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Unitarian books , and as I hare now an opportunity of doing much good with them , I hare written to Mr . Belsham to request some from the Book Society . Of the New Lights you may see some account in Benedict ' s History of the
American Baptists . They believe the simple humanity of Christ , and deny the Atonement , but are very enthusiastic and ignorant in every thing else . There is a good opening for Unitarianism amongst them . Cincinnati would be a good point at which to erect the standard of
religious truth in the West . It has never yet been attempted on this side the mountain . I feel most sensibly the want of religious society , and the opportunity of public worship . How few in England appreciate duly their religious privileges ! A short residence in the Backwoods of
Ohio would surely arouse them to a due sense of such invaluable blessings . No opinion here , however new , or contrary to received opinions , gives any offence ; but it is very difficult to awaken attention to it . All the religion here is truly zeal without knotvledge . All devotion is
conimed to hearing , except at camp meetings , when it breaks out in every ridiculous and noisy extravagance the imagination can suggest . The English about here are plain farmers , chiefly from Yorkshire ; some of them strongly inclined to Unitarian views .
" Believe me , Sir , " Yours , very respectfully , " W . A . "
Letter from Mr . Amphlett to the Rev , T . Belsham . 347
Letter from Mr . Amphlett to the Rev T . Belsham , from the Bach Settlements of America . Harmony Township , near Springfield , Clarke County , Ohio , U . S .
Rev . Sir , TAKE the liberty of addressing I you from this remote part of the semi-civilized world , briefly to state my present situation , and why I thus unsolicited intrude upon your valuable time , not doubting but you will excuse the liberty I take when you know the occasion . It is now near three years since I left my native country , but not niany months since I was permanently settled . Our relatives were no sooner acquainted with my heterodoxy in religion than they not only withdrew their good offices , but they " did me much evil . " I found a valuable friend in Mr Bakewell , while I remained in the vicinity of Pittsburgh . Unitarianism
has some advocates there , but Preshyteriantsm throughout Pennsylvania , although split into many sects , has the same bitter spirit it formerly had in England—all its friends highly orthodox , impatient of opposition and intolerant towards other sectaries . It is
the hierarchy of that part of the Union . I went into partnership with a countryman in a brewery at Wheeling , in Virginia , about sixty miles below Pittsburgh ; my partner absconded , and I was glad to sell my share with a considerable loss . I descended the Ohio
with rny family to Cincinnati—was much gratified with the appearance of the country in its vicinity—met with some valuable friends in the neighbourhood , and had partly agreed for a farm six miles from the citv » when it
pleased Divine Providence to visit my family with sickness , and in one month I buried two of my children ! I Some of the others were so ill that I despaired of their recovery without a complete change of air . I had many temptations to join the English settlement in the
Illinois ; but I knew many of the settlers there to be very dissatisfied , and justly , with their situation , as I had corresponded with several of the early settlers there . I determined , therefore , to visit a new-formed English
settlement in this neighbourhood ; I was so pleased with the country , that I removed my family as soon as possible , and they all very quickly recovered their health . I soon purchased a farm , and now consider myself finally settled .
Springfield , the county town and seat of justice for Clarke County , is situated in a fine upland country , on a branch of Maol River , which is a principal branch of the Great Miami . It contains about 500 inhabitants , is 70 miles from Cincinnati , 60 from
Clulicothe , and 40 from Columbus , the capital of our State . We are 5 miles from this new toicn . The country about us above half prairie or natural meadow , and half woodland—the soil excellent — and ( what in America
should ever be a prime consideration ) we have plenty of excellent water at all times of the year ! The country is sufficiently level for every purpose of cultivation , and high enough to escape the endemics that visit the rich alluvial bottom lands throughout the whole western country . But a few miles
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1821, page 347, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2501/page/23/