Manuscripts Division William L. Clements Library University of Michigan
Finding aid for African American History Collection, 1729-1970
Finding aid created by Christopher Tounsel, June 2010, and Shannon Wait, March 2011
Title: African American History collection Creator: William L. Clements Library Inclusive dates: 1729-1970 Bulk dates: 1800-1865 Extent: 0.75 lin. ft. Abstract:
The African American History collection is a miscellaneous collection of single items relating to slavery, abolition movements, and various aspects of African American life between 1729 and 1970.
Language: The material is in English Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190 Phone: 734-764-2347 Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
M-454 et al.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
African American History Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The items are arranged chronologically, with undated materials at the end.
The African American collection contains miscellaneous single items relating to the institution of slavery, abolition, and numerous aspects of African American life between 1729 and 1970.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The African American History collection contains miscellaneous single-items related to various aspects of African American life, slavery, and abolition. The items span 1729 to 1970, but the bulk is concentrated around 1800-1865. Topics addressed in the letters and documents include the experiences and work of slaves in the North and South; the buying and selling of slaves; African American participation in the French and Indian War, American Revolution, and Civil War; abolitionists and abolition societies; the American Colonization Society; the lives of freed slaves; the education of free African Americans; and many other subjects. For details on each document, see the inventory located under "Detailed Box and Folder Listing"
African American women.
American Colonization Society.
Antislavery movements--United States.
Slavery and the church--United States.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans.
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Participation, African American.
Abdy, E. S. (Edward Strutt), 1791-1846.
American Colonization Society.
Barton, Ira Moore, 1796-1867.
Bourne, George, 1780-1845.
Bradley, Philip Burr, 1738-1821.
Chesnutt, Charles W. (Charles Waddell), 1858-1932.
Clarkson, Thomas, 1760-1846.
Cresson, Elliott, 1796-1854.
Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895.
Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879.
Gurley, Ralph Randolph, 1797-1872.
Martineau, Harriet, 1802-1876.
Miner, Charles, 1780-1865.
Murray, Lindley, 1745-1826.
Rankin, John, 1793-1886.
Tappan, Lewis, 1788-1873.
Thatcher, B. B. (Benjamin Bussey), 1809-1840.
Tucker, St. George, 1752-1827.
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915.
Wickliffe, C. A. (Charles Anderson), 1788-1869.
Container / Location
African American History collection [series]
1729 May 23. Samuel Coniard ADS to Samuel Talcott; Wethersfield, Connecticut.
Bill of sale for a slave girl named Beck, 15 years of age, from Samuel Coniard of Bermuda to Samuel Talcott of Hartford County, Connecticut, "to have and to hold the said negro girl during the term of her natural life" for the sum of 82 pounds.
1742 January 7. John Wright ALS to John Tomlinson; Brunswick, Georgia.
Regarding the sale and use of slaves in Brunswick, as well as a description of the area. Slaves are employed in rice, pitch tar, and turpentine. It is "certainly the most profitable place on the Continent to Trade to from Europe."
1752 December 25. Jonathan Low DS to Seth Story; Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Bill of sale for a slave named Dick Toham.
1756 July 23. John Bull DS to Sabinah Wilson; Granville Country, South Carolina.
Bill of sale for two slaves, Will and Molley, from Wilson to Bull.
1757 December 3-1772 June 9. Scipio Wood 5 DsS; Windham County and Hartford, Connecticut
Evidence relating to the claim of Wood, a mulatto soldier, that he is owed money from his service in the French and Indian War.
1760 January 8. Francis Bernard ALS to Charles Read; Amboy, [New Jersey].
Travel through the Gulf of Florida is difficult on account of men-of-war. Sugar prices are up. In a postscript, Bernard notes that Mr. Kearney has informed him "that they have brought home 3 runaway Negroes, that were taken up in Hispaniola." They are to be held by the sheriff until their masters' demand them.
1763 January 15. James Pemberton ADfS to Joseph Phipps; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
[Note: Located in the Quaker collection]
Thanks for letter and testimony to avoid strengthening slave trade; concern over inherited slaves; perplexed about how to deal with Native Americans on the frontier; clamor for copies of the journal of George Fox.
1767 January 1. John Mountague ADS to Charles Gordon
Promissory note for hire of a female slave, "Nan."
1770 April 21. John Madocks ADS to unknown; Lincoln’s Inn.
Legal opinion on estate of James Crockatt, a surgeon, and whether slaves are personal or real property as the estate pertains to colonial South Carolinian law. Outlines complications over who should assume ownership of the slaves.
1770 July 12. Mary Murrin DS to Daniel Saint John; Norwalk, Connectiut.
Bill of sale for an eight-year old slave girl named Hannah.
1771 September. Joseph Chandler DS; Orange Co., [Virginia].
Report of patrollers capturing "Negroes": "we caught two Negroes One got whipt [and] the other Clear…we caught three Negroes two we Carred before Capt Thomas One he Ordered to be whipt [and] the Other he cleard One was whipt by Orders of his Mistress." Signed by James Madison, "Commanding Officer of the County of Orange" on verso.
1772 March 4. Chris Champlin and George Champlin ALS to Samuel Tuell; Newport, [Rhode Island].
Orders to captain of a slave ship to collect slaves in Africa and sell them in Barbados; "purchase what Slaves in your power proceeding down to the Gold Coast…When you have finished your Trade on the Coast proceed to Barbados." If they miss Barbados they should proceed to St. Kitt's, "and if you cannot fetch St. Kitts proceed to St. Croix."
1772 May 20. Sip Wood ADS to Connecticut General Assembly; Hartford, [Connecticut].
Concerning the request of Wood, a mulatto, to receive pay for services rendered to the colony during the French and Indian War.
1772 September 26. Samuel Tuell ALS to Mr. Champlin; Annamaboe, Ghana.
Regarding the problems of Tuell, a slave trader, and the price of slaves in gallons of rum; "I Give 160 Gals For Men and 140 for women, as I Cood not git Them for Less." It has been sickly in Annamaboe; "It has ben Very sekly heare I have Ben Seck my self and Mr. Champlin Has ben Very ill."
1773 November 20. Kudjo Holms ALS to William Redwood; Newport, Rhode Island.
Letter to a former master, requesting assistance; "Master Redwood I your old Servant make bold to send these lines to you to lett you know I have been Very poorly as to my health ever since you was hear and Cato has been ill…I should be glad master would please to write word to some body about me for Necessarys for me."
1776 January 3. John William ALS to Robert Burton; Boonesborough.
Discusses his slave girl Lucy who has venereal disease, including how she got it and cures.
1776 July 20. Thomas Pollock DS to Hampton Lillebridge; Elizabeth Town, [New York].
Receipt for six slaves, Charles, Dolly, Sucky, Rachel, Phebe, and Satira, "for the Sum of One hundred and fifty five pounds New York Currency £155."
1776 August 1 . Doc. to Captain Thomas.
Agreement about a slave woman named Phoebe; "My negro wench Phoebe went to live with Capt. Thomas Farmer for the term of one year…at the end thereof to return her with all her wearing aparel, and pay the Sum of Six pounds ten Shillings money of 8/the oz."
1776 September 5. Johannis Nagel DS to Hampton Lillebridge; Rockton.
Receipt for slave; "Received of Hampton Lillibridge the Sum of Seventy Pounds New York...in full for Negro Man Slave…Bought 21 years old."
1777 August 3. Joseph Wharton Document; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
[Note: Located in the Quaker collection]
Copy of Wharton’s will leaving land for a Quaker meeting house and making provisions for two slaves who are to serve his wife four years then be freed and given a lot on his plantation.
1778 July 23. Benjamin West ALS to Samuel West; Charles Town, [South Carolina].
[Note: Located in the Schoff Revolutionary War collection]
Description of keeping slaves in South Carolina.
1778 November 4. Ephraim Blaine ALS to John Ladd Howell; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
Request for Howell to call on Captain Moody regarding the sale of a slave.
1781 June 25. Joshua Huntington ADS to Bena; Norwich, [Connecticut].
Manumission paper for "a Certain Negro man Named Bena…and Liberty is thereby given to…Huntington to Emancipate."
1781 August 7. Charles Phelps Pr. DS to Elisha Williams; Stonington, Connecticut.
Power of attorney to settle estate of Keder Freeman, a deceased African American; "I do therefore…commit unto you the said Elisha Williams full Power to administer the Goods, Chattels, Credits and Estate of the said deceased…"
1781 September 24. Groton, [Connecticut] Selectmen DS to Connecticut Committee of the Pay-Table; Groton, [Connecticut].
Document certifying that he served in "Capt. Amos Stanton's Company Col. Shelburns Regiment in the Connecticut Line and Served until he died."
1781 September 26. Connecticut Committee of the Pay-Table Pr. DS to Elisha Williams; Hartford, [Connecticut].
Receipt of back pay owed to Keder Freeman, concerning "Seventeen pounds seven Shillings and two pence" [Included with August 7, 1781 document from Charles Phelps]
1781 November 21. Philip Burr Bradley DS to Connecticut Committee of the Pay-Table; Ridgfield, [Connecticut].
Certificate of service of Jack Green, a free African-American; "Green served in my Regiment [5th Connecticut Regiment] in the Continental Army three years and…did belong to the Regiment before the first day of January 1780."
1781 December 27. Jack Green DS to Connecticut Committee of the Pay-Table; Ridgfield, [Connecticut].
Request for pay; "Gentlemen Please to give an Order to the Carer to receive the Seventeen for the Depreciation of my wages wilst I served in the Continental Army." [Included with Bradley document from November 21, 1781]
1782 January 11. Philip Burr Bradley Pr. DS to Connecticut Committee of the Pay-Table; Ridgfield, [Connecticut].
Receipt from the Pay-Table-Committee for payment of "Forty four pounds Two shillings and Nine pence it being the Balances due to…Green." [Included with Bradley document from November 21, 1781]
1782 July 22. [Quakers] Ms. Doc. [Philadelphia?].
List of free slaves living with or freed by Quakers; "A List of Free Negroes living in the Southern District, who live with Members of the Society or have been liberated by them." Includes names of African Americans, who liberated them, ages, places of residence, numbers and ages of children, and occupations.
1783 August 8. Dinah Archey Document to Sir Guy Carleton; New York.
Petition from black loyalist for relief from alleged master; she and her husband came to New York five years ago presumably as free people, but a man named William Fanncey claimed them as his slaves. She wrote, "[he] has taken her pays from her that he may prove his Property which she firmly believes he cannot."
84 July 3. Lachlan McIntosh ALS to John McIntosh; Skidway.
Expresses shock at news that one of John’s slaves committed suicide by hanging; "you should inquire Strictly…in your Overseers Management before the Mischief increased--Severity will by no means answer for these unfortunate Creatures..." Lachlan’s slave Frank has escaped, which has caused him much distress.
1784 August 31-September 1. New Jersey Council and General Assembly; William Livingston, Ephraim Harris, Maskell Ewing, and B. Reed DS to Peter Williams; New Jersey.
