African American History collection (1729-1970, bulk 1800-1865)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Christopher Tounsel, June 2010, and Shannon Wait, March 2011
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: African American History collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1729-1970
Bulk dates: 1800-1865
Extent: 0.75 lin. ft.
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:

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

M-454 et al.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation

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"

Subject Terms

  • Abolitionists--United States.
  • African American women.
  • African Americans--Education.
  • African Americans--Employment.
  • American Colonization Society.
  • Antislavery movements--United States.
  • Liberia.
  • Quakers--United States.
  • Slavery and the church--United States.
  • Slavery--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.
Genre Terms:
  • Documents.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Journals.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
African American History collection [series]
Box   1  
  1729 May 23 . Samuell Conyer [Samuell Coniard] DS to Samuell Talcott; [Wethersfield, Connecticut]. (1 page)
Bill of sale for Beck, an enslaved girl, 15 years of age, from Samuell Conyer of Bermuda to Samuell 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1742 January 7 . John Wright ALS to John Tomlinson; Brunswick, [Georgia]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1752 December 25 . Jonathan Low DS to Seth Story; Ipswich, Massachusetts. (1 page)
Bill of sale for a slave ("A Certain Negroman") named Dick Toham. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1756 July 23 . John Bull DS to Sabinah Wilson; Granville County, South Carolina. (2 pages)
Bill of sale for two slaves, Will and Molley, from Wilson to Bull, a planter. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1757 December 3 - 1772 June 9 . Scipio Wood, John Ells, Benjamin Buell, Benjamin Payne, and J. Lawrence 5 DsS; Windham County and Hartford, [Connecticut]. (9 pages [total])
Evidence relating to Wood's, a mulatto soldier, claim that he is owed money from his service in the French and Indian War. Includes: [Scipio Wood] DS, December 3, 1757; John Ells deposition, May 26, 1772; Benjamin Buell deposition, May 26, 1772; Benjamin Payne memorandum, June 9, 1772; and Payne and J. Lawrence order to pay Wood, June 9, 1772. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1760 January 8 . Francis Bernard ALS to Charles Read; Amboy, [New Jersey]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1767 January 1 . John Mountague ADS to Charles Gordon; . (2 page)
Promissory note for hire of a female slave (one Negrow Wench"), "Nan" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1770 April 21 . John Madocks ADS; Lincoln's Inn. (3 pages)
Legal opinion on estate of James Crockatt, a surgeon, and whether slaves are personal or real property as it pertains to colonial South Carolinian law. Outlines complications over who should assume ownership of the slaves. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1770 July 12 . Mary Murrin DS to Daniel Saint John; Norwalk, Connecticut. (1 page)
Bill of sale for an eight-year old slave girl named Hannah. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1771 September . Joseph Chandler DS; Orange County, [Viginia]. (2 pages)
Report of patrollers capturing"Negroes"; "we caught two Negroes One got whipt [and] the other Clear…we caught three Negroes two whi Carred before Capt Thomas One he Ordered to be whipt [and] the Other he cleard One whi whipt by Orders of his Mistress." Signed by James Madison, "Commanding Officer of the County of Orange" on verso [View Digital Surrogate]
  1772 March 4 . Chris Champlin and George Champlin ALS to Samuel Tuell; Newport, [Rhode Island]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1772 May 20 . Sip Wood ADS to Connecticut General Assembly; Hartford, [Connecticut]. (1 page)
Concerning the request of Wood, a mixed race man, to receive pay for services rendered to the colony during the French and Indian War. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1772 September 26 . Samuel Tuell ALS to Mr. Champlin; Annamaboe [Anomabu, West Africa]. (2 pages)
Regarding the problems of Tuell, a slave trader, and the price of slaves in gallons of rum; "I Give 160 Gals For Men & 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 & Mr. Champlin Has ben Very ill." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1773 November 20 . Kudjo Holms ALS to William Redwood; Newport, Rhode Island. (1 page)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1776 January 3 . Jno. Williams [John Williams] ALS to Robert Burton; Boonesborough, [Boonesboro, Virginia]. (4 pages)
Respecting the death of his brother "Billey," his recent move to Boonesborough near the Falls of Ohio [Virginia, later Kentucky], plantation affairs, recent violence between settlers and Native Americans (mention of Jesse Benton), a visit from nine or 10 members of the Wyandots, Mingos, and Shawnese, the contraction and treatment of venereal disease suffered by his slave girl Lucy, and views on Lord Dunmore. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1776 July 20 . Tho[ma]s Pollock DS to Hampton Lillebridge; Elizabeth Town, [New York]. (1 page)
