The George Coles collection contains 23 items written to the Methodist minister by acquaintances throughout the state of New York in the early 1800s. Most of his correspondents offered updates on their daily lives and acquaintances and requested news of his family, and some wished him luck in his clerical career. Others commented on their financial affairs. One correspondent, I. Holdich, wrote about a copyright dispute (February 15, 1840), and another, John Wilson, described the trial of a lawsuit in which he was involved (February 4, 1851Several letters concern the state of the Christian religion and Methodist communities throughout the region, including a pair of 1833 letters about a visiting English minister, George Marsden. Others pertain more directly to religious topics, such as prayer, or contain opinions about the church. For example, Alexander Farrill of Rochester, New York, complained about local Methodist preachers, whom he believed did "not even aim to be Methodist Men" (October 27, 1842), and H. Humphreys shared his thoughts on the area around Hudson, New York, which he believed to be too full of atheists and Quakers to allow for the flourishing of Methodism (January 24, 1849).
Additionally, the collection holds one letter written to the editors of the Christian Advocate & Journal, in which Joseph Emes offered a memorial of Eliza Pelton of Middlefield, Massachusetts (April 21, 1838).