THE Seabury Society, of which so frequent mention is made in these letters, is a society which was organized in Trinity Parish, New Haven, in the year 1844. It was composed at first of a few members only, of Trinity Church; but as time went on, ladies from other parishes united with it, so that, including working and honorary members (the latter being made such by the payment of a yearly tax), the number at one time reached as high a figure as thirty; the average number of working members never being more than fifteen or twenty. At first, the yearly offerings of the Society were applied to general Church purposes. But in 1845, it was proposed that they should be devoted to some specific missionary object; and as the ladies were considering what that object should be, their attention was called by the Rev. Dr. Croswell of Boston, at that time on a visit in New Haven, to the then infant mission of Nashotah. The primitive, apostolic principles on which it was conducted, the work designed to be accomplished by it, and the hard, self-denying life of those who were engaged in it, at once awakened their interest, and commended it to their approval, and Nashotah was unanimously adopted as the Seaburys' Mission. For a number of years, the contributions of the Society were very small, but after the commencement of the new Mission in Minnesota, either a new impulse in the Society or a special blessing upon it, caused a continual increase in its yearly profits, so that for six consecutive years they ranged from $500 to $550. In Dr. Breck's several ventures of faith, the Seaburys were with him. Accompanying him as he went from Nashotah to St. Paul; thence into the wilderness of the Red Man where he first planted our Indian Mission; then again into the White field when the Indian massacre of 1862 drove him to Faribault; and lastly to California when he went with the same undying principles of faith and love to enter upon a work which he believed would be the greatest, as it would have been the crowning, glory of his life. Twenty-seven years had passed since the organization of the Seabury Society, and time and death had wrought their usual changes in its little circle, thinning its ranks, and materially impairing the vigor of its life. In order, therefore, to secure its continued existence in the future, it was decided, in 1871, to form a branch of it to be called the "Junior Seabury Society," composed of the younger members of Trinity and other parishes, who should take up and carry on their work when the members of the older Society should have passed away.
This youthful "branch" was formed and flourished for a period of five years, during which time it did good service for Dr. Breck, contributing to his work no less than $360. Its last $100 found him on his death-bed, and with his death, the Society apparently died also,--at least it has never been revived. The elder Seabury, however, continues to exist, firm as ever in its adherence to those great principles which first awakened its interest in Nashotah, and anxious as ever to advance them by every means in its power. From the year 1845, when the Society made its first offering of $75 to Nashotah, to 1877, it has contributed to Dr. Breck's several Missions the sum of $10,010, an encouragement and a lesson to all who are inclined to despise "the day of small things." I am writing you a long letter, but I felt that I could not close this correspondence without some account of the Society which for so many years identified its interests with those of your brother in his Missionary life. It is a Society that was very dear to him.'
To the Rev. Charles Breck, D. D.