Receipt for six slaves, Charles, Dolly, Sucky, Rachel, Phebe, and Satira, "for the Sum of One hundred & fifty five pounds New York Currency £155." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1776 August 1 . Doc. to Thomas Farmer; Place not identified. (1 page)
Agreement for the hire 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, & pay the Sum of Six pounds ten Shillings money of 8/the oz." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1776 September 5 . Yohannis Nagel [Johannis Nagel] DS to Hampton Lillebridge; Rockton. (1 page)
Receipt for slave: "Received of Hampton Lillibridge the Sum of Seventy Pounds New York . . . in full for Negro Man Slave . . . Bought 21 years old." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1778 November 4 . Eph[raim] Blaine ALS to John Ladd Howell; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania]. (1 page)
Request for Howell to call on Captain Moody regarding the sale of a slave; Agreed to pay 400 pounds [View Digital Surrogate]
  1781 June 25 . Select Men of Norwich (Conn.) DS to Bena; Norwich, [Connecticut]. (1 page)
Manumission paper from Joshua Huntington (1751-1821) for "a Certain Negro man Named Bena . . . and Liberty is thereby given to . . . Huntington to Emancipate." Signed by the Select Men of Norwich, Connecticut. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1781 August 7 and 1781 September 26 . Charles Phelps 2 PrDS to Elisha Williams; Stonington, Connecticut. (2 pages (total))
Partially printed power of attorney to settle estate of Keder Freeman, deceased; "I do therefore . . . commit unto you the said Elisha Williams full Power to administer the Goods, Chattels, Credits and Estate of the said deceased..." August 7, 1781. With partially printed receipt for back pay owed to Freeman from the State Treasury, September 26, 1781. See also Schoff Revolutionary War Collection: Groton (Conn.) Selectmen DS to Connecticut. Committee of the Pay-Table, September 24, 1781, certifying Freeman's service in Sherburne's Regiment from 1777 until his death. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1781 November 21, 1781 December 27, and 1782 January 11 . Philip B[urr] Bradley 3 DsS to Connecticut Committee of the Pay-Table; Groton, [Connecticut]. (3 pages (total))
1: Philip B. Bradley DS to Connecticut. Committee of the Pay-Table, Ridgfield, November 21, 1781, certifying the military service of Jack Green, "Green served in my Regiment in the Continental Army three years and…did belong to the Regiment before the first day of January 1780." [the 5th Connecticut Regiment]. 2: Jack Green DS to Connecticut. Committee of the Pay-Table, Ridgfield, December 27, 1781, requesting pay. 3: Philip B. Bradley partially printed DS to Connecticut. Committee of the Pay-Table, Hartford, January 11, 1782, receipt of pay for Green. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1782 July 22 . [Quakers] Ms. Doc.; [Philadelphia?]. (2 pages)
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 black men and women, who they were liberated by, ages, places of residence, numbers of children and their ages, and occupations. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1783 August 8 . Dinah Archey Doc. to Guy Carleton; New York. (1 page)
Petition from a black loyalist for relief from an alleged master. She and her husband came to New York five years ago, presumably as free people, but a man named William Fanay claimed them as his slaves. He "has taken her pays from her that he may prove his Property which she firmly believes he cannot." [View Digital Surrogate]
  [17]84 July 3 . Lach[la]n McIntosh ALS to John McIntosh; [Skidaway, Georgia?]. (1 page)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1784 August 31 - 1784 September 1 . New Jersey Council and General Assembly; William Livingston, Ephraim Harris, Maskell Ewing, and B. Reed DS to Peter Williams; New Jersey. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1785 January 20 . Select Men of Norwich (Conn.) DS to Joseph Backus; Norwich, Connecticut. (1 page)
Warning Backus,"Negro alias Fox," out of town. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1785 April 2 . John Anderson DS to Nathaniel Willsin [i.e. Wilson]; [New Castle County, Deleware?]. (2 pages)
Document attesting to the sale of a nine year old child named James for 30 pounds. Verso: Nathaniel Wilson DS to Jonathan Robinson, April 14, 1785. Receipt of payment of 30 pounds and statement that James is "free of & Clean of aney distemper or disorder what Ever." This document arrived at the Clements Library with two documents regarding the June 1828 sale of Caroline. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1786 November 6 . Fredericksburg (Va.) Hustings Court Document to James Smock; Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (1 page)
Binding Joseph, a free mixed-race 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
  1787 March 19 . [Jean Jacques] Leguillon Ms. Doc. (3 pages)