Act freeing Peter Williams, late the property of John Heard. Williams had been the property of a man who had "joined the enemies of the United States by going into their lines." Williams returned in 1780 and enlisted in the Continental Army. His owner's estate had been confiscated and Williams became the property of the state, and in reward for his services he has been manumitted.
1785 January 20. Select Men of Norwich, Connecticut DS to Joseph Backus; Norwich, [Connecticut].
Warning Backus, "Negro alias Fox," out of town
1786 November 6. Fredericksburg Justices of the Court DS to James Smock; Fredericksburg, [Virginia].
Binding Joseph, a free mulatto boy, as apprentice to James Smock; "to dwell and serve untill he arrives to the age of Twenty One Years…" Also lists Smock's obligations to Joseph, incuding clothing, washing, and schooling.
1787 March 19. Capt. Leguillon Document
[Note: Located in Oversize Manuscripts]
"Etat des Negres Vendus provenant de la Cargaison du Navire Negrier le Jeremie, Cap. Leguillon." Record of sale of 403 black men, women, and children, acquired on the Gold Coast and transported in the ship Jeremy .
1788 November 1. Isaac Shelby ALS to George Thompson; [Kentucky].
[Note: Located in the George Thompson papers]
Regarding unfairness of a law (under the Acts of Assembly of 1778 and 1785) that frees slaves brought into the state if their owner does not take an oath.
1789 November 24-25. New Jersey Council and General Assembly; William Livingston, John Beatty, Maskell Ewing, and B. Reed DS to Cato; New Jersey.
An act setting free Cato, formerly owned by David Fitz Randolph. Randolph had "joined the Enemies of the United States," and when he had done so his property (including Cato) was forfeited to the state. Cato "has rendered…services both to this State and the United States in the time of the late War," and is thus being given his freedom.
90 March 30. Richard Randolph, Jr. ALS to David Meade; Bizarre.
Dispute over ownership of a slave.
1793 January 30. Samuel Brown ALS to William Vernon; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Slave trade between New England, St. Eustatius, and Mozambique
1794 January 20. Manumission document.
Manumission certificate for Pompy Steward; the "Negro Slave named Pompy Steward, who on View and Examination, appears to us to be sound of mind and not under any Bodily incapacity to obtain a lively hood, and that he is not under Twenty-one years of age nor above Thirty-five."
1794 May 19. Sam[uel] Brown ALS to William Vernon; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Discussing their plans to send a vessel on a trading voyage to Africa. "I am in hopes that Mr Nagle will hear of the late Law of Congress respecting the Slave Trade…"
1794 September 27. James Pemberton DS to Edward Darlington.
Membership certificate in Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.
1794 December 22. S. Potter ALS to James D. Woolfe; Swansey, [England].
Concerning the slave trade route between southern states and Havana; "the act of Congress [the Slave Trade Act of 1794] alows the trade to George and the Southern States for Slaves, thear you can go with a cargo of Slaves without Braken the Act--and you can…make a Sham Sale and Carry your slaves to the Havana--with much less expense then you posibly can...from the W. Indies." Fears that peace will make the "guinea trade" less lucrative.
1795 June 20. Sam[uel] Hopkins ALS to Nathaniel Massie; Mecklenburg, [Kentucky].
Desires to move to Ohio if it will be a slave state; "I am making every preparation for A Removal of my Family, and Shall certainly fix on those Lands if the invidious restriction concerning Slaves can be done away. I wish you to exert yourself in procuring petitioners to endeavour to effect this at the Next congress."
1795 November 25. William Clarke ADS to John Swann; Powhatan County, [Virginia].
Division of slaves owned by Robert Hughes and inherited by Martha Goode and Ann Hughes. Goode's are worth 405 pounds, Hughes' are valued at 410 pounds.
95. Josa Dorsey DS to Frederick County, Maryland Justices; Frederick County, [Maryland].
Petition for freedom of Ignatius Shorter, slave to William Emmitt, because he is descended from a free white woman; "Ignatius..is held in slavery…altho' he is entitled to his freedom being descended of a pure white woman in the female line whose name was Elisabeth Shorter."
1796 November 30. Saint George Tucker ALS to Virginia House of Delegates Speaker; Williamsburg, [Virginia].
Requests that he be given the opportunity to present his dissertation concerning the gradual emancipation of slaves before the House; "To this…I have been stimulated by Motives, which to an enlightened Legislature will, I flatter myself, neither stand in need of illustration, or apology."
1797 March 11. Abolition Society DS to Ray Green, U.S. Attorney of Rhode Island; Providence, [Rhode Island].
Petition reporting illegal slave trade conducted by John Brown using the ship Hope . The ship "has been employed in a voyage to Africa for Slaves contrary to Law, of which we with notice taken as the Law directs for account and in behalf of the Abolition Society."
1797 April 10. William Tuck DS to Cato Freeman; [Gloucester, Massachusetts].
Citizenship papers for African-American Cato Freeman. He has produced for Tuck "proof, in the manner directed in the Act entitled An Act for the Relief and Protection of American Seamen, and, pursuant to the said Act, I do hereby certify, that the said Cato Freeman is a citizen of the United States of America."
1797 October 28. Framingham, Massachusetts Coroner and Jurors DS to ; Framingham, [Massachusetts].
Inquest on body of a black man, "Name unknown." Verdict: "in a deranged insane state of mind," committed suicide by hanging.
1799 October 25. Citizens of Le Cap, Haiti Cy; Le Cap, Haiti.
[Note: Original located in the Haiti collection]
Account of events leading up to the evacuation of white citizens from Le Cap under pressure from Black insurgents.
18th Century. John Chester ALS to William Jepson; Wethersfield, [Connecticut].
Request for medical care for a slave boy; "I have a Negro boy very Sick with a Complication of disorders." In addition, unless "he has immediate help and relief that he must soon die. This waits on you to request you to come and see the poor fellow…"
1800 October 11 to 1801 February 12. Orange County, Virginia Militia 4 DsS; Orange County, [Virginia].
Returns of services rendered by patrollers in Orange County, Virginia, as it relates to a possible slave revolt. They were appointed by the Orange County Militia and includes names, the amount of days and hours worked, and pay received.
1801 July 6. Lawrence Frank D to Jacques Lasselle; Detroit, Michigan.
[Note: Located in Oversize Manuscripts]
Indenture of Lawrence Frank, formerly Lasselle’s slave, to his old master
1803 April 29. [Ahlbin Michel?] Partially printed ALS to Henri Emery; Nouvelle-Orléans.
Soliciting business for his new company, formed in New Orleans. He lists the prices of various goods and remarks on the purchase and sale of slaves. [In French]
[1804 December 21]. William Owings AD to Adam Rider
Appointment of Rider to monitor Owings’ servants and slaves; "Rider agrees to look after…Owing's Servants and Negro Slaves as an Overseer for one year the time to commence from this day."
1806 August 27. William G. Blout DS to William King; Knox County, Tennessee.
Bill of sale for three slaves, Cupid, Sall, and Mary to William King of Sullivan County for $900.
[Before 1809 July]. Document; [Pennsylvania].
Notes regarding the trial of Peter Spangler and Barbara Spangler v. Job Packer . "Slander—'she had a mulatto child and is a whore & I can prove it'—spoken 1 March 1806—also—'she swore false'." Includes testimony from over twenty witnesses concerning Packer’s accusations about Barbara Spangler, her character as "a lewd or an abandoned woman," and her bearing a "mulatto child." Mentions a dispute between Packer and Spangler concerning stolen geese. Witnesses note their relationships to the disputants, where they heard Packer’s statements, and their understanding of Mrs. Spangler’s reputation. Comments on whether a witness is reliable and includes marginal marks, likely reflecting on the credibility of the testimony. Touches on rumor, sexual neglect in marriage, and references to possible abortifacients: "…about three months after they were married she had the child—it had short black curlery hair like the wool on a lamb—That she had worn an iron band round her body… to put the child out of the way."Includes a summary of the charges against Spangler, possibly directed to the jury. Name of William Petrikin (1761?-1821) appears on final page.
1810 August 17. William Cummins ADS; Richmond, [Virginia?].
Announcing sale of a slave named Lucy as payment of her master’s debt.
1812 March 26. Great Britain, Prince Regent in Council Doc. and Pr. Doc. [London, England].
Orders to prevent the clandestine slave-trade in Trinidad.
1812 June 8. Samuel Wermore ALS to Norwich, Connecticut Selectmen; Middletown, [Connecticut].
Request for Norwich selectmen to pay for the expense of an infant of an African-American resident of theirs left "on expense" in Middletown; "A Black woman by name Sally Clark, who says she belongs to Norwich has left an infant child now on expense to this town, this is to request you to marke suitable inquiry and if she belongs to you, you be pleased to take it away, and pay the expense..."
1812 August 21. F. Beall Partially printed receipt; Geo[rgetown, Washington, D.C.].
[Note: Original located in the Duane Norman Diedrich collection]
and tax payment. The partially printed portion includes costs for horses, and for slaves above 12 and 16 years old. These lines have been crossed out on this document.
1813 May 29. James Craig ALS to William Meredith; Baltimore, [Maryland].
Regarding an account against Sophia Elizabeth Feranze, a mulatto who is in debt to Craig; "here you have inclosed…an attested Acct. against, Sophia Elizabeth Feranze." She lives with a French sailor and spent some time in Havana and now lives in Philadelphia; "take good Security for She is as slippery as an eel..."
1813 June 19. James Craig ALS to William Meredith; Baltimore, [Maryland].
Regarding an account against Sophia Elizabeth Feranze, a mulatto who is in debt to Craig; he has attempted to locate her house but "cannot obtain any other information than she lives with a…french man" who lived in Havana and is now a tailor.
1814 April 23. Richard Bland Lee Cy. to Fredericksburg, Virginia Superior Court of Chancery; Fredericksburg, [Virginia].
Statement by Lee, defendant in Rowan vs. Lee, regarding slaves purchased from Henry Lee [his brother]; includes a signed affadavit stating that Richard Lee paid Henry Lee $2000 for eleven slaves.
1815 February 13. S[tephen] Chase ALS to Stephen Chase; Baltimore, Maryland.
[Note: Located in the Duane Norman Diedrich collection]
Son's letter to his father, regarding previously requested advice on a commission in the army. Discussion of Maryland troops and business in Baltimore versus that in Maryland. Chase dislikes the "negroes and political sentiments of the Inhabitants of Baltimore." Celebrations in Baltimore in response to news of peace.
1815 February 23. James G. Almy ALS to John C. Almy; Savannah, [Georgia].
[Note: Located in the War of 1812 collection]
Regarding preparations to defend Savannah; moving women, children, books, and papers out of harm's way. Almy states that he has been in poor health, but that he would have been ready to fight, except for the news of "peace since Cockburn took St. Mary's". He further notes that the loss of "a large slave population and fear of a general insurrection has caused us a great solicitude and anxiety - upwards of 600 prime slaves have been taken off by those ruffians, and enormities committed that would disgrace Cossacks or barbarians."
