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William R. Clark to Isaac Goodnow

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Lynn Feb. 29, 1860
Dear Bro. Goodnow
Yours of the 18th inst. is just at hand. I have been Endeavoring, since I last wrote you, to weigh seriously the subject of our correspondence. I fear I should miss the path of duty by leaving the immediate work of the ministry for one to which I have so little adaptation as that of begging money Two personel considerations incline me to accept your offer—the opportunity that might offer for helping my sister in the support of her family, & my own health. But the idea of spending several years in an attempt to raise money mostly in N. Eng. where all Methodists know that I know our Institutions here are suffering from want of funds looks to me extremely forbidding. Persons from [sic]

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from abroad can operate here with comfort & some success, but I think that I, who am known to feel the embarrassments of our Institutions here, should incur a censure from the members of the N. Eng. Conf. which would greatly militate against my success. Did there exist an immediate want of a College in Manhattan the case would be entirely different.
But I judge that for ten years to come an Academy would meet nearly all the educational wants of that region. This I infer to be about Bishop Baker’s opinion, who spent last Sab. with me, & with whom I conversed on the subject. Yet did I deceive myself as well adapted to teaching preaching & begging all as one work, as some men are, I might be induced to undertake the Enterprise. As it now looks to me some other man could serve you

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better than myself. I thank you for your expressions of Confidence, but I do not see my way clear to accept the offer tendered by you on behalf of the Trustees of the College. I addressed a note to Bishop Ames on the subject but have received no answer. Bishop Baker is the only person with whom I have conversed in regard to the matter with the exception of just naming it to Bro. Crowell this morning.
I should like much to see Kansas but cannot before the session of Conf. when my duties will be fixed for at least one year. Possibly I may find it practicable to make a tour to Kansas in the Early part of the Conf. year.
You inquire my opinion as to the desirableness of your visiting our Conf. They as you know would all be glad to see you, but my opinion is you could do nothing there in behalf of the

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financial interests of the College. I am very sure the Conf. would take no action in regard to it whatever might be the interest which individuals should manifest in it.
[Wilbraham?] is still in a sinking condition. Its prospects were never so cloudy as now. If the present Legistature does nothing for it I fear the worst. It is sinking at the rate of $3000 or $4000 a year b y the interest on its debt.
Mrs C., who by the way says she is ready to pack for Kansas, any day joins me in regards to yourself & lady.
Very truly yours. Wm R. Clark.

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