"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 Jérémie. NB: Slave sale occurring in Haiti. [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   1  
  1788 December 1 . Thomas Clarkson ALS to Harry Gandy; London, [England]. (3 pages)
Information regarding James Arnold, a dinner in the company of Granville Sharp (1735-1813), and "On Monday next I shall attend the privy Council by Appointment, and lay before them . . . the Evidence collected in my late tour." (See Clarkson's Abolition of the Slave Trade I, 338ff.) [View Digital Surrogate]
  1789 November 24 - 1789 November 25 . New Jersey Council and General Assembly; William Livingston, John Beatty, Maskell Ewing, and B. Reed DS to Cato; New Jersey. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [17]90 March 30 . Richard Randolph, Jr. ALS to David Meade; Bizarre, [Virginia]. (3 pages)
Dispute over ownership of a slave. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1793 January 30 . Sam[uel] Brown ALS to William Vernon; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (3 pages)
Slave trade between New England, St. Eustatius, and Mozambique. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1794 January 20 . Burlington County (N.J.) Justices of the Peace and New Hanover (N.J.) Overseers of the Poor DS to Pompy Steward; New Hanover, New Jersey. (1 page)
Manumission certificate for Pompy Steward, "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." Richard Potts brought Steward before the subscribers. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1794 May 19 . Sam[uel] Brown ALS to William Vernon; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (3 pages)
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…" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1794 December 22 . S. Potter ALS to James D. Woolfe; Swansey, [England]. (1 page)
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 & 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1795 June 20 . Sam[uel] Hopkins ALS to Nathaniel Massie; Mecklenburg, [Kentucky]. (2 pages)
Desires to move to Ohio if it will be a slave state; "I am making every preparation for A Removal of my Family, & 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1795 September 14 . A[lexander] McKee ALS to James McKee; Detroit, [Michigan]. (1 page)
McKee left Bill, an enslaved man, in charge of his house while away in Quebec. Bill absconded with "many things belonging to me." Believes Bill has "run away to General Wayne's Camp" and may try to reunite with his mother in Pittsburgh. Asks James to "take him & send him to be sold" and warns him not to trust anything the fugitive may say. Includes a brief note sending Captain Elliott's compliments to James. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1790 November 25 . William Clarke ADS to John Swann; Powhatan County, [Virginia]. (1 page)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [17]95 . Josa. Dorsey DS to Frederick County (Md.) Justices; Frederick County, [Maryland]. (2 pages)
Petition for freedom of Ignatius Shorter, slave to William Emmitt, because he is descended from a free white woman; " 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1796 November 30 . S[t.] G[eorge] Tucker ALS to Virginia House of Delegates Speaker; Williamsburg, [Virginia]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1797 March 11 . Abolition Society (Providence, R.I.) DS to Ray Green[e], U.S. Attorney, District of Rhode Island; Providence, [Rhode Island]. (1 page)
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 & in behalf of the Abolition Society." SIgned by Thomas Hazard, Jr., Oriel Wilkinson, Thomas Arnold, George Benson, Edward [Thurbert?], Thomas Green, Caleb Green, John Hadwen, Benjamin Hadwen, and Samuel Vinson. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1797 April 10 . William Tuck Partially Printed DS to Cato Freeman; [Gloucester, Massachusetts]. (1 page)
Citizenship paper 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1797 October 28 . Framingham (Mass.) Coroner and Jurors Partially Printed DS; Framingham, [Massachusetts]. (1 page)
Inquest on body of a black man, "Name unknown". Verdict: "in a deranged insane state of mind", committed suicide by hanging. "And so the Jurors aforesaid upon their Oaths say that the said Negro Man in Manner aforesaid came to his Death by Misfortune." Signed by 17 jurors, a foreman, and coroner John Fisk. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1799 October 31 . Johnston, Robertson & Co. DS; Savannah, [Georgia]. (3 pages)
List of debts owed and credits due Augustus Rogers, deceased, 1796-1799. Includes entries for tobacco and rice, physician fees, funeral costs, insurance, slaves and associated with slaves, personal debts, etc. Includes an entry for proceeds gained by auction sale of five slaves. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [18th century] . John Chester ALS to William Jepson; Wethersfield, [Connecticut]. (1 page)
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 & relief that he must soon die. This waits on you to request you to come & see the poor fellow..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1800 October 11 - 1801 February 12 . Virginia Militia (Orange County) 4 DsS; Orange County, [Virginia]. (5 pages (total))