1818 May 30. Fredericksburg, Virginia Overseers of the Poor DS to William Lewis; Fredericksburg, [Virginia].
Binding Henry Olenger, a poor 15-year old African-American boy, to Lewis as an apprentice to learn the trade of cooper until Olenger "shall come to the age of Twenty one years according to the Act of the General Assembly…"
1819 March 4. Fredericksburg, Virginia Overseers of the Poor DS to Thomas Crossley; Fredericksburg, [Virginia].
Binding Moses, an African-American boy, to be an apprentice under Crossley to learn the trade of a mariner.
1820 February 20. Ira Moore Barton ALS to Nathaniel Helme; Providence, [Rhode Island].
Discusses fellow classmates from Brown, opinions on the extension of slavery to the territories; he inquires "what the Virginians say about the great Missouri question…for my part, I think that Congress had better admit all new States upon an equal footing with the original States." Refers to the country as "Uncle Sam's powerful family."
1820 November 28. Charles Anderson Wickliffe ALS to Lewis Null; Frankfort, [Kentucky].
Regarding the sale of an enslaved woman who was found to have been diseased, rescinding the contract; "the negro was sent down the River to be sold as she would not sell where this was known."
1821 January 6. James C. Hornblower ALS to Rosanna Stone; Newark, New Jersey.
Acknowledges receipt of her letter "covering a ten dollar Bill as a further contribution for the benefit of the African School under the Care of the Synod of New York and New Jersey." States that "Africans have capacity to learn as well as hearts to love." Disappointment Missouri entered the Union as a slave state, discusses the impact of Christian schools on the colored populace, like the Female African Society in Union, Ohio.
1821 January 30. John Slidell ALS to Samuel F. Jarvis; New York [City, New York].
Confusion regarding Jarvis’s aunt’s will and details about settling her estate. Details on his aunt’s servants, accusing "Black Helen" of being an "artful thief"; notes her manumission from slavery. Brief notes on books.
1821 November 23. John Gill DS to William Daley; Baltimore, [Maryland].
Affidavit of freedom for William Daley.
1822 September 2. Zachariah Walker and Tench Ringgold DS; Washington, D.C.
[Note: Located in the Duane Norman Diedrich collection]
Seizure of Zachariah Walker's property, including slaves James Brown and Milly, by Ringgold in virtue of a writ of fieri facias.
1822 September 10. Manuscript to Joshua Whitehall; [Virginia].
"Address to the Youth of the United States" entitled "Goodness and Greatness hostile to Slavery--" Essay on the injustice of slavery, rejects the value of expanding slavery into Missouri, and urges young people to support liberty, not slavery.
1822 September 20. John Hutchinson DS; Jefferson County, Ohio.
Includes depositions from a slander case in which Hutchinson accuses William McCurdy of telling others that Hutchinson had impregnated Elizabeth Nelson, an African American woman
1822 September 27. Hamilton and Hood DS to Hollingshead, Clayton; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
[Note: Located in the Hamilton and Hood papers]
Receipt for various items, including butter, lard, and a line for "negro hire."
1823 January 4. Thomas Rhett Smith DS to William Lenox Kirkland; South Carolina.
Bill of slave for 19 slaves for the sum of $6,840.
1823 June 28. Unidentified AMs
"Comments of the immediate emancipation of the slaves"; condemns the institution for the way it callouses the heart and consigns the "sons of Africa…to all the horrors of Southern slavery."
1823 July 26. Unidentified AMs
"Was the banishment of Buonaparte to the Island of St. Helena justifiable?"
1823 August 24. Thomas Clarkson ALS to John Gibson; Pernith, [England].
Personal thanks to Gibson and the Whitehaven Committee [on the abolition of slavery] He plans on traveling to see Gibson and would like to meet a few members of the committee in a private room during his short visit. Extols what "your little Committee at Whitehaven have done to our common cause."
1823 November 22. Thomas Clarkson ALS to Unidentified; Brighton, [England].
Effort to organize committees for emancipation throughout the British empire; "I have been engaged for some months on a Tour in behalf of the 'radical abolition of slavery in the Dutch Colonies.'" Voices his intent on sending more petitions to Parliament and establishing committees in every county in the Kingdom to distribute antislavery books that would contribute to this purpose.
1824 May. American Colonization Society; New York, [New York].
Circular articulating the aims of Colonization Society and requests for donations; "the pioneers have located the colony, begun the settlement, and are now ready to receive colonists." [Monstserado, Liberia] Includes handwritten note addressed to Rev. Chapin of Wethersfield-Rocky Hill, Connecticut, requesting that he preach on the nation's birthday that there are 1.5 million slaves in the country.
1824 December 29-30. New Jersey Council and General Assembly DS; New Jersey.
Resolutions for gradual emancipation, and that they be communicated to several state legislatures and the U.S. Congress; "the evil of Slavery is a national one and that the people and the state of this Union ought mutually to participate in the duties and burdens of removing it."
1825 August 30. Lindley Murray ALS to Elizabeth Heyrick; Holgate, [England].
The Quaker grammarian and moralist gives his opinion against immediate emancipation in the West Indies; "such a measure, would ultimately prove destruction of both the Whites and the Blacks, and the total ruin of the cause, in which we are engaged." However, he believes that Heyrick could publish a "plausible and humane" work on the subject and requests that she send him two copies of the work.
1826 September 26. Fredericksburg, Virginia Overseers of the Poor DS to George Cox; Fredericksburg, [Virginia].
Binding Betsey, a free African-American girl, to Cox as his apprentice to learn the art of housekeeping until she has reached the age of 21.
1828 January 25. Charles Miner ALS to Enoch Lewis; Washington, [D.C.].
Miner, a U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, offers opinions and information on colonization: 1808 abolition of slave trade has not worked, the possibility of sending Africans to Cuba.
1828 June 2. John Anderson and Nathaniel Wilson 3 Ds to George Alderson.
Sale of slave Caroline by Samuel Bowling to George Alderson for $200.
1828 October 20. Ralph R. Gurley ALS to Thomas H. Gallaudet, Office of the Colonization Society; Washington, [D.C.].
Account of 'Prince' [Abdul Rahman], an escaped slave, who claimed Moorish ancestry was a way to secure his liberation and eventual journey back to Africa.
1828 November 28. Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society ADf to George Murray; [London, England].
Regarding Methodist missionaries and recent "Nevis Marriage Act"; the act reads that "It is expedient to encourage the Celebration of…Marriages among the Slaves of this Island, and, as forces can be, abolish the irreligious mode of living together between the sexes." Requests that the Methodist missionaries living in Nevis be granted the right to sanction slave marriages.
1828 December 6. Horace Twiss LS to James Townley
Slave marriage [With November 28, 1828]
[ca. 1828]. Anonymous [John Russwurm?] AMs; [Bowdoin College, Maine].
School essay on Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution.
1830 March 8. John Russell Document to George Buist; South Carolina.
A freeman’s bond.
1830 August 12. George Henry French et al. Document; St. Vincent.
[Note: Located in Oversize Manuscripts]
This oversized deed for a plantation on St. Vincent includes a list over over 200 slaves, divided by gender and listed by name, race, age and profession.
1830 December 20. Lucy Townsend and Mary S. Lloyd ALS to Female Antislavery Society of Philadelphia; West Bromwich, England.
[Note: Located in the Elizabeth M. Chandler papers]
Poem about a slave.
1831 September 19. Gilbert Austin ALS to James Austin; Richmond, Virginia.
Recent slave purchases and prices and local reaction to Nat Turner’s Southampton Insurrection; "negroes making the attempt to arise in Southampton County about 60 miles below hear are all suppressed…50 or 60 they killed in all of the whites 64 mostly women and children..." Rumors of another insurrection in North Carolina have been dispelled.
1831 October 5. George Reid and Eliza Reid ALS to William Moultrie Reid; Charleston, [South Carolina].
Reaction to Nat Turner’s Rebellion; "I perceive by the tenor of your letter, that the most exaggerated and unfounded reports have reached your town, and caused much unnecesary excitement among you." The source of the hysteria is the Turner rebellion and some arrests made in North Carolina. They are alert but "feel little or no apprehension."
1832 April 11. Thomas Butler ALS to Mathew Carey; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
Expresses satisfaction at Carey's pamphlet, "Reflections on the Causes that led to the Formation of the Colonization Society," [Carey hated nullification but favored tariffs to save Union] and asks if he has sent it to those who "profess the Doctrine of Nullification." Regarding the American Colonization Society and fear of disunion in U.S.; "Colonization offers the only Hope that this Country can have..."
1833 April 1. Elliott Cresson ALS to M[atthew] Carey; Cavers, Scotland.
Plea to raise anti-slavery spirit in Pennsylvania, hopes containment of slavery will speed emancipation. Discusses friction between U.S. and British antislavery leaders, mentions his failure to arouse public support for colonization within Great Britain; harshly criticizes Garrison.
1833 May 22. John Beecham ADfS to Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby; Wesleyan Mission House [London, England].
Inclosing draft of memorial from the Wesleyan Missionary Society Gen. Committee to Edward Stanley and praises the House of Commons for its recent announcement of the "Entire Abolition of Colonial Slavery." Argues the necessity for Parliament legislating that Afro-Carribeans be given religious freedom in the colonies, and that the persecution of missionaries end.
1834 August 10. Banque des citoyens de la Louisiane DS; St. Jacques Parish, [St. James Parish, Louisiana].
Property valuation of Michel Bergeron with slaves’ names and ages. Shows listing of 50 male, female, and baby slaves, names, ages, as well as estimations for the value of slave cabins, bails of corn, mules, and horses. [In French]
1834 December 18. Charles Colcock Jones ALS to Clark Perry; Riceboro, Liberty County, Georgia.
Concerning the religious education of slaves; "The Negroes...continue to manifest a decided interest," and the Sabbath Schools have done well. "I have never had any doubt of the ultimate notice and success of efferts to Christianize the Negroes of the Southern States, and I see on every hand the public mind waking up to the Subject."
[1834 to 1835]. Harriet Martineau ALS to Benjamin Bussey Thatcher.
Discusses African colonization and the question of slavery. Mentions his reading of "the Memoir," presumably Thatcher's 1834 Memoir of S. Osgood Wright, a Liberian missionary, and the feasibility of sending white missionaries to go "where they are almost certain to die before they can achieve any good."
1835 April 19. Seymour Allen ALS to Jonathan C. Allen; Copiah County, Mississippi.
Discusses his negative views on slavery, the manner in which slaves in the area are treated, and the punishment of runaway slaves; "Slavery is the most abominable thing that America tolerates…"
1835 April. Charles Stuart ALS to Gerrit Smith
Concerning colonization and the connections between religion, church and antislavery; "Colonization…embodied in the Colonization Society, is actually the chief stumbling block in the way of the direct pursuit of immediate emancipation."
