Manuscript Group 290, Anne Hart (fl. 1804-1811) / Reverend John Stanford (1754-1834) Correspondence, 1804-1811
Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 290, Anne Hart (fl. 1804-1811) / Reverend John Stanford (1754-1834)
0.1 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 290
Letters written from
Burlington, New Jersey by Anne Hart, widow of Reverend Oliver Hart of Hopewell
in Mercer County, to Reverend John Stanford of New York.
Reverend John Stanford was born in
Wandsworth (Surrey), England on October 20, 1754. His parents, William and
Mary Stanford, died before he was twenty years of age. He was ordained in
England in 1781 and moved to the United States five years later.
He first worked as a pastor in Virginia
and later as pastor in the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode
Island. In 1789, he traveled to New York City and helped erect a building
on Fair (now Fulton) Street that served as a combination church, school and
residence. He served as pastor until 1801 when, following the yellow fever
outbreak of 1798 that ravished the congregation, a fire destroyed the building.
After leaving New York City he was an
itinerant preacher on the eastern seaboard for nearly a decade before his
appointment in 1812 as chaplain to the New York State Prison. It was in
this position that he advocated separating children from hardened criminals in
order to promote their reeducation. He also founded the House of Refuge to
provide emotional support and moral guidance to the poor.
On June 16, 1790, Stanford married Sarah
Ten Eyck, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. Sarah Ten Ecyk Stanford
died of yellow fever in 1798. John Stanford died in New York City on
January 14, 1834.
Mrs. Anne Hart, who wrote the letters in
this collection, was the widowed wife of Reverend Oliver Hart (d. ca. 1804) of
Hopewell, New Jersey. She resided in Burlington, New Jersey when these
letters were written.
The source of these letters is unknown.
The Anne Hart /Reverend John Stanford
correspondence consists of twelve original letters dating from 1804-1811 bound
together chronologically in one scrapbook. The scrapbook also contains the
paper envelopes that held each letter.
Anne Hart, a pious woman, wrote to
Reverend Stanford for spiritual guidance after the death of her husband.
These letters reflect the personal trials and tribulations of Anne Hart during
this time period. She confides in Reverend John Stanford about her family
concerns, religious devotion, personal health and local issues. She became
one of many who religiously wrote Reverend Stanford for friendship and advice.
problems, depressed over death of husband
and his family, her health, local deaths
local deaths, efforts to renew faith
struggles of faith
struggles, family issues
of appreciation for Rev. Stanfords friendship
expressions of appreciation, grandson born
poor health, reaffirmation of friendship
son, concern over Stanfords injury
neglect, her desire to be with her children
to Charleston, thoughts of death
for Stanfords support
Processed by Stephen Sullivan as part of the “Farm to City” project
funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.