Returns of services rendered by patrollers in Orange County, Virginia. They may relate to a potential slave revolt. The men were appointed by the Orange County Militia and the documents include names, the amount of days and hours worked, and pay received. [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
  1801 July 6 . Lawrence Frank D to Jaques Lasselle; Detroit, Michigan. (2 pages)
Indenture of Lawrence Frank, formerly Lasselle's slave, to his old master. [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   1  
  1803 April 29 . [Ahlbin Michel?] Partially printed ALS to Henri Emery; Nouvelle Orléans, [Louisiana Territory of New France]. (4 pages)
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] [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1804 December 21] . William Owings AD to Adam Rider; Place not identified. (2 pages)
Memorandum of agreement, stipulating that Rider "agrees to look after . . . Owing's Servants and Negro Slaves as an Overseer for one year the time to commence from this day." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1806 August 27 . William G. Blount DS to William King; Knox County, Tennessee. (2 pages)
Bill of sale for three slaves, Cupid, Sall, and Mary to William King of Sullivan County for $900. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [before 1809 July] . Doc.; [Pennsylvania]. (12 pages)
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 possible abortifacients. Includes a summary of the accusations against Spangler, possibly directed to the jury. Name of William Petrikin (1761?-1821) appears on final page. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1810 August 17 . W[illia]m Cummins ADS; Richmond, [Virginia?]. (1 page)
Announcing sale of a slave named Lucy as payment of her master's debt. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1812 March 26 . Great Britain. Privy Council Doc. & Pr. Doc.; [London, England]. (53 pages)
British Order in Council for the Registration of Slaves in the Island of Trinidad. To prevent the clandestine slave-trade in Trinidad. The first 20 sections of the order are manuscript and the remainder is printed. The text of the order is followed by manuscript notes and a chart. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1812 June 8 . Samuel Wetmore ALS to Norwich (Conn.) Selectmen; Middletown, [Connecticut]. (1 page)
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, & pay the expense..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1813 May 29 . James Craig ALS to William Meredith; Baltimore, [Maryland]. (1 page)
Letter from Craig regarding an account against "Sophia Elizabeth Feranze, a French Mullatta [sic.] woman Much freckled in the face has two daughters and lives with a french Sailor named Longue a native of St. Domingo and lived some time in Havana . . . take good Security for she is as slippery as an eel..." To William Meredith of Philadelphia. See also James Craig letter of June 19, 1813. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1813 June 19 . James Craig ALS to William Meredith; Baltimore, [Maryland]. (1 page)
Regarding an account against Sophia Elizabeth Feranze, a mixed race woman 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. To William Meredith of Philadelphia. See also James Craig letter of May 29, 1813. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1814 April 23 . Richard Bland Lee Cy. to Virginia Court of Chancery (Fredericksburg); Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (3 pages)
Statement by Lee, defendant in Rowan vs. Lee, regarding slaves purchased from Henry Lee [his brother]; includes a signed affidavit stating that Richard Lee paid Henry Lee $2000 for eleven slaves. [View Digital Surrogate]
  ca. 1815 December . Frederick County (Md.) County Court and Court of Oyer and Terminer 3 DsS; Frederick County, [Maryland]. (5 pages [total])
One indictment of Jonathan, "slave and property of Charlotte Dye Owings," for murdering Edward Owings on November 3, 1815. Description of the assault, which inflicted "mortal choking, mortal wounds and bruises." Jury determines Jonathan "did, feloniously, willfully, and of malice aforethought, did kill and murder" Owings. On verso: "Indicted &c pleads not guilty." List of five persons sworn to testify to the jury. Signed B. S. Pigman, "att[orne]y for state." Two signed Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol documents for the December Term, 1815, delivering "negro Jonathan" and "negro Stephen" for the murder of Edward Owings, Jr. Names informants: Philemon Cromwell, Dr. William Tyler, John Walker, Frederick Barrick, Thomas Carlton, Philip Swartzwalter, Frederick Baker, Jason Phillips, and William Grimes, Jr. Both documents signed, P. Mantz, F.M. [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   2  
  1818-June 1838
  1818 May 30 . Fredericksburg (Va.) Overseers of the Poor DS to William Lewis; Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (1 page)
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…" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1818 May 30 . Fredericksburg (Va.) Overseers of the Poor DS to William Lewis; Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (1 page)