1835 September 2. E[dward] S[trutt] Abdy ALS to W[illiam] Tait; London, [England].
Discusses politics and racism in the United States; Abdy thanks Tait for reviewing his book [Journal of a Residence and Tour in the United States of North America]. Predicts a possible civil war if issues surrounding slavery are not resolved; "The property qualification of the Southern section and the personal qualification of the other must some day come into fatal collision..."
1835 September 30. Benjamin Lundy ALS to George Kimball; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
Lundy, a Quaker abolitionist, sends information on plan for a freeman’s colony in Mexico [in the province of Texas]. "These papers will give…a pretty good idea of the country, as well as my plan of operations…"
1836 September 6. Jane A. T. Ramsay ADS to Henry Rowe; Washington, D.C.
Certificate of Manumission; Ramsay, from "the Town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia," declares her "mulatto boy Henry Rowe to be free" in two years.
1837 February 18. Elizur Wright ALS to William M. Chace; New York.
Introducing William L. Chaplin, who has been appointed an agent to the American Anti-Slavery Society and new on the lecture circuit; Successes of lecturer Henry Brewster Stanton, abolitionist and social reformer, in the Boston area.
1838 February 9. A[ndrew] P[ickens] Butler ALS to F[rancis] W[ilkinson] Pickens; Charleston, [South Carolina].
Working to acquire documents relative to Huguenots in South Carolina. Unsettled by the "abolition question" in Washington, DC, and the "true designs of the nonslaveholding states." Comments on disunion and secession. "In a few years agrarian vulgarity will govern the north—The kitchen is destined to rule the parlor." Brief mention of "persons from the country" coming to Charleston for the races.
1838 June 23, 1838 June 25, and 1838 June 30. McImaray, Sandbach and Co. ALS to Sandbach, Trime and Co.; Demerara, [Guyana].
Problems with labor supply because of abolition of apprenticeship in Demerara [Guyana].
1838 June 30. E.J. MacGregor, Governor of Barbados Cy to George Fitzgerald Hill, Lt. Governor of Tobago; Barbados.
Includes dispatches from the Secretary of State for the Colonial Department [Charles Grant, 1st Baron Glenelg] regarding the seizure of vessels carrying on slave trade between Africa and Brazil under the Portuguese flag. Vessels built in Brazil illegally sailed under Portuguese flag and continuing the slave trade defied the Treaty between Great Britain and Brazil for the Suppression of the Slave Trade. Colonial authorities instructed to seize any such vessels and take them to court.
1838 July 13. McImray, Sandbach and Co. ALS to Sandbach, Trime and Co.; Demerara, [Guyana].
Regarding labor and the apprenticeship abolition act in Demerara; "the negroes having been quite alive to all that has been going on…for the last two or three weeks." $15 per month, including provisions (not clothing), is new wage proposed to laborers, and that laborers will not be happy with receiving part of their wages as food. Describes laborers as "whimsical" and that wages will not be agreed upon until the "feelings" of the laborers are clearer.
 July 26 to  November 19 . John Zug Manuscript; Pennsylvania.
"Journal of an agent of the Pennsylvania Colonization Society"; describes his travels through Pennsylvania to give lectures, collect money, and urge locals to form their own societies. Zug reports on the level of interest in colonization that he encounters in various towns, notes meeting abolitionists and opponents of colonization. Also notes the presence of African-Americans in his audiences.
1838 August 23. Benjamin Lundy ALS to Thomas Gregg; Cincinnati, [Ohio].
Working with state anti-slavery society. Colleagues in Illinois will have to assist him if he is to continue conducting a weekly publication; they talk a lot but he needs "something more." Refers to the "Genius of Universal Emancipation" that he intends to publish.
1838 September 30. McImray, Sandbach and Co. ALS to Sandbach, Trime and Co.; Demerara, [Guyana].
Concerning economic changes due to the abolition of apprenticeship in Demerara. Discusses the quality and cost of supplies of shoes and bread received for African-Guyanese laborers.
1838-1841. Manuscript journal entries.
Journal entries regarding mob violence in Philadelphia. Mobs have burned Pennsylvania Hall [built the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society and having stood for three days] and an orphanage for African Americans, which "was saved from total destruction by the opposing intrepidity of Alderman McMichael and a few other Citizens."
 and 1838 August 17. William Lloyd Garrison ALsS to William A. Wallace; Roxbury and Concord, New Hampshire.
Concerning the destruction of a racially integrated school for "black and white scholars" in New Canaan, Connecticut, by the local community. Writes that townspeople angered by whites and blacks socializing together described school as a nuisance and insisted upon its removal. Also includes Wallace’s response and what appear to be Garrison’s later reflections on the event.
1839 March 1. William Lloyd Garrison, Maria Weston Chapman, and Edmund Quincy LS to John Smith; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Statement of claims and wants of the New England Non-Resistance Society. The executive committee voted to send out letters to all persons "known to have adopted the principles of non resistance." Espouses the Society’s religious view of social ills and call for "holy warfare." Requested that recipients pledge money to the Society.
1839. Inhabitants of the town of Lenox, Massachusetts; DS to Senate and House of the United States; Lenox, Massachusetts.
Petition, with 45 signatures, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia.
1840 March 15. Emma May Roath ALS to Mary E. Bulkeley; Norwich, [Connecticut].
Recounts incident of a black servant who told of his mistreatment and resulting anger of local blacks and abolitionists against his master.
1840 April 17. T. J. Winchell ALS to Madison Winchell; Albany, [New York].
Comments on Madison’s activities in Cuba, favoring it to "this land of Liberty… whiggery & Abolitionism." Practice of saving money. Jokes. Brief notes on New York elections, racial intermarriage, and "The Great Belgian Giant" and other shows and exhibitions.
1840 July 28. A. Willey ALS to John E. Godfrey; Hallowell, [Maine].
Election of 1840 and slavery; "We have...taken the ground from the first that we were bound by our principles, and by truth itself to give our political power to the slave, and that in so doing we did our country the highest service." Notes the "trying state of the antislavery cause" and outlines the antislavery belief that "slavery is sin." Discusses the mercurial actions of the Whig Party.
1840 August 14. A. Willey ALS to John E. Godfrey; Hallowell, [Maine].
Election of 1840 and slavery "Gen. Harrison has lately developed himself as…pro-slavery as any man in This nation." Contends that abolitionists electioneering for Harrison were committing "moral suicide" and mocking religion itself. Proposes a plan to make the most of the abolitionist vote.
1840 October 17. Julia ALS to Caroline Morgan; [postmarked Augusta, Georgia].
Recounts her experiences of slavery during a visit to her brother, Fredrick, in Augusta, Georgia. Slaves are the biggest hindrance to the enjoyment of life; "I have attempted to treat with them as we do with servants at the North, but they are degraded beings, so entirely dependent upon others..." Julia described slavery as the "curse of this country", reports that her brother employs an enslaved family.
1840 November 6. Jacob Smalley, William G. Hedges, and William P. Payne; Nicholas County, [Kentucky].
Estate inventory for the late Jno. Bradley. Lists debts owed to individuals. Lists various household goods and their values, including "1 Indian tomahawk." Includes farm equipment and tools, livestock, and crops, indicating a sizeable farm. Notes the names, ages, and valuation of seventeen slaves, most of them children, including one "suckling child," amounting to $8,050 of his estate’s total worth of $14,024.15. Signed by D. L. Bradley, certifying that all of John Bradley’s property and notes have been supplied.
1841 February 8. William B. Stephenson ALS to Otho Scott; Hartford County, [Maryland].
Difficulties of laws and punishments for runaway slaves; consequences too lax for blacks who are enslaved for a specific number of years and "elope" before their service expires. "Would it not be right to make the act of running away, the forfeiture of their freedom, and when reclaimed to be sold to the highest bidder…" He plans to petition the legislature to change the law.
1841 February 16. George W. Benson ALS to Charles Perry; Brooklyn, [New York].
Regarding the General Assembly session of Rhode Island, which Perry attended with an anti-slavery petition. "We are much engaged at this time in getting up a [antislavery] convention for the eastern section of this State to be held in Willimantic [Connecticut]." The friends in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, raised fifty dollars for the American [Anti-Slavery] Society, and funds from friends in England helped save the "National Anti-Slavery Standard" from folding.
1841 May 7. Dinah Rollins ALS to Samuel Coues; Portsmouth.
Freed woman requests loan of fifty dollars for one year; "I am about to enter on an important business, which will bring me in a large sum of money but I cannot commence without a considerable sum to set out with." Her master taught her how to earn a living, and that if he had survived, she never would have left his family. Writes that Coues believes that "all colours have an equal right."
1841 September 1. Charles Stewart Renshaw ALS and printed circular to J.M. Ward; Oberlin, [Ohio].
Offers news regarding brothers Dougherty, Mahan, Morgan, and Parsons. Includes mentions of Theodore Weld. This letter is written on a 2-page printed circular letter from C. Stewart Renshaw "to the Friends of the Colored Race," requesting benevolent donations for his proposed missionary activity in Jamaica. He states that the two hindrances to "civilization, education, morals, and religion" among freed slaves are "native preachers" and rum.
1841 December 29. Louis Sheridan ALS to Benjamin Hornor Coates; Bassa Cove, Liberia.
Anger over conditions of colonization in Liberia, missionaries at the root of problems in Liberia; "Those Ministers of Religion as you are pleased to call them must be Stripped of the means they have of setting an example of indolent leisure before our Colonists..." This will negatively influence the Negroes. Ladies attended by boys and girls "affect the style and ape the manner of the their former masters."
1842 January 10 Nathan Chapman ALS to "son"
Discusses work with his church and their disputes with him, comparing them to "some patients [who] dislike the medison and find fault with the Doctor and would follow their own notions." Notes church members not wanting to have records of their meeting with him to discuss disagreements, and Elders helping him to set up meetings. Advises his son on negotiating his anti-slavery stance and his relationship with his church. "Be verry cautious in all you say and do on the Abolition subject give your enemies no chance to take advantage of anything But plead the cause of the slave on all proper occasions but keep united among yourselves." Includes a copied letter from Nathan Chapman to Deacon Harvey Edward, dated January 19, 1842, regarding his hesitation to condemn slaveholding. Comments on disputes within the church surrounding slaveholding. Worried about church leaders facing pressure to condone slavery in order to gain members, and wishes they would settle disputes "on bible principals." Urges the deacon to plead "the cause of the oppressed and urging the church to come out against sin," hoping that he does not "regard your connexion with the slaveholder at the south of more consequence than the fellowship of your brethren at home."
[1842 August 25?]. Elihu Burritt Partial AL to [Mr. Fechem and Mr. Harlow]; [Troy, New York]
Final page of a letter. Writes of the dissolving of strong bonds, casting blame on the current debt repudiation crisis. "Why has that snaky… beggarly, meeching, craven, cowardly spirit Repudiation ; that unshapen loathsome thing, which was exiled from the pit, and cashiered by vices of a higher pedigree; why has this gigantic reptile twined its slimy length around whole masses of our nation." Comments on slavery and its hypocrisy. "When our forefathers published to the world a prospectus of a goverernment which was based upon an universal equality, how was this great principle amended by a qualifying byelaw, a peculiar institution, which affirmed that this is a land of freedom to all but slaves !"
