Northampton, Nov. 26, 1872
Rev. J. M. Greene
I wanted to talk with you about the meeting last evening before you left. You seemed to think Mr. Hubbard and I did not say enough. In that respect we acted rightly and prudently as we shall make it appear to you in due time. I did not suppose the idea of making the contribution from Northampton a tax upon her citizens, was to be suggested at the meeting. It ought not to be entertained because the town on a valuation of $6,000,000 (now $8,000,000) has incurred a debt of $700,000, & upwards. A request to the town to add to its indebtedness should not be made. I have no doubt that if this assertion is not plain on the statement, it can be made apparent. It seems to me we must rely on subscriptions. I regard the meeting last evening encouraging. It was quite up to my expectation & beyond it. Enos Parsons came in at the point where I expected, with the view I was sure he would give, and he did not, as I believe, say he would head the list with $1000, only because action was postponed. Another sharp broker present was, I think, prepared to subscribe - Mr. Crafts - the reasons moving him & Mr. Parsons we will discuss hereafter. While I thus think your prospects here look well and expect much from the meeting a fortnight hence, I think you ought to see that the demand of people in the vicinity of Boston that Northampton shall give as a condition of their giving is entirely unjust. If a rich man should say he would give a $100,000 if you would give $500 the condition would be unjust, & you would consider it so: nevertheless you would give $500, if you could not otherwise get the $100,000. On that principle, I am willing and hope you should get something from Northampton. You ought to be able to promise much from the Eastern part of the state.
Mr. Hubbard and I agree that it is very desirable that Prof. Park be here at the adjourned meeting. And if he will come up Saturday and preach in the old church, Lord's day, it will give this community a spiritual impulse which will be felt Monday evening. Don't you see if he should preach Sunday, the people hear and also learn that he is to be present at the meeting in relation to the Smith College, it would be magnified in their eyes? We will pay his expenses and a compensation for his time and services. Also as a reason for his preaching here, I doubt whether he ever occupied the pulpit of the old church. Long before Smith College was thought of, it was not unfrequently in my mind, that it was fit that the principal teacher of theology in New England should appear at least once in the pulpit of Jonathan Edwards. As an old church of Massachusetts ours has a kind of claim on the favorite professor of our favorite school of divinity. That he should preach here is due to history. Consider this matter and use all argument to make the point good.