Binding John Olenger, a poor 8-year old African-American boy, to Lewis as an apprentice in order learn the trade of cooper until the age of 21. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1819 March 4 . Fredericksburg (Va.) Overseers of the Poor DS to Thomas Crossley; Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (1 page)
Binding Moses, an African-American boy, to be an apprentice under Crossley to learn the trade of a mariner. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1819?] July 20 - August 6 . Jane Thompson ALS to "Sister" [Susan Wright?]; George-town. (8 pages)
Remarks on slavery, Southern culture and labor, and local botany, agriculture, fruit, and diet. Remarks on a farmer who was"obliged to purchase Slaves, as he could not depend on having hired laborers when he wanted them," with a mention of his wife's managerial work, and one enslaved man having "four wives & families belonging to him in different places." Health, including bilious fever, suckling children and children's illnesses, careful diet, and effects of heat. Recently read [Henry Bradshaw] Fearon and finds his conclusions valid, including Americans' prejudice against Englishmen and other foreigners. Compares American women and children unfavorably to their English counterparts, noting white children mingling with enslaved children. Tells of American roguery, including theft, murder, violence, and effrontery, concluding,"the higher classes are more wicked here than in England." Shocked that General [Andrew] Jackson is allowed to travel with President [James Monroe] following his execution of British subject [Alexander] Arbuthnot, and is proud that English newspapers condemn Jackson's actions. Discusses encounters with violence and cruelty against enslaved children, noting "Foreigners behave worse to their Slaves, than the Native Americans." Notes low cost of provisions and an acquaintance teaching at a"Black school." Discusses Americans' lower demands for quality goods and the market for"Braziers & tin-plate workers." Addressed to Mr. Wright, Ironmonger, in Lincolnshire, Old England, including a rare American Packet Courier handstamp featuring a red heart. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1819 September 7 . Quashe Babbitt ALS to Bathsheba Babbitt; Bristol, [Rhode Island]. (1 page)
Thanking his former mistress for her kindness "when I was in your family:-- In taking care of me even in sickness as you would have done for your own child." Had intended to stay with the family, but circumstances dictated otherwise. "I shall ever have the same love and respect for you, as if I had never left your house. -- I feel as if I were willing to lay down my life for you." Gratitude to former master for education and providing a 'house-lot." Includes later note in a different hand regarding the author, "an African Slave owned by Jacob Babbitt Sen . . . took the name of his Master at his death he left a son James Babbitt." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1820 February 20 . [Ira Moore] Barton ALS to Nathaniel Helme; Providence, [Rhode Island]. (3 pages)
Discusses fellow classmates from Brown University, 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1820 November 28 . C[harles] A[nderson] Wickliffe ALS to Lewis Null; Frankfort, [Kentucky]. (1 page)
Regarding the sale of an enslaved woman who was found to suffered from disease, rescinding the contract; "the negro was sent down the River to be sold as she would not sell where this was known." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1821 January 6 . Jos[eph] C. Hornblower ALS to Rosanna Stone; Newark, N[ew] J[ersey]. (4 pages)
From Hornblower, Treasurer of the "b. dir. of the A.S." to Stone of the Female African Society of Union, Ohio. 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 & 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1821 January 30 . Jno. Slidell [John Slidell] ALS to Sam[ue]l F. Jarvis; New York, [New York]. (4 pages)
Comments on the confusion regarding Jarvis's aunt's will and offers details about settling her estate. Discusses Jarvis's aunt's servants, accusing "Black Helen" of being an "artful thief" and notes her manumission from slavery. Mentions books. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1821 November 23 . John Gill Partially Printed DS to William Daley; Baltimore, [Maryland]. (1 page)
Affidavit of freedom for William Daley. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1822 September 10 . Ms. Doc.; [Virginia]. (4 pages)
"Address to the Youth of the United States" entitled "Goodness and Greatness hostile to Slavery--" Essay on the injustice of slavery, rejecting the value of expanding slavery into Missouri, and urging young people to support liberty, not slavery. The manuscript is addressed to Joshua Whitall of Woodbury, Gloucester County, New Jersey, and signed "By a Native of Virginia." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1822 September 20 . Ohio Court of Common Pleas (Jefferson County) DS; Jefferson County, Ohio. (6 pages)
