Rev. John James Triggs – A Voice From the Past

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Have you ever wondered what your ancestors would say to you if you could sit down and chat with them?

I have.

Many times.

I’ve thought about all the questions I would ask them if I could just have even a few minutes.

Luckily for me, I have had a chance to hear from Rev. John J. Triggs in his own words.

While I have been researching the Rev. Triggs, my 3rd great-grandfather I have come across his name listed in many books.  There is quite a bit of information out there about him.  He was one of the first Methodist Circuit Riders to ride over 400 miles by horseback, into Indian Territory to spread the gospel.

I’m pretty sure that any whining I could do about “my phone has no signal or being stuck in traffic (while sitting in cushy car with a/c)” would be seriously frowned upon by Rev. Triggs considering the things that he went through to deliver his sermons.

There could hardly be any comparison.

I found a letter that he wrote to the Chattahoochee Mission dated June 11, 1823 in the book “A History of Methodism in Alabama” by Anson West, published in 1893 and Rev. Triggs states “yet through the warmth of the weather, excessive rides, and other difficulties peculiar to the country, our horses are both blind; but, supported by grace, and animated with the prospect of promoting the happiness of our fellow-men, we persevere, sometimes riding and sometimes walking over the bogs and through the mud singing: 

‘In hope of that immortal crown,

We now the cross sustain;

And gladly wander up and down,

And smile at toil and pain.’

He goes on to say, “I hope, my dear brother, you do no forget to pray for us, who labor in the wilderness, for I am sure none need the prayers of God’s people more than your humble servant, John J. Triggs”

Here is the whole letter should you like to read it.

Rev John J. Triggs letter to Chattahoochee Mission

When I first found out that John J. Triggs was a Methodist Circuit Rider, I read all up on what they did and what they went through, but to hear it from his own words, 189 years later, is truly amazing.

Not only that, but he wrote two books and I located copies of them at the University of Georgia in the rare books section.

Yes, oh Yes, I got copies of most of the pages of both books.  Thanks to Julie Hardaway, who kindly went to the library and made copies of the pages she thought would interest me.

A Treatise on Christian Baptism by Rev John J TriggsAnd this one:

A Review of the Controversy on Baptism by Rev John J TriggsWho knew right?  I didn’t.  I would have never believed that I could read a book that an ancestor wrote back in 1842 and 1843.  I feel as though I actually got to sit through a couple of his sermons, and that was a great feeling!

Over the next few days, I will be adding copies of the pages that I do have to my website in case anyone else would like to read them.  I’ll let you know when I get them up.

They are really interesting reading!  Thanks again Julie, for bringing my Ancestor’s voice back from the past.  It’s truly a treasure!

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