Alexander Crummell to John Jay 22 March 1852
Occasionally, misunderstandings developed over black fund-raising missions in Britain. Alexander Crummell was sent to England by his New York City Church of the Messiah to raise £3,000 to £4,000 to purchase a site and erect a building. Crummell raised £1,934 (accounted for by a British committee of management consisting mainly of Anglican clergymen); he expended £358 for travel, printing circulars, and similar fundraising expenses. Other English patrons provided Crummell with £200 annually to meet his personal expenses while he attended Queens College, Cambridge. Crummell's New York congregation failed to pay him his salary while he was abroad, erroneously believing that he had deducted it from funds raised for the church. On 22 March 1852, an anxious Crummell wrote John Jay, asking Jay to clarify the salary arrangements with the church leadership. Another conflict arose when the British committee discovered that money forwarded to the vestry for the building fund was being used to meet church operating expenses. As a result, the British committee invested the remaining £1,400 in New York 5 percent interest-bearing certificates, pending proper building arrangements, and allowed any dividends accrued to be expended for church operations. The committee of management later rendered a final, complete accounting after Crummell sailed for Liberia in 1853. [ Committee of Management, Anglican Church], To British Churchmen and the British Public ([ Bath, England, 1848]); "African Episcopal Church, New York" [ 1853], NN-Sc; [ Committee of Management], Improvement of Negro Race, 2.
Cam[bridge], [ England]
March 22nd, 1852
John Jay Esq.
My Dear Mr. Jay
It is in yr. power to do me a very great favor and I cannot doubt yr. readiness to do it.
In a letter just recd. from Mr. Tyson1 I am informed that at a recent meeting of the Vestry of the CH. of the Messiah, that that Vestry wished to be informed whether I had not been appropriating £200 per annum during the 3 years from the CH. funds collected by me to the support of my family. This was put forth as a reason for not voting me a sum of money as payment for my labors for that CH. Brother Tyson desires me to clear up this point as soon as possible as my Enemies are saying all sorts of bad things about me.