Depositions from a slander case, in which Hutchinson accused William McCurdy of telling others that Hutchinson had impregnated Elizabeth Nelson, an African American woman. See also depositions dated January 29, 1823. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1823 January 4 . Tho[mas] Rhett Smith Partially Printed DS to William Lenox Kirkland; South Carolina. (1 page)
Bill of slave for 19 slaves for the sum of $6,840. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1823 January 29 . Ohio Court of Common Pleas (Jefferson County) DS; Jefferson County, Ohio. (8 pages)
Depositions from a slander case, in which Hutchinson accused William McCurdy of telling others that Hutchinson had impregnated Elizabeth Nelson, an African American woman. See also depositions dated September 20, 1822. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1823 June 26 and 28 . Mss.; Place not identified. (9 pages (total))
Essays "Was the banishment of Buonaparte to the Island of St. Helena justifiable?" and "On 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1823 August 24 . Thomas Clarkson ALS to John Gibson; Penrith, [England]. (1 page)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1823 November 22 . Thomas Clarkson ALS; Brighton, [England]. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1824 May . American Colonization Society Document to Rev. Chapin; New York, [New York]. (4 pages)
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." [Montserrado, 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1824 December 29 - 1824 December 30 . New Jersey Council and General Assembly DS; [Trenton, New Jersey]. (2 pages)
Resolutions for the "gradual emancipation of the people of Colour." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1825 August 30 . Lindley Murray ALS to Elizabeth Heyrick; Holgate, [England]. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1826 September 26 . Fredericksburg (Va.) Overseers of the Poor DS to George Cox; Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (1 page)
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. Signed by William Hardin, George Cox, and Samuel Phillips. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1827 August . Brechin Castle Estates Partially printed document; [Trinidad]. (3 pages)
"Brechin Castle Estates Journal." Overseer's report for a sugarcane plantation, detailing information on slaves, plantation production, livestock, articles received and delivered, a white worker, and general observations on slave health, weather, and sugar cane cultivation. Accounts for the 55 enslaved men, women, boys, girls, and children, and details the location and type of their labor. Includes a note about retaining some rum "for Estates use – for the slaves." Details number of acres of sugarcane and plantains under cultivation. Comments on illnesses, including dysentery, sores, and fevers, and mentions one elderly man who is believed to be faking sickness. "Teddy has been since June last in the hospital the Doctor Can see nothing the matter with him but Laziness to move about, and this I am obliged to Indulge him with on consequence of his old age." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1828 January 25 . Charles Miner ALS to Enoch Lewis; Washington, [D.C.]. (5 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1828 June 2 . Samuel Bowling and J. H. Williams 2 Documents to George Alderson. (3 pages (total))
Sale of Caroline, a slave child, by Samuel Bowling to George Alderson for $200. This document arrived at the Clements Library with John Anderson DS to Nathaniel Willsin [i.e. Wilson], April 14, 1785, respecting the sale of James, another child slave. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1828 October 20 . Ralph R. Gurley ALS to Thomas H. Gallaudet, Office of the Colonization Society; Office of the Colonization Society, Washington, [D.C.]. (7 pages)
Ralph Gurley's findings while researching 'Prince' [Abdul Rahman], an escaped slave, who claimed Moorish ancestry was a way to secure his liberation and eventual journey back to Africa. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1828 November 28 . Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society ADf to George Murray; Wesleyan Mission House, [London, England]. (15 pages)
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. Attached is Horace Twiss LS to James Townley, s.l.; December 6, 1828, regarding slave marriage. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1828 c.] . Anonymous [John Russwurm?] AMs; [Bowdoin College, Maine]. (22 pages)
School essay on Toussaint L'Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1830 March 8 . John Russell Document to George Buist; South Carolina. (2 pages)
A free person of color's bond [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
  1830 August 12 . George Henry French; James Charles French; Nathaniel Snell Chauncey, Philip Monoux Lucas, and Charles Porcher Lang; and John George Nanton and Thomas Cayley DS; St. Vincent. (5 pages)
Estate documents of James French's Richmond Hill plantation, St. Vincent, including an inventory of enslaved persons from 1817-1827. The inventory includes names, "colour," employment, age, and "country" (African or Creole). [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   2  
