John Wesley (1703-1791) Subseries, 1710, 1734-1826, 1860-1903, 1977, and undated

Access Restrictions:

[NOTE: Originals housed in Box WF 1 available by prior request only. Use copies for most but not all of the originals are in Box WF 4. Please consult with a reference archivist if there is no use copy.

More about accessing and using these materials...
44 items
Scope and content:

Letters written by John Wesley to family, fellow preachers and members of his congregation. The majority of these letters are abrupt, aimed at answering specific questions or resolving particular concerns, but others are more expansive. The 1735/6 letter, composed as Wesley was on his way to Georgia, relates events of the voyage and singles out General Oglethorpe for praise. Writing to Lord Rowdon on May 18, 1760, Wesley opposes "the simplicity of the Gospel" with "Philosophical Religion."

Several letters are either addressed or refer to individuals whose manuscripts appear elsewhere in the Baker Wesleyana Collection, especially John Fletcher, Elizabeth (Ritchie) Mortimer, and Sarah Crosby. The letter to Miss Sparrow of Jan. 14, 1779, first passes on an anecdote that Fletcher told about Voltaire, then goes on to present Wesley's scathing views on the French writer and his successes. On June 3, 1774, writing to Sarah Crosby, Wesley worries that Elizabeth Ritchie might succumb to temptation and instructs Mrs. Crosby to watch over her. And in another letter to her several years later (May 11, 1780), he turns his concern to Crosby herself, assuring her that he will keep her writing a secret, burning the originals and transcribing only what he wishes to keep for himself; further, he questions her about her predilection to vices, urging her to speak openly about herself to him, but noting that he does not make a habit of speaking about himself to others so as not to hurt them.

Arranged in chronological order.


Using These Materials

Using These Materials Links:

Using These Materials

Collection restrictions:

Access note. Collection contains some originals in the collection that are restricted except for use under direct staff supervision. Patrons must use photocopies of originals. Contact Research Services for access.

Use & permissions:

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Before you visit:
Please consult our up-to-date information for visitors page, as our services and guidelines periodically change.