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Title: Comly, John to Forsythe, John Jr, 1801
CollectionJohn Forsythe Letters
SenderComly, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationschoolmaster
Sender Religionunknown
OriginByberry, near Philadelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationWesttown, Co. Chester, Penn., USA
RecipientForsythe, John Jr
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count897
Genretaking his position at the school
TranscriptRespected frd

Having an opportunity of sending thee a few lines I may thereby
inform thee of my situation in regard to coming to Westown to supply
thy place. On my return from the Institution in the 11th month I called
on Alexr. Wilson (agreeably to a previous request of his) and among other
things, inform'd him of thy prospect of leaving the School—I had open'd
my concern of offering myself as a teacher there, to him, sometime before:
and from the conversation which thou and I had, and which pass'd between
him and me, I expected to hear, or receive a visit from a part of the
Committee soon after their return from Westown in the beginning of the
12th month-But hearing nothing from them for some weeks after; and
Friends of our meeting having lately been raising a considerable Fund, in
order to establish a free School, to commence the first of the 2d month
next, wished to know whether I would engage to teach it for a year. Thus
circumstanced, it appear'd necessary for me to know, whether the Committee
placed any dependance on my going to Westown or whether I was
at liberty to engage with the Trustees here at Byberry; accordingly I
went to Philada the week before last, and had a conference with a subcommittee, who had been nominated by the acting Committee to come lo
Byberry to visit me in my School: but had been prevented thro' the difficulty of travelling, indisposition of one of them, and other circumstances—I received no answer from them, whether my offer was accepted or not — They were to report their sense to the acting Committee next day. And inform'd me there was a probability of their coming to visit, me in a few days. I heard nothing further from them till last fifth day, when I received a few lines from Alexr Wilson, that they expected to be up at Byberry sometime in the week, which is now past, and they have not been—
The Trustees of our Fund have been impatient for an answer from me; of
which I informed the sub-committee by a friend a few days ago, who
brought me word from a member of that committee that my concern had
so far claim'd their attention as to expect it would shortly be accepted
and approved—This morning I was informed by a Friend (who was in
town yesterday & saw Alexr Wilson) that the Committee expect me to
come to Philadelphia again as they have been prevented from coming up
to visit me—
I feel no anxiety about the event, whether my proposal be accepted
or rejected by them—But I desire that the mind of Truth may be diligently
sought after and attended to by them and me, therein: and that,
if it be my lot to take thy place in the Institution, it may be with Divine
approbation and the unity of Friends and especially of the Committee
and the Teachers now engag'd in the School—I hope that thou and the others have well weighed the matter, as I requested—if so, it would be
acceptable to me to receive a few lines expressive of your result thereon—
If you have found nothing to operate against my coming. I should like
to be inform'd how long it will be convenient for thee to continue there—
as I am under a necessity of staying here three months after the agreement
with the Committee (if that should take place) and I have reason to believe
it will be with considerable reluctance, that Friends here will part with
me, unless they should find another to supply my place—
My mind is often with you, with desires for the prosperity of the
Institution: hut many discouragements arise in respect to my coming to
bear a part of the burden—The leaving of a fathers house, near connections:
and friends, an increasing line of business and other circumstances
conspire to increase the trial—The greatness of the undertaking, the
arduousness of the task, the importance of the station of a Teacher in
the Institution, and my incompetent abilities and qualifications therefor,
tend to increase my discouragements; so that if it were not for an apprehension of Divine requiring, I think, no other consideration would be
sufficient to induce me to come—These and other discouraging prospects
at times so attend my mind that I am almost ready to wish I had not
open'd my concern -But at other times a secret hope arises, that however
poor and unworthy I may be, yet if the concern is right and of Divine
original way will be made, difficulties remov'd, and as I am attentive to
the means, qualifications and abilities will lie granted, adequate to service appointed me—I crave the care and fellow-feeling of my friends and particularly the Teachers in the Institution; and I desire that if I have been too forward in offering myself for the important service, or if they should not concur therewith, I might be inform’d thereof—
I hope thou wilt excuse this freedom— To thee I shall look for instruction
and direction in many things (if I come) and hope thou wilt use freedom
in informing me and exercise a fatherly care over me—
I remain thy frd
John Comly.

1st mo 11th 1801