  1818-June 1838
  1831 September 19 . Gilbert Austin ALS to James Austin; Richmond, V[irgini]a. (3 pages)
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 & children..." Rumors of another insurrection in North Carolina have been dispelled. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1831 October 5 . George Reid and Eliza Reid ALS to William M[oultrie] Reid; Charleston, [South Carolina]. (3 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1832 April 11 . T[homas] Butler ALS to Matthew Carey; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania]. (2 pages)
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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1833 April 1 . Elliott Cresson ALS to M[athew] Carey; Cavers, Scotland. (4 pages)
Plea to raise anti-slavery spirit in Pennsylvania, hopes containment of slavery will speed emancipation. Discusses friction between U.S. & British antislavery leaders, mentions his failure to arouse public support for colonization within Great Britain; harshly criticizes Garrison. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1833 May 22 . John Beecham ADfS to Edward Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby; Wesleyan Mission House [London, England]. (17 pages)
Enclosing 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1834 August 10 . Banque des Citoyens de la Louisiane DS; St. Jacques Parish, [St. James Parish, Louisiana]. (2 pages)
"Certificat et Serment des Appreciateurs." 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] [View Digital Surrogate]
  1834 December 18 . Cha[rle]s Colcock Jones ALS to Clark Perry; Riceboro, Georgia. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1834-1835 Winter] . Harriet Martineau ALS to [Benjamin Bussey Thatcher]; Place not identified. (3 pages)
Discusses African colonization and the question of slavery. Mentions reading "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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1835 April 19 . Seymour Allen ALS to Jonathan C. Allen; Copiah Co[unty], Miss[issippi]. (2 pages)
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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1835 April . C[harles] Stuart ALS to Gerrit Smith; Place not identified. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1835 September 2 . E[dward] S[trutt] Abdy ALS to W[illiam] Tait; London, [England]. (3 pages)
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 & the personal qualification of the other must some day come into fatal collision..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1835 September 30 . B[enjamin] Lundy ALS to George Kimball; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania]. (1 page)
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…" [enclosures not present]. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1836 September 6 . Jane A. T. Ramsay ADS to Henry Rowe; Alexandria [Washington, D.C.]. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1837 February 18 . Elizur Wright, Jr. ALS to William M. Chace; New York. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 February 9 . A[ndrew] P[ickens] Butler ALS to F[rancis] W[ilkinson] Pickens; Charleston, [South Carolina]. (6 pages)
Working to acquire documents relative to Huguenots in South Carolina. Unsettled by the "abolition question" in Washington, D.C., 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 June 23, 25, and 30 . McInroy, Sandbach & Co. LS to Sandbach, Tinne & Co.; Demerary, [Demerara, Guyana]. (4 pages)
Problems with labor supply because of abolition of apprenticeship in Demerara [Guyana] [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 June 30 . E[van] J[ohn Murray] MacGregor MsCy to [Henry Charles Darling]; Government House, Barbados. (13 pages)
Includes printed circular dispatches from the Secretary of State for the Colonial Department [Charles Grant, 1st Baron Glenelg] regarding the liability to 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   3  
  July 1838-1846
  1838 July 13 . McInroy, Sandbach & Co. ALS to Sandbach, Tinne & Co.; Demerary, [Demerara, Guyana]. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 July 26-1838 November 19 . John Zug Ms; [Pennsylvania]. (54 pages)
"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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 August 23 . B[enjamin] Lundy ALS to Thomas Gregg; Cincinnati, [Ohio]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 September 30 . McInroy, Sandbach & Co. ALS to Sandbach, Tinne & Co.; Demerary, [Demerara, Guyana]. (1 page)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 October 8 . T[homas] P[hilander] Ryder ALS to E. B. Dearborn [Edmund Batchelder Dearborn?]; Uxbridge, [Massachusetts]. (1 page)
Requests Dearborn to distribute notices of the County meeting to help with a subscription drive. Pleased with the "State Convention of the Abolitionists," recently held at Worcester, Massachusetts. Has engaged [Amos Augustus] Phelps (1805-1847) and [William Lloyd] Garrison (1805-1879) for their county Anti-Slavery meeting to be held at Hingham. "We must have a full & (spunky!) delegation." