The Historical Spectator.

An Abolitionist’s New Year’s Resolutions

Amos A. Phelps was a young Congregational minister who was about to embark on a career as a noted aboli­tionist. In 1833, he was still a year away from that adven­ture, but as the new year came in, he wrote down his resolu­tions like a million other serious young men. His hand­writ­ten diary can be seen in the Internet Archive; here some of his less common abbrevi­ations have been expanded, but the text is other­wise as he wrote it. We do not know which Mr. Seixas was Phelps’ Hebrew instruc­tor, but it could have been one of the fifteen children of the famous Gershom Mendes Seixas.

Jan 1st 1833. Tuesday Eve. Commenced the study of Hebrew with Mr Seixas to day. Preached this evening on the subject of Fasting. Gave my people strong meat. Dont know how it will set. Tuesday Eve ✝ meetings gen­erally not fully attended. Wife still sick. As this is the begin­ning of another year I would record the solemn pur­poses of my soul.

Resolved—1. that as a whole I will strive contin­ually to be more devoted & to carry more of a savor of piety into the var­ious duties of my office.

Resolved—2. that I will make it a point to rise as early as 6 the year round.

Resolved—3. that I will make it a point to econ­omize my time to the best pos­sible advan­tage & to this end will aim to do every thing at its proper time & in the shortest time possible.

Resolved—4. that I will, when circum­stances admit, pray 3 times each day—morning, noon, & night.

Resolved—5. that I will make it a point to con­verse with some impen­itent sinner each day in the year.

Manuscript journal of Amos A. Phelps, vol. 2.