It’s Always a Good Idea to Let Them Know You are Coming

livingston_williamHere is a March 1, 1777 letter written by New Jersey’s  revolutionary-era governor William Livingston (or one of his assistants) to Robert Blackwell, a patriotic Anglican minister serving New Jersey churches (in this specific case, Coles Church in Coles-Town, Gloucester County) with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel:

Thursday next being appointed to be observed as a day of fasting & Prayer the Governor & Council propose to attend Divine Service at your Church, which it is thought proper to give you this Notice…

And here is Blackwell’s March 2, 1777 response:

According to the directions of your Proclamation I have appointed to preach at Coles Church on Thursday next, at half past eleven in the morning.  If your Excellency & the Council think proper to attend, we shall be glad to see you there.

I love this stuff!

Source: The Papers of William Livingston, ed. Carl Prince (Trenton: New Jersey Historical Commission, 1979), Vol. 1: 264

NOTE:  Prince’s footnote on p.264 is wrong.  He says that the church in question here is in Colesville, Sussex County.  When I read this I found it odd that Livingston, who was living at the time in Haddonfield, would travel all the way of up to Sussex County to attend service on a day of fasting and prayer.  Upon further investigation, I learned that this it is more likely that this is a reference to Coles Church (St. Mary’s) in Colestown, Gloucester County (today Camden County), New Jersey.  This makes more sense.  Colestown is only about four miles from Haddonfield.