By Rev. W. J. Crawford, A. M., B. D.
By request of Brother C. H. Mattoon, author of "Baptist Annals of Oregon," Volume I, I write a foreword for this Volume II. After a personal acquaintance for more than 30 years, I am satisfied as to his qualifications to write the history of the Baptists of the North Pacific Coast. There has not been in my recollection, a man so able to give details, nor has there been so indefatigable a man as he in gathering them.
My first acquaintance was in 1878, at Albany, where I located as pastor. Rev. R. C. Hill, M. D. organized the church May 8, 1867; Brother Mattoon followed him in 1873-1875, partly under the A. B. H. M. Society. Rev. A. J. Hunsaker next followed until 1878. I followed in the fall of 1878 and my acquaintance with Brother Mattoon has been most cordial ever since, and I esteem it a privilege to speak a word of praise in behalf of this second volume of Baptist Annals.
Brother Mattoon first came to Oregon in 1851, as a professional teacher, and I am told that he was quite popular and successful in that business, though sometimes his decided and peremptory manner gave some offense, but no lasting ill will. He was always willing and ready to aid in our denominational activities, and as well posted to talk readily and with certainty on most of our church questions. Though a "Land-marker," technically, and somewhat biased on that question, he has proven more than once the fairness of his mind when dealing with the great problems which have confronted our church. Whilst not fully adopting all his arguments, or conclusions, this question has never in any way disturbed the brotherhood and good feeling between us.
In 1886, the Baptist Convention of the North Pacific Coast, which then comprised Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia, became unwieldy; its territory too large, and its interests too many for a single organization, it divided then and since, into about half a dozen smaller Conventions, each with its own historical committee but Brother Mattoon still continued hunting historical data from the entire field until 1900. But very little since except in Oregon. Since the division in 1886, the Oregon Baptist State Convention has had its own Historical Committee and Brother Mattoon has been either directly or indirectly connected with its work, they having the general supervision of his labor, especially along the lines of preparation and revision. Financially matters were looked after by a stock company which advanced nearly $1000 as expenses for him to visit the entire field and gather data from every available source, and for this aid, aside from a complimentary copy or two of the published books, no demand has ever been made of the author, except that all preserved material thus gathered, shall be deposited in the archives of McMinnville College for the benefit of future Baptist historians. The manuscripts, except perhaps some of the statistical tables, have been carefully and thoroughly revised, twice by myself and once by Rev. C. A. Wooddy, D. D. Portions have been inspected and largely revised by nearly every member of the historical committees of our Convention. Much care, pains and interest have been shown by the members of the committees that everything published should be authentic and reliable. I can freely say that no Baptist will regret purchasing these volumes, for they will represent the best we have in a historical light and doubtless will take their place among the standard histories of our denomination; for they have been gathered from official reports and publications and from personal observations and reminiscences.
One volume has been published, but the scattered condition of our membership, outside of a few large cities. has made the sales rather slow. Outside of about three counties in the Willamette Valley little effort has been made. To sell by traveling solicitor was too expensive. Still about 600 or 700 copies have been disposed of and no adverse criticisms have appeared---only words of praise---and it is fair to presume that the forthcoming volume will be well and favorably received by these and other readers, Not only the rank and file have expressed themselves as satisfied, but prominent men in the denomination elsewhere have commended the work in the most favorable terms. It is confidently hoped that all who read this second volume will be equally pleased, it being the last great effort of the author.
The funds necessary to publish Volume I of Baptist Annals of Oregon, were furnished by a syndicate of six brethren. These have received no remuneration so far, except a complimentary copy or two of the book, and they are all willing that, as soon as books are sold and the expenses of binding and selling are paid, the balance left be used for the publication of this second volume. Thus we see that noble minded brethren stand ready to abet the cause of the author and further the interests of the denomination, which we take to be the interests of Christ's Kingdom. Many brethren, like minded, have graced the people of our faith in Oregon, some of whom remain alive today, but all of whom deserve to have their names inscribed upon the tablets of our history for all time.
Our author plans to bring the present volume down to A. D. 1900, adding a supplementary chapter connecting events, with the present time. The two volumes to be about the same size, the same in appearance, quality of material, and workmanship, and will sell at the same price; $1.25 in cloth and $1.50 in half roan, by mail postage paid. Under all the circumstances. it is doubtful if the author will receive any money for his great labors; his reward being chiefly that he has gained the approbation of his brethren and the Master. Few men could face poverty and claim such a reward for a life of toil. Still it is better thus blessed than not to have lived for Christ at all.
For reasons explained elsewhere, the author disposed of his material, reserving for himself the portion pertaining to Oregon. He now has bright hopes of finishing a work dear to him for so many years, ere he finally lays down his pen. The manuscript is ready for the press, brought down to and including A. D. 1910. The work of compilation, though, has been delayed a number of times. Sickness interfered. Brethren who promised to assist in preparing the supplement found their own work too pressing and had to ask further time. Nevertheless much has been gathered, and we hope ultimately to have a series of volumes of Baptist history, covering the entire Northwest coast, which shall not be surpassed by any other Baptist history anywhere. And those who desire to be fully informed will need to read all the volumes contemplated on the whole field, which will contain the labors and results of our forefathers in planting the Baptist banner in the Pacific Northwest. This outline of the efforts to preserve our history is in place in this introduction to show the vast amount of care, work, and expense required to accomplish so great an undertaking. The work is in good hands; let it be well done. I am thankful that so much has been already accomplished.
Because of delays caused by infirmities and other hindrances, Brother Mattoon has been compelled to ask aid from other brethren in preparing his second volume for the press. Several kindly responded; and thus, to that extent, the reader will obtain the freshest and best accounts from some of our able men. Amongst those thus assisting are Rev. C. A Wooddy, D. D., our able Superintendent of Missions for the North Pacific Coast for the A. B. H. M. Society, of N. Y.; Rev. L. W. Riley, D. D., President of McMinnville College; Rev. F. G. Boughton, Professor in McMinnville College; Rev. J. L. Whirry, Colporteur of the A. B. P. Society, of Philadelphia; Rev. Jacob Kratt, pastor of the First German Baptist Church of Portland, Ore.; Miss Carrie O. Millspaugh, Superintendent of the Women's work on the North Pacific Coast; Rev. Fung Chak, pastor of the Chinese Mission at Portland, assisted by deacon Seid Gain and G. J. Malone, Superintendent of the Chinese School. And other important men with their themes are on the list. In fact, nothing of historical character has been omitted that time, patience, and perseverance could bring about, and we place this second volume of Baptist history in the hands of the reader, feeling that as well as we knew we have done, as well as we could, we have wrought. The duty we have performed we owed to the Master who said, "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth laborers into his harvest."