punctual correspondent and thus our Heavenly Father will unite our hearts in His work here below, and O that we may all meet, no wanderer lost, to unite in His work & praises in Heaven above.
Uniting with our dear Madame Feller in true affection to you all, I am yours, -- C. A. Normandeau
P.S. We have such constant intercourse that you can continue to address me at Grande Ligne if you prefer it. My address is to my husband's care, Rev. L[ouis] Normandeau , St. Pie, Canada East.
 Henrietta Feller, missionary, born in Lausanne, Switzerland, about 1788; died in Grand Ligne, Canada on 27 March 1868. She married M. Feller, a magistrate in Lausanne, and soon after his death, and the death of their only child, she came in 1835 to Montreal, and, joining two of her friends, M. and Madame Olivier, began her labors as a teacher and missionary. On account of delicate health, M. and Madame Olivier were compelled to leave Montreal in a short time. Madame Feller determined to continue the school, but did not succeed, and went to St. John’s. Financial aid reached her from Switzerland, and, several of the Baptist ministry becoming interested in her welfare, she was enabled to maintain her school until the first rebellion in Lower Canada, when she came to the United States. Late in 1836 she removed to Grand Ligne, again opening a school; and, after various visits to the Atlantic cities for aid, she was successful in raising funds for the erection of a mission house, of which she became director. Source: Edited Appleton’s Encyclopedia.
Though largely obscure to historians, Henriette Feller, pioneer Swiss missionary to Québec, was responsible for establishing a beachhead of Protestantism in an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region. Feller, who had been converted in the Réveil génévois, the Genevan Revival, accepted Henri Olivier's challenge to do missionary work in French Canada. After her arrival in Canada on Reformation Day, 1835, Feller proceeded to distribute Bibles and, teamed with Louis Roussy, conducted Bible studies that evolved into evangelical congregations and several educational institutions, notably the Ecole de Grande-Ligne and its offshoot, the Institut de Pointe-aux-Trembles. Feller and her confrères met with episodic resistance from Québecois patriotes, especially after a poor harvest in 1838 provoked violence and forced her to New England to escape persecution. While in exile, Feller expanded her network of evangelical contacts. Although she remained stubbornly independent of denominational entanglements, Feller built a considerable institutional and spiritual legacy. Her schools educated several generations of students in the rudiments of Protestant theology, and she numbered among her protégés Narcisse Cyr, Louis-Léon Normandeau, and Cyrille Côté, all of whom carried on the mantle of Protestantism in a hostile territory. Source: Her Duty to Canada: Henriette Feller and French Protestantism in Quebec, Church History: Studies in Christianity & Culture. Vol. 70 No. 1, March 2001.
 Sarah E. Beach, born about 1834 in Sterling, Windham County, Connecticut. She married Leonard H. Gallup (b. 12 Jan 1828) on 7 Nov 1854.
 Sarah Francis Dodge, born 5 Feb 1830 in Fairfield, Connecticut. She was the daughter of David Stuart Dodge (b. 14 Jul 1803) and Caroline Hyde (b. 3 Dec 1804). Sarah was unmarried when she resided in New York City in 1886.
 Dr. Cyrille Côté (1809-1850) would hold many professions during his life; teacher, doctor, politician, journalist and minister. He had been a supporter of Papineau as early as 1826 and would play a key role in the event of 1837 and 1838. Côté led an assembly of rebels with Papineau at Napierville. After the defeat at St. Charles, he fled to the United States. Here he joined up with Robert Nelson and together, without Papineau, they plotted a second rebellion. Early in 1838, an attempted invasion of Lower Canada failed and Côté was arrested by the Americans for violation of the Neutrality Laws. However, he was quickly released and immediately began planning for another invasion. Nelson and Côté led the rebel forces into Lower Canada on the night of November 3 and 4 and captured Napierville. But this second rebellion was decisively defeated at the battle of Odelltown. Côté broke with Papineau and the other exiled rebels in 1840. He converted to the Baptist Church and worked as a minister in both Canada and the United States. He died after an illness in 1850. Source: Military History of Canada.
 Mrs. van Lennep was Mary E. Hawes, the daughter of Rev. Joel Hawes. She was the second wife of Mr. Henry John van Lennep, missionary to Turkey. She died in Constantinople in September, 1844. In 1845, Mrs. Hawes published a book devoted to the memory of her daughter. (See Mary C. Goodrich's letter to Augusta Goodrich written on January 30, 1850.) Mary Hawes actually met Madame Henriette Feller in 1841 during one of the missionary's fund-raising trips to Hartford, Connecticut. Shortly after that encounter, Mary Hawes started a "youthful sewing circle...to work for the Grand Ligne Mission" according to the book written by her mother. The journal entry by Mary Hawes noting her first meeting with Henrietta Feller reads as follows:
Sabbath, June 20 Lydia H. Sigourney wrote the following poem in memory of Mary E. [Hawes] van Lennep:
...Dear Madam Feller has been here during the last week. It was my privilege to see her a great deal. There is a holy influence constantly around her. It is seen in every glance of her eye, and felt in every tone of her voice. She has given up all to God, and now she wants nothing. May not I have the same self-consecration, and give up all to my Father's blessed service? A vacant seat in the carriage which took Madame Feller to Wethersfield [Connecticut], it was my privilege to occupy. In spite of our different languages, we contrived to understand each other -- talked with eyes, and any way. Returned home feeling as though I had been in the world of angels, so much of heaven breathes in all that surrounds her.
Scarce was the joyance o'er Louis Normandeau was an instructor at Madame Feller’ Institute at Grande Ligne from 1840 to 1865. He became the director from 1865 to 1870."
That hailed the nuptial rite,
And scarce the tender, parting tear
Dried in its channels bright,
When o'er the Atlantic surge,
There came a sound of woe, --
The flower that erst our garden deck'd
Was in its bloom laid low.
Sweet friend -- within our souls,
How fresh each hallow'd trace,
Thy meek forgetfulness of self,
Thy loveliness and grace,
Thy hand, the harp that rul'd,
Thy warbled music sweet,
Thy childhood's early choice to sit
Low at thy Saviour's feet.
Within the house of God
There was a marriage train,
A gathering throng, a breathless hush,
An anthem's thrilling strain,
And thou in snowy robe
Wert by thy lover's side,
While there a father's voice invok'd
Heaven's blessing on the bride.
Thy path was o'er the wave,
To ancient climes afar,
Where turns the pagan's blinded eye,
From Bethlem's blessed star;
But, soon life's labor o'er
There was a peaceful sleep,
Where rich breathes the Moslem rose,
And dew-eyed myrtles weep.
And now there's grief for thee,
Fair inmate of the grave,
Where bright Bosphorus proudly flows,
And Asia's palm trees wave,
And deep within His soul
Is anguish unexprest,
Who held thee for so brief a space,
A pearl-drop on his breat.
Not in the church yard-green
Beneath thy native sky,
Thou by thine infant sister's side,
Or brother dear might lie,
But with their spirits pure
Thou join'st a glorious train,
Where n'er a golden link was broke
From love's eternal chain.
Sad is thy parent's home,
And lone their evening fire,
Yet there doth blessed Memory bend
And holy faith aspire,
And angel comforters
They point desponding love
To what thou wert while here below,
And what thou art above.