1843 March 4. Doc. to Jonathan Page; Merrimack County, New Hampshire.
Summons to Jonathan Page for spreading rumors"falsely and maliciously" about Maria J. Kimball: that she had illicit intercourse with a black man, had been impregnated, then traveled to Boston for an abortion. The document extolls her character throughout, though she has been "held up-exposed and brought into public infamy..." and also liable to be prosecuted for the crime of fornication.
1843 April 23. Charlotte W.C. Coves ALS to Nathaniel Rogers; Portsmouth, [New Hampshire].
Recalls meeting Rogers, editor of the Herald of Freedom, some years previous; she looks up to him as her anti-slavery "father." Mentions the building of a Temperance Hall and a letter published in the newspaper that describes the "native power of the negro race" asking "could white men have so toiled day and night for fifteen long years?" Describes hearing Mr. Peabody preach about the responsibility of Northerners to end slavery.
1843 August 22. Manuscript minutes; Syracuse, [New York].
Minutes of an abolitionists' meeting at the Congregational Church. Charles A. Wheaton was elected to attend a convention at Buffalo, a call was made for contributions to assist a female fugitive slave on her way to Canada, and a committee was established to bring in names of persons for county officers.
1843 September 6. Friends of Temperance ADS; [Baltimore, Maryland]
Resolutions passed by the Friends of Temperance in memory of John Zug, including an acknowledgement of the services he rendered to the community and the group's intention to "cherish a lively sense of his many virtues" and participate in his funeral procession.
1843 September 20. Washington Temperance Society ADS; Baltimore, [Maryland].
Resolutions passed in memory of John Zug, including that the Society will cherish his memory, send condolences to his family and friends, and "the Hall of the Society be put in mourning for thirty days."
1843 November 22. ALS to James Gordon Bennett; Brownsville, Tennessee.
The writer wishes to serve as a Tennessee correspondent for the New York Herald. He describes the murder of Thomas Branch (and the dragging of his corpse behind a horse) by slaves Sip, Willis, Buck, and Jordon. He also relates information about the cotton crops for the years 1839 to 1842, plus speculations for 1843.
1844 February 28. Fanny ALS to Caroline E. Mackay; Concord, [Massachusetts].
Discussion of interest of Lydia M. Child and the townspeople of Concord in the abolition cause. Notes that "Our good Towns-People are much interested in the Aboliton Cause. All seem to be affected either on one side or the other, none are indifferent."
1844 March 1. Thomas M. Rhett DS to Sarah D. Grimké; Charleston, [South Carolina].
[Note: Located in the Weld-Grimké family papers]
Bill of Sale of 15 slaves for "seven thousand six hundred dollars, with interest…" Document is damaged but includes names of several of the slaves.
1844 May 8-1844 May 23. Elihu Gunn ALS to Avery D. Hubbard; Hamilton, New York.
[Note: Located in the Blandina Diedrich collection]
Gunn, writing from the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, writes about his studies, his Prussian friend, previous education at Oberlin, and the anticipated hardships that will accompany foreign missionary work. He also offers his views on Millerism, abolition, and the 1844 Presidential election. "I hope the time will soon come when those who profess to be the friends of the slave will be willing to show the sincerity of their profession at the ballot". He notes that faculty at Hamilton are not allowed to have an antislavery society at the institution.
1844 July 3. Adams County, Mississippi Citizens DS to Adams County, Mississippi Board of Police; Natchez, [Mississippi].
Recommendation for Eliza Smith, a free woman, and request that she be granted residence in Adams County; "we have Known Eliza Smith a mulatto woman a free person of Color...and Know that she is of good moral character, and therefore pray that your...body may grant her...permission to reside in said County upon her Complying with the law respecting free Persons of Color."
1844 September 1 . Thomas Clarkson ALS; Suffolk, England.
Delighted that "our holy cause is rapidly gaining ground in your Country, " but disturbed to hear that Friends are indifferent to slavery. "This Intelligence has cut me to the quick...I believe I shall mourn over it as a long as I live." Describes history of Quaker involvement in antislavery cause. Also mentions receiving a book form Maria Weston Chapman in Boston entitled the "Liberty Bell," which he wrote a piece for.
1844 November 20. F.A. Thompson ALS to G.W. McMillan; Lane Seminary, Walnut Hills, Ohio.
Regarding missionary work; anticipates approval to go to India and East Africa as a missionary, and they need more missionaries to travel to Southeast Africa. Recently preached that more ministers should go south to preach to slaveholders. Says that "I am racked, and tormented on the subject of slavery" and that he boarded with a reverend who was "as hot as all the Abolition fires can make him." Dr. [Lyman] Beecher is in Indiana to ordain his son [Charles Beecher].
1844 December 7. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Elizabethtown, [New York].
Advice not to join the Methodist church because so many members own slaves; "In the Methodist Episcopal Church, there are said to be more than three thousand ministers [and] twenty five thousand who hold slaves…Such characters I do not regard as Christians, but thieves and robbers in the worst sense of those words." He separated from the Presbyterian Church because it was "stained with slavery," writes on the elections of 1844 and 1848.
1845 January 23. E. H. Stow ALS to Robert Darragh; Washington, [Pennsylvania].
Danger and demoralization of party politics over slavery and disunion. Discusses the fall of other civilizations and laments the potential fracture of the country; "The dissolution of this Union would be the dissolution of my every hope of American Greatness."
[ca. January 1845]. Lewis Tappan, William Whiting, and William Mowrey Pr. LS to N.R. Chapman; Albany, [New York].
Seeking support for the Albany Patriot , published by the Albany Liberty Party Convention. They need to purchase a press "and the necessary fixtures to establish an office in which the Patriot can be printed." Tappan has suggested selling $1000 of antislavery books at a discount and give half of the profits to Jackson to sustain the "Patriot," and asks that supporters of anti-slavery purchase these books. Includes LS from Jackson asking Chapman to buy some of Tappan's books.
1845 March 22. Cassius Marcellus Clay ALS to A. M. Sannary; Lexington, Kentucky.
Asks for help in capturing an escaped slave, Emily, whom he believes has poisoned his son. She is presumably on her way to Ohio; "If you are acquainted with any of the abolitionists in a habit of assisting…slaves will you be so kind as to write to them that this girl is a murderer and flies not from slavery but justice." Offers $150 to anyone, black or white, if caught in Ohio or $500 if taken in Canada. Wants her caught because of her "evil example" and to thwart enemies trying to keep her from punishment.
1845 April. L. Munsell ALS to N.R. Chapman; Indianapolis, [Indiana].
Recounts the struggle he and James G. Birney had publishing antislavery tracts during their attempt to emancipate Kentucky. Seeks support to organize a Liberty Party convention to produce a "revolution in public sentiment on the subject of Slavery..." Was "sadly disappointed" by proslavery sentiment in Indiana. Munsell lost all of his professional patrons when he left the Whig Party and joined the Liberty Party in 1840, and states that the Liberty Party organized the "Indiana Freeman."
1845 May. Nathaniel Baxter, Attorney General of Maury County, Tennessee ADS; Maury County, Tennessee.
Regarding the charge that Clarissa, a free black woman, is guilty of keeping a house of ill repute; she "unlawfully did keep and maintain a certain common ill governed and disorderly house…" In addition, " in the said house for the...gain of her the said Clarissa certain persons as well men as women of evil name and of dishonest conversation...willfully did cause and procure to frequent and come together... misbehaving themselves."
1845 June 3. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Eliza S. St. Clair; Moriah, [New York].
Letter from Alanson, a Unitarian minister and antislavery advocate, to his wife. Expresses his melancholy; "when I am away from you, alone, and so sad, that I can neither rest days nor sleep nights, then, I know how low to sympathize with you."
1845 July 5. William Jackson DS to Hezekiah McWhiteker; Harrison County, Kentucky.
Bill of sale for a slave named Nelson, about 24 years old, for $600 to McWhiteker, "his heirs excecutors and adminstraters for ever."
1845 July 12. Clarissa Mitchell and Thomas E. Mahan DS; Maury County, Tennessee.
Document to Mitchell "a free woman of colour" and Mahan regarding a $500 fine ($250 paid by each) for keeping a house of ill repute. Document also states that Mitchell will appear at the Market house in Columbia, Tennessee, on the first Monday after the fourth Monday in August to answer the indictment brought against her for keeping a "bawdie house."
1845 July 30. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Eliza S. St. Clair; Lake Erie, Steamboat Chesapeake.
Letter describing his steamboat travels through the Great Lakes; says that he is "now in the west" upon reaching Cleveland. Expresses loneliness. His last entry is written from Detroit, which he describes as "the capitol of Michigan...a very compact Little City built in Clay. It looks new and flourishing, and is, doubtless destined to be quite a commercial Emporium."
1845 August. Nathaniel Baxter ADS; Maury County, Tennessee.
Document regarding the indictment of "Harrison a free person of color" who "with force and arms" attempted to persuade certain slaves to leave their owners; with note "We find the Defendant not guilty."
1845 September 10. Christopher P. Wolcott ALS to Enos P. Brainerd; Ravenna, Ohio.
[Note: Located in the Thomas Beauvais collection]
Corresponding secretary of the Portage County Anti-Slavery Society writes to Brainerd, a candidate for public office. He sends questions relating to Brainerd's positions on slavery-related issues (admission of slave states into the Union, black suffrage amendment, etc.).
1845 September 17. Enos P. Brainerd ALS to Christopher P. Wolcott; Randolph, Ohio.
[Note: Located in the Thomas Beauvais collection]
To the corresponding secretary of the Portage County Anti-Slavery Society. Brainerd responds to Wolcott's letter, offering an antislavery position on all of the society's queries.
1845 October 21. William Wirt ALS to Lawrence Washington; Baltimore, [Maryland].
Arranging sale of a slave mother and seven children to Mr. Slatter, "a negro buyer." Lists the names and ages of slaves, as well as speculates on the amount each one will sell for. He writes that the children "at this valuation are presumed to be healthy" and estimates that he will earn a total of $1,725 for their sale. the agent of a slave buyer named Mr. Donoven will Wirt’s slaves and take them to Richmond to sell if Wirt does not sell them to Washington.
1845 December 1. John J. Williams DS Orange, [Connecticut].
[Note: Included with Jacob Sanders, December 19, 1845]
Deposition identifying Francis Cisco as an escaped slave from New Jersey; he "saw him often on Hollidays, somewhat older than myself Know his Grandparents & knew him…untill he left the state & also knew his Master…"
1845 December 2. John Rankin ALS to Rev. A. S. Rankin; Ripley, [Ohio].
Two men, Dr. Beasley and D. P. Evans, tried to dismiss him as pastor but church members signed a petition to keep him. His presbytery will leave its present connection "unless slaveholders shall be excluded" from the constitutional body; they would have left the Assembly if the Synod had not suspended Graham. They would not send a representative until the Assembly reformed its position on slavery.
1845 December 19. Jacob Sanders DS; New Haven, [Connecticut].
[Note: Included with John Williams, December 1, 1845]
Deposition concerning the escaped slave Francis Cisco; he claims to have seen "Francis Cisco who now I understand is in West Haven in this State I saw him here in this City about a year since…I Know he belongs in that State [New Jersey]."
1846 January 31. Benjamin Salter ALS to William Salter; St. Lawrence, [North Carolina].
Letter to his brother about the separation of whites and blacks at communion in a letter describing Noyes’ travels; they "communed in the morning it was administered to the whites…I should have liked it better if it had been administered to the col[ore]d after the whites."
1846 February 23. Isaac Stearns ALS to John Selee; Mansfield, [Massachusetts].
Abolitionist analysis of the Democratic Party, the presidential election of 1844, the admission of Texas to the Union, and John P. Hale [a U.S. Congressman from New Hampshire] He has enclosed a book that he wrote on the Democrats and slavery.
1846 August 21. Joseph Carpenter ALS to Esther P. Titus; New Rochelle, [New York].
Requesting help in obtaining clothing for poor black children that he was able to get into a local school, including a bonnet for a seven-year old girl. Expresses that he has been hesitant to make this request because he did not want to overburden Titus; "perhaps I had better state that the children above alluded to are of the almost universally despised colored class" and hopes to remove "every reasonable objection to them..."
1846 August 23. Anonymous manuscript note.
Note announcing that a fugitive slave from New Orleans will be giving his narrative in the evening. Verso: note regarding a breaking and entry case.
 January 30. Nathaniel [Peabody Rogers] ALS to Mary P[orter] Rogers; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Attended anti-slavery meetings at the State House and Faneuil Hall, Boston. Mentions a speech made by "Slave Douglass" [presumably Frederick], about 4000 people attended the Faneuil Hall meeting.
1847 January. William Davis and Emeline Davis ALS to Margaret T. Davis; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
Mentions a concert of the Hutchinson family at the Musical find Hall was shut down by the mayor of Philadelphia [John Swift] "on account of their admitting Gentleman of Couler, wich has made quite a stir amongst the abolitionist here--"
1847 February 27. ALS to Rev. A. Bingham; Hamilton, [New York].
Discusses a student's expulsion from Madison University [Colgate University] for the racial content of the student paper, the Hamilton Student . The editor "has been expelled from the inst for 'contumacy & Rebellion.'" The abolitionists have attempted to take advantage of the situation but "we do not anticipate much trouble arising from it, for it is very evident...that they arise from malice..rather than Godly sincereity & regard for justice."
1847 May 6. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Morse; Ft. Madison, Lee County, Iowa Territory.
Abolitionist writing to his sister; he urged her to leave Boston and travel to live with them out West. St. Clair was publishing an anti-slavery newspaper in Fort Madison, Iowa.
1847 October 8. J. B. Hayden, Jr. ALS to James D. Perkins; Portland, [Maine].
Working in Charles H. Hayden's store in downtown Portland.Describes Portland and his daily routine of working, smoking, and drinking.Notes a friend who "has got a license to sell I need not say what."Comments on the local theatre, describing its interior and discussing plays he has attended by minstrel performers, possibly Dan Rice (1823-1900):"Jim Crow Rice is playing here. I went to see him the other night he played Otello and African Prince… the theatre is nothing but an old Barn with ruf Board seats in it the actors are misirable."
1847 December 10. Ann Person, William A. Person, and Thomas I. Person ADS to George G. Person, James P. Person, and Samuel B. Person; Jackson, Tennessee.
Applying to the December term of the circuit court Madison County and meet at the courthouse in Jackson to receive an Order of Partition and Division for jointly owned slaves Polk and Dalles.
1848 February 12. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Chicago, Illinois.
He has been lecturing in the service of abolitionists in Iowa. Describes the geography and settlers of Iowa, listing Burlington and Madison as its two prominent communities. Iowa also has "very many--negro haters, willing & ready to trample on any human being, 'guilty of a skin not colored like their own.'" He has been mobbed three times and had his "liberty of speech cloven down."
1848 June 4 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Ft. Madison, Lee County, Iowa Territory.
Abolitionist writing to his sister, urging her to move to Iowa from Massachusetts.
1848 September 25. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Belvidere, Boone County, Illinois.
Abolitionist writing to his sister; mentions that he is "speaking every day" and traveling.
1848 October 29. George W. Turley ALS to Paris Seemes; Pittsburgh, [Pennsylvania].
Discusses a trip by train from Virginia to Pittsburgh and his impressions of the city; Mentions different rates of admission for whites and blacks; a theater he attended charged "colored people 50 cents and white 25 cents." He is stopping at Striclands hotel, a public house "kept by a coloured man."
1848 November 19. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Gooding’s Grove, [Illinois].
Concerning his exhaustive lecturing thoughout several Illinois counties against slavery before the election; "I spoke about nine weeks, in the North West corner of this big Prairie State, speaking every day, often twice and, sometime three times, seldom sleeping two nights in the same town..."
1848. G.B. Bate and Lucy Anne Gray Doc. to William Gay; Jefferson County, Kentucky.
Bill of Sale for a slave named Jacob, between 27 and 30 years old, for $900.
1849 January 27. Joshia ALS to "Roseanna a woman of color"; Etna Iron Works, [Pennsylvania].
Addressed to "My Dear Wife," but regarding her last letter where she wrote that she was married or getting married to another man. Instructs her to "send for Master William to read this letter for your Satisfaction." He is very unhappy and wants her to write to him immediately; if she does not answer him he is unsure if he will come home for Christmas.
1849 February 23. St. Clair Alanson ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Gooding’s Grove, [Illinois].
Abolitionist writing to his sister; he mentions his plans to "enter the field again for the oppressed, and plead the coming fall and winter for liberty."
1849 February 23. Thomas P. Jones ADS; Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
Document detailing the sale and succession of the property of a deceased free black woman, Damacine Simon. Family members were brought together to decide such matters as the tutoring of her children, that slaves be sold on a credit, and that "the tract of land on which the deceased resided...should be returned in kind..."
1849 May 5. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Gooding’s Grove, Will County, [Illinois].
Letter to his sister; discusses the weather and agriculture, and plans to meet her in Des Plaines, Illinois. He mentions a visit from a man who took his place as editor of the "Iowa Freeman," the only antislavery paper in the Northwest.
1849 August 15. Hiram Wilson ALS to Emily Howland; Hopedale, Dawn Mills, [Ontario].
Thanks her for her anti-slavery efforts, mentions his attempts to raise money for Dawn Institute. He drew up an application to the "Trustees of the Murray Fund for $100 to aid in the education of the colored people in Dawn…" though he wishes he could have given more as his money came short. "My hands are full of useful labors among the Refugee Slaves in this place" and faces uncertain means of support. He has traveled to Utica, New York City, and Boston to raise money for refugee slaves in Canada.
1849 December 31. Laura R. Stevens ALS to "Aunt Abby"; Richmond, [Virginia].
Regarding Christmas Celebration of slaves and her hopes for the end of slavery. She notes that during the Christmas holidays, stockings for "the little darkies" were hung up, and "the blacks dressed themselves in their best Sunday go-to-meeting and marched off" after breakfast. Hopes that the time would come when slaves would be free, and thought it would be soon; "I wish the poor little creatures could go back to Africa. I think it would be much better both for them and the whites."
1850 September 21. John Pierpont ANS to Charles H. Morse; Medford, [Massachusetts].
Autograph collection of anti-slavery memorials; "Add my name to your Collection of Autographs!...Not the less readily because yours is to be a collection of 'Anti-Slavery memorials.'"
1851 March 11. John L. Fuller ALS to Clement B. Grubb; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
Comments on the Fugitive slave law; it "remains confirmed. One or two more sessions & doubtless the 'Old Ironsides' our Glorious Constitution will ride as majestically as ever on her onwward track to her manifest destiny." Anticipates that the focus of discussion will shift to "the favorite for the Presidency." Mentions Gen. [Winfield] Scott, James Buchanan, and Henry Clay. Offers reflections on women’s merits.
1851 April 17. C. F. Dandridge ADS to A. O. Harris; [Memphis, Tennessee].
Sale of a "Yellow boy slave named Jehue" from Dandridge, of Shelby County, Tennessee to Harris for $800. Folder includes a note from August 10, 1905 written by John Capp of the First National Bank of Memphis, concerning the document, C.F. Dandridge, who was "a slave dealer, and Harris, "a commission merchant doing business in Memphis."
1851 May 12. David Willcut ADS to Griffith Mendenhall; [Randolph County], Indiana.
[Note: Located in the Duane Norman Diedrich collection]
Certifying that the Union Literary Institution of Randolph County, Indiana authorizes Mendenhall of Wayne County [to collect money?] "for the benefit of colored persons."
1851 May 27. Alanson St. Clair ALS to Calvin M. Ingraham; Rockford, [Illinois].
Abolitionist writing to his brother-in-law; "I will give you a history of my journey this side of Plainfield, [Illinois]."
1852 March 22. E. Cowgill ALS to Thomas Garrett; Dover, [Delaware].
Communicates that John Hayes, a free black man, is teaching at a District school, has a large family to support, and is the son of a respectable farmer living between Middletown and Summit Bridge. "I cannot conceive what the Law of the State of Mississippi relative to manumissions has to do with a man proved to be free born."
1852 March 23. Thomas Garrett ALS to P. Williamson; [Wilmington, Delaware].
Forwards a letter from Hayes and Cowgill; Garrett believes that Cowgill is "the right kind of a man to go on South, as he appears to have the right view of Slavery and the sufferings this poor fellow must have endured." He mentions that Hayes knew a man named Elias "and thinks he can identify him."
1852 December 22. John C. Zabriskie and "Black Nel" DS; New Jersey.
Contract between 'Black Nell', a free colored woman, and John Zabriskie for her seven-year old daughter Gin to "learn the art and business of a house servant and maid for the term of thirteen years."
1853 February 4-16. Charls K. Post and Rebecca A. Post ALS to [Augustus Beach]; Newport, [New York].
Regrets the length of time since they last saw each other.Doing well in the lumber and mill business.Notes on their dairy cows, cheese, hay, and horses.News of visits, health, deaths, children.Excitement about the construction of a local railroad.Alexander Buell of [Hairfield?] died while serving as a Congressman.Grandfather is encouraging Charley to visit, promising him "his Certificate of Life membership of the Seamens friend Society."Comments on religion in the area, believing it to be doing poorly, with few converts despite their pastor’s efforts.Notes on abolition."As to the caus of abolitionism I think it is slowly gaining ground. Uncle Tom’s Cabin has been read amongst us and I am now reading the White Slave."Brief mention of the local newspapers, including "F[rederick] Douglas[s] paper."
1853 April 7. Elizabeth Johnson ALS to William H. Brown and Charlott W. Brown; Clinton County, Ohio.
Expresses concern that if she settles in Tennessee "my children might want to go to texas...wher evry man is his own man and what he earns by labour is his…" Mentions the moderation of Ohio abolitionists, most of whom came from slave states; one could live in Ohio for a year and hear less than two hours of conversation on abolitionism. "I do thank God that...Abolitionists are not to Judge the world for I want to meet all my relations & friends in Heaven."
1853 September 29. Walter C. Graham DS; [Shelby,] Cleveland County, North Carolina.
Walter Graham, as administrator of Mrs. Polly Graham’s estate, has sold a three-year-old "Negro Boy named David Crocket" by public auction to Adaline Graham for $300.Verso: Graham H. Anthony, [1892-1967?]ANS;1917 December 28. "This bill of sale comes from Shelby N.C. having been taken from the desk of Walter C. Graham- ex Klu Kluxer, Civil War veteran, and farmer"Document was buried by W. C. Anthony, "Chieftain of the Klan in Cleveland County," in order to keep it "safe from the Federal Troops- and Carpet Baggers."Presents the document to Dr. C. D. Denning, at Hartford, Connecticut.
1854 March 18. Thomas Washington ALS to H. Stephens; Nashville, [Tennessee].
Inquiring after a tract of land in Jackson, Tennessee.Land granted to Philip Thomas, "our old barber here in Nashville, a mulatto man, who died before 1835."Land now belongs to his daughter, married to Reuben P. Graham of Cincinnati, "also a free man of colour."Copied text of the land grant.
1854 August 27. Henry Lazenby ALS to Christopher Hiatt; Lynchburg, Virginia.
Comments on the divisive nature of the debate surrounding slavery.Argues about slavery and political representation.Discusses the two million dollar payment to Texas, land acquired during the Mexican War, and the slave interest's opposition.Finds the Kansas-Nebraska Act "entirely uncalled for," especially as it countered the Missouri Compromise and further antagonized sectionalism.Considers whether the "Nebraska bill" would apply to any territory acquired from Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and South America.Doing away with slavery immediately "would have reduced Carolina & Georgia to a wilderness again."Comments on George Washington's liberation of his slaves, and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's failure to do so. Supports abolition in theory but opposes abolitionists "who would rob other men of what is theirs."Notes abolitionist violence and obstruction of law, commenting at length, unfavorably, on Horace Greeley (1811-1872).Mentions Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896).Supports African colonization, doubts other states would support the cause, and believes any black republic would revert to barbarism, pointing to Haiti, British West Indies, and "the whole of Africa."Comments briefly on the raising of a child, "I wish the child reared & governed by some discreet white person."Notes Hiatt's railroad nearing completion, along with other railroad news in the South.Discusses poor crops and high costs.
1855 September 26. Robert Beans ALS to John G. Spencer; Johnsville.
Opposing slavery; "I am now and have long been hostile to the institution of slavery and believe that the slavery question overshadows all others…" Furthermore, spreading it through the Kansas-Nebraska Act "calls for our most determined resistance." If elected to the state senate he would vote in opposition to admitting Kansas as a slave state and "oppose slavery propagandism in any form that it may assume."
[ca. 1855]. AMs; [Boston, Massachusetts].
List of members and rules for antislavery society; member list includes John G. Palfrey, Horace Mann, Charles Sumner, John G. Whittier, and Charles Sedgwick.
1856 March 26. John H. Dunlap ALS to John A. Beauhamp; Paris, Tennessee.
Concerning the attempt to make Kansas a slave state; he has seen 52 emigrants pass through the town on their way to Kansas. He hopes that a large number of southerners can go there, "so enough can be crowded in to make Kansas a slave state."
1856 July 29. Frederick Douglass ALS to J.C. Hathaway; Rochester, [New York].
Regarding purchase of a horse; Douglass is on his way to New Bedford and the "price is higher than I wish…I can not allow myself more than two hundred dollars in horse flesh." [a James Redpath letter dated August 19, 1863 is on the other side]
1856 August 25. Republican Town Committee, Standish, Maine Manuscript; Standish, [Maine].
Notice of meeting for opponents of slavery; "The Republicans of Standish, and all others opposed to the further extension of Slavery are requested to meet at the Town House…for the purpose of nominating a Candidate for Town Representative."
1856 September 5. C. B. Lines ALS to Mr. Kingsbury; New Haven, [Kansas].
Depredations caused by border ruffians in Kansas; their locality was secured from Kansas' borders but reported that his team had been stopped on six different occasions. One man who was told that "he had but five minutes to live, he however by referring to his children…saved his life." He and his friends had also been threatened but noted that their experiences paled in comparison to the "outrages perpetrated upon Free State Men in other parts..."
1857 April 3. W[illiam] B[uell] Sprague ALS to G. E. Ellis; Albany, [New York].
Anecdote about an speech Sprague wrote on George Washington that was sent to a southern editor that contained a sentence on slavery. The man sent him a furious letter in response to this passage. Sprague wrote to him again, "expressing...regret at having wounded his feelings..." The man responded "as kindly as if I had been a slave-holder all my life."
1858 July 23. Fredericksburg, Virginia Coroner ADsS; Fredericksburg, VA.
Inquest on bodies of James Manning and Henry Thompson, the latter a freeman drowned in Rappahannock River. Jurors concluded that in both cases a boat or skiff sunk or capsized on the river.
1859 August 13. Gerritt Smith ALS to Dyer Burgess; Petersboro.
Concerning the trade of a slave for hogs.
1859 December 6. A. Wright ALS to "Andrew" [brother]; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Regarding John Brown; "a friend of mine…says 'Old Brown' is not dead! There are some queer things about the whole affair. He was a tough old hero…I think he was a God-fearing man, & a real hero at heart. The transaction with which was connected has deeply moved the heart of the nation."
1860 February 2. James F. Smith ALS to Samuel Fenton Cary; Bellevue, [Ohio].
Concerning the proposed African Territory Act, which has been viewed favorably in Ohio;. Smith believed it would be an "act of Mercy and Justice to both Black and White" to create a separate territory for African Americans, arguing that a bill was pending in Ohio to prevent the immigration of free African Americans into the state, and that several other free states had similar laws. Includes text of the proposed act.
1860 August 21. Matilda A. Pleasant DS; Powhattan, [Virginia].
Document certifying that Adaline, a thirty-old slave of John T. Pleasant, has been manumitted contingent upon the Powhatan Court’s issuing Adaline her "free papers." Pleasant’s children inherited Adaline as part of the estate of John T. Pleasant upon his death.
1860 October. George Dennis DS; Frederick County, Maryland.
(1 page )
Judgment of Grand Jury on William Brown, a free black man, "did…become & Still is unlawfully and feloniously a Member of a Secret Society of free Negroes, Called free Masones."
1860 November 5. William Lloyd Garrison ALS to J. M. McKim; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Request to help free a "young slave girl, about 15 years old, (so white that she could pass generally as a white girl)" as she is in New Jersey but expected to be returned South. She "is entitled to her liberty, having been permitted to come North by her owner." Discusses the boast of a Quaker who alledgedly "slept with a negro, as a proof that he had no prejudice!" Laments someone's mentioning Washington and Jefferson as slave-holders, which will be circulated in the proslavery press.
1860 December 25. John M. Pettus and S.A. Pettus Doc. to E. [C.] Gillian; Virginia.
Document for hire of a slave named Mary Ann for $65, with a list of items she is to be provided with, "not to be carried out of the State of Virginia."
1860 December 25. John M. Pettus and S.A. Pettus Doc. to E. C. Gillian; Virginia.
Document for hire of a slave named Charles for $20, with list of items he is to be provided with. Included on back is a hand-written note that the jury awarded the plaintiff the amount specified in the bond plus interest.
1861 February 28. Gerrit Smith ALS to N. W. Green; Peterboro, [New York].
Regarding proposal for Gerrit to write his life story. Smith declined by saying that "my political and religious views are very unpopular & the people have but little patience with this matter."
1861 March 14. Gerrit Smith ALS to N. W. Green; Peterboro, [New York].
Regarding antislavery and the constitution; Mentions Wendell Phillips.
1862 August 26. Henry Bliby ALS to Mr. Johnson; Barbados.
Expresses sorrow over the "terrible carnage" of the Civil War. The Standard and The Liberator are much valued, as "No papers I get are…so welcome."
1863 February 19. Thomas Garrett ALS to "Esteemed Friend"; Wilmington, [Delaware].
Oliver Johnson and Eliza Cloud have donated $5 for care of "contrabands," which Garrett now forwards to the recipient to be used "for those under the care of our friend Frances D Gage"; she informs him that there are only 4 people besides herself in Elkton "that have ay sympathy for the slaves." Comments on pro-slavery sentiments in Maryland and mentions that the postmaster is proslavery.
1863 August 19. James Redpath ALS to A. Leffingwell; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Redpath knows that he sent him a book that Leffingwell did not receive; this has happened twice in a month. "I send you another, altho no publisher does so…But I am willing to lose the book if you will lose the postage--in all, for two copies, $64." [on back of a Frederick Douglass letter dated July 29, 1856]
1864 June 1. James T. Bailey DS; Perry County, Alabama
James T. Bailey, judge for the Perry County probate court, attests that George Kirk appeared before him and "says on oath that a certain negro man named Ned Dark complexion & about 42 years of age now in Perry County Jail, is the property of Mrs. D. P. Owen of Tuscaloosa."Kirk is her authorized agent to remove Ned from custody.The line "and bring him to the said Mrs. Owen" was stricken out with two pen strokes.Signed by George H. Kirk, Jr.
1864 September 24. E. Stephens ALS to William Conrad; Florence, Boone County, Kentucky.
Abolitionist gain control of various Baptist churches; "I feel satisfied that the Abolition portion of the Associ would Rule…" He discusses various Baptist asociations that he attended and the level of abolitionism among them, less in churches further north. He tells Conrad that he would be "glad to leave this country."
1865 July 24. W[illia]m Lloyd Garrison ALS to Benjamin Chase; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Comments on his friendship with Chase and his appreciation for photography."How wonderful is the photographic art! What a world of enjoyment and pleasure it has opened! … It is among the marvelous discoveries which will ever make the nineteenth century historically famous."Grateful for Chase's approval of his anti-slavery work, especially because Chase has labored so long for the same cause under equally difficult circumstances."You have known what it is to stand almost solitary in your lot, regarded as heretic and fanatic, ridiculed as a 'nigger worshipper,' denounced as unpatriotic, and lacking in Christian charity; and you have lived, with me, to see this reproach taken away."Notes the reversal of opinion on abolition, attributing it to God.Quotes from John Greeleaf Whittier’s (1807-1892) poem, "Laus Deo!"Notes that abolition of slavery did not extinguish "all the passions, prejudices, cupidities, and barbarous cruelties which created and upheld it."Expects "insults and outrages" to continue to be perpetrated against African Americans, but believes the nation will continue towards justice.Helen Eliza Garrison (1811-1876) receiving electrical treatments for her paralysis.
1865 December 5. J. L. ALS to "Joe"; Brades, [Montserrat?].
Notes on Abraham Lincoln, President Andrew Johnson, and behaving graciously in political defeat.Believes Johnson needs to take "a Firmer tone with the South" to prevent difficult times for African Americans.Comments on citizenship rights for African Americans, social equality, and the poor logic of colonization.Irish independence.
1865 December 31. W. J. McCalley and J. R. Wyly DS to Peyton McCalley; Madison County, Alabama.
Contracts for labor with a former slave, Peyton McCalley, "a comon…field hand upon a plantation," for the entire year of 1866. He will work "in the production of cotton and other agriculture."
1866 April 8. [P.] R. ALS to William C. R[ives?]; Castle Hill, [Virginia].
Discusses tensions between slaves and former owners, and slaves traveling to Liberia.
1867 April 13. C. C. Stevenson ALS to William F. Hall; Carson City, Nevada.
Democrats as rebels; "There is Music in the old Name Democrat but here Democrat means Rebel." Mentions issues concerning the use of the terms 'white' and 'male' in the Michigan and Nevada Constitution.
1868 October 6. District Court of Travis County, Texas Document Cy; Travis County, Texas.
Copies of documents related to the successful lawsuit of C. R. Johns v. T. D. Moseley and S. W. Goodrich , 1865-1868, over non-payment of slave hire.Includes petition, demurrer and answer, order of court, notes, judgment, petition for writ of error, acceptance of service, error bond, and certificate.C. R. Johns petitioned the state of Texas on November 1, 1865, stating that in January 1861 Moseley and Goodrich hired Nancy, Johns' slave, for one year and have failed to render payment.Demurrer and answer, fall term 1865, wherein Moseley and Goodrich cite "an act of the Legislature of the State of Texas, approved February 26th, 1863," which suspended “civil rights of action… until one year after the close of the war."Moseley states that Johns did not wait the stated time, and that they paid fifty dollars of their debt on May 21, 1862.Court judgment from June 1, 1866, ordering Moseley and Goodrich to pay $362.38, with interest.Writ of error to the Supreme Court filed April 27, 1868, noting undue compounding of interest.Witnessed and certified a true copy by Frank Brown, clerk of the District Court of Travis County, on August 26, 1868.Includes original yellow seal of the District Court of Travis County and pink ribbon.
1868 November 13. J[ohn] C. Norris ALS to Rufus B. Bullock; Warrenton, [Georgia].
Warrenton, Georigia, Sheriff Norris writes to Georgia Governor Rufus Bullock. Requests military assistance to keep order, on account of the Ku Klux Klan's (KKK) pursuit of former slave Perry Jeffers. Description of the circumstances surrounding the case, including the murder of Jeffer's son, William. Violence against freedmen.
1869 June 26. William D. Forten ALS to James H. Whallon; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania].
Planning convention of Equal Rights Leagues; "We are about holding a Convention of the Equal Rights Leagues of this State & also invite Some from New York & it may be Ohio." It will meet in Meadville in early August, with "one grand object that of sustaining the Republican Party through effective Organization." Requests help through money and influence with railroads, which would be "the most effective deadly blow Copperheaded treason can sustain."
1872 January 14. Edgar Clark ALS to Adin B. Clark; Rochester, New York.
Describes events around a black man accused of assaulting a girl; "There was a great excitement here in Rochester some two weeks ago about a Negro insulting a little Girl some ten years of age. He came very near killing her. He knocked out some of her teeth and her body in a most shameful manner...after he was arrested and in Jail a mob collected around the Jail and demanded the Prisoner." Two people in the mob were killed by troops guarding the prison and he was sentenced to twenty years.
1873 February 6. Wendell Phillips ADS; New Haven, Connecticut.
Brief memo containing lines that Phillips attributed to John Brown.
1873. John Rankin Pr. Ms.
"Life of Rev. John Rankin," written when he was 80-years old. Rankin spent his life as a minister, abolitionist, and educator.
1874 December 2. Flo ALS to Mary J. Mayhew; Savannah, [Georgia].
Flo describes her duties as principal at the Beach Institute for African American children. Provides a description of Savannah, mentions having been at the St. Augustine mission before her appointment as principal. Praises her maid, a colored woman "above her position. Social equality ideas to the contrary notwithstanding, I love her like my own sister."
1876 February 28. W[illia]m Lloyd Garrison ALS to Benj[amin] Chase; Boston, [Massachusetts].
Acknowledges receipt of Chase’s letter, which contained "anti-slavery reminiscences and suggestive reflections."Receiving the letter made him feel close to Chase, as they had been while engaged in abolition work.Recognizes ongoing prejudices against African Americans."True there is much of the old slaveholding spirit still remaining at the South, to retard the legitimate workings of emancipation, and to make citizenship to the emancipated as barren a possession as possible."Underlines the distinctions between the current oppression and slavery. "This is so marvelous a change as to make whatever else of evil remains comparatively trivial, and to justify any amount of congratulation between old co-workers."Happy to be invited to Chase's 50th wedding anniversary, but poor health prevents his attendance.Contains snippets of poetry, including an excerpt from James Thomson’s (1700-1748) "Spring."Reflects on the character of his late wife, Helen Eliza Garrison (1811-1876), and their marriage.
1878 October 29. Jean Lowry Rankin ALS to John [Thompson Rankin]; Lyndon, Osage County, Kansas.
Family news from the wife of abolitionist John Rankin to their son.
1879 February 17. N. Y. Cavill ALS to S. A. Champion; Washington, D.C.
Visited President Rutherford B Hayes.Attended a woman’s suffrage convention and heard Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton speak.Notes Rep. John Atkins’ service in CongressComments on "a little flutter in the color line," discussing [Blanche Kelso] Bruce, an African American Senator. Notes other Senators visiting and offense raised by Mrs. Bruce visiting around town with a "tolerable black" friend.Written on U.S. Coast Survey Office stationery.
1880 February 25. United States Army DS to Augustus Smith; Junction Deep Lick with Pena Negro Creek, Texas.
Military discharge from 25th (Colored) Infantry; Smith had enlisted in 1875 to serve five years.
1880 July 15. Ed [Parteneke?] ALS to "Uncle Henry"; Paris, Bourbon, Kentucky.
Concerning the death of three African-Americans; "this month there were already 3 negroes killed all 3 shot 2 of died 3d expected to die 2 of them were shot in one day…"
1880 August 21. Ebenezer Whittemore ADS; Sandwich, [Massachusetts].
Inquest into the accidental drowning of Marcus Robbins, an African-American boy.
1885 January 19. United States Army DS to Augustus Smith; Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
Commissions Smith as a sargeant in "C" Company of the 25th (Colored) Infantry.
[ca. 1886]. Mary Rankin Pr. Ms to Lucien V. Rule.
Biography of Rev. John Rankin; Header reads "Rev. John Rankin--February 4, 1793 - March 18, 1886."
1887 February 28. B. H. Grierson, Jr. ALS to Mrs. A. K. Grierson; St. Louis, [Missouri].
Description of performance by Blind Tom, the famous black pianist; "I went to hear 'Blind Tom' play on the piano Saturday night at Entertainment Hall Exposition Building. He could imitate nearly every instrument on the piano."
1897 August 1. T. H. Sands Pennington Ms. to Marianna Gibbons; Saratoga Springs, New York.
Pennington sends "a detailed account of the capture, trial, and return of father Pennington's relatives, to slavery." He cannot offer much information on John Brown's insurrection; for him it "seemed to always be a subject, which was peacefully retired to a more convenient season." Folder includes a biographical sketch of the fugitive slave Rev. J. W. C. Pennington, D. D. and a manuscript on the capture of Rev. J. W. C. Pennington’s brother and his return to slavery
1899 October 26. Charles Waddell Chesnutt ALS to Herbert Small; Cleveland, Ohio.
Has received first proofs of his Frederick Douglass biography; "I presume, from present indications that the book will be out before very long."
1899 December 15. Charles Waddell Chesnutt ALS to Jerome B. Howard; Cleveland, Ohio.
Pleased at Howard’s response to Chesnutt’s Frederick Douglass biography; Mentions [Parker] Pillsbury's Acts of the Antislavery Apostles, which he has not read; he requests a spare copy should Howard have one. "I am going to try the lecture platform, as a method of diversifying the literary life..."
1942 April 27. John R. Williams TLS to Jack Zeller; Detroit, Michigan.
From the President and General Manager of the Detroit Negro Base Ball Association to the General Manager of Briggs Stadium. He is pleased with attendance at the weekend's baseball games. Written on "Detroit Negro Base Ball Association" stationery.
1966 November 16 . John Doar TLS to Mrs. Van H. Manning
Responding to Mrs. Manning's letter following the shooting of James Meredith (b.1993) asking "whether the department of Justice employs a double standard in the carrying out of its responsibilities." Comments on federal and state roles in regards to violence against people, noting that the shooting interfered with the federal protections afforded by the "commerce clause of the federal Constitution" and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. "The response of the President and the Department of Justice to the shooting of Mr. Meredith resulted from the likelihood that the act of violence, in addition to being a violation of Mississippi law, was also a violation of these federal criminal statutes. It is our responsibility to enforce these laws independent of the race of the victim." Includes a copy of the letter as well as the envelope.
1970 May 14. Lewis Rhone TLS Cy; Denver, Colorado.
Announcing the 3rd annual Miss Black Denver beauty pageant, sponsored by Project Pride, Inc.
1970 May 21. Marie M. Runyon TLS to "Pro-Vital"; New York, NY.
Thank you note from Runyon and Murray Kempton for contribution to the Committee to Defend the Panther 21. Includes a list of celebrities who are sponsors of the Committee, including Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, and Ruby Dee.
n.d.. Oliver Swaine Taylor AMsS.
Report on African Sabbath School and the poor progress of scholars; "many of the scholars do not attend worship on the Sabbath."
n.d.. American Anti-Slavery Society Doc.
Booklet containing a geographical membership list and the Society's constitution on the front page Includes members from New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois.
n.d. W[illiam] H[enry] Furness ALS to Unknown; [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania].
Comment on Henry Ward Beecher; "My personal acquaintance with Mr Beecher was very slight, but I tried to listen to his Lectures, filled with his wisdom, with great delight. The eminent ervice which he rendered to our country by his eloquent advocacy of the Cause of Freedom here & abroad must be very gratefully remembered."
n.d. James Madison Ms. to Virginia House of Delegates; [Williamsburg, Virginia].
[Note: Located in Oversize Manuscripts]
Reverend James Madison (cousin of the future President, James Madison), proposes to the Virginia House of Delegates to trade slaves owned by the College of William and Mary for land; "instead of them, permanent Property would be more beneficial to society, and consequently would more promote the noble Design of its Institution..."
Poem "Poor little slave..." showing a slave praying to God; with pen and ink drawing on cloth.