James Madison Papers

Howard Malcom to James Madison, October 1826

American Sunday Sch. Union

Dear Sir,

Philada October 1826

The American Sunday School Union has hitherto prosecuted its important task without appealing to its friends abroad, depending on the support of Christians in this city. The time however has now arrived when we can no longer sustain the pressure of this increasing concern, without assistance from others.

The institution is obliged to work partly on borrowed funds, to obtain credits &c. &c. Indeed we suffer every species of loss and inconvenience, which a man in heavy business without capital of his own, would have to endure. The price of our publications cannot be so low, as they could otherwise be made. Orders for books sometimes crowd in so as to drain our shelves, and several weeks must elapse before all can be executed–This embarrassment is spread through entire auxiliaries and their usefulness abridged. Such are the trying circumstances of this interesting society, and these are the reasons which necessitate us to solicit with respectful urgency such pecuniary aid, as your feelings and convenience may prompt–Indeed difficulties increase upon us every day because new societies are springing up all over our country, each looking to this Institution for its supply of books–Our orders are more numerous, and of greater amount than ever before–Fife binderies are in employ–six presses, and our weekly disbursements for paper alone is about 350 dollars

Did we not confidently believe, venerated sir, that your piety and patriotism cordially approve of our exertions to diffuse wholesome instruction among the coming generations we should apologize for this application by pleading our distressing embarrassments–We commit our case to your notice under a deep sense of the sacredness of our trust & responsibility of our Station as almoners of public beneficence A life membership is $30. Trusting that we shall feel grateful for any assistance, your convenience & judgment may prompt you to impart I remain on behalf of the Soc. With profound respect

Howard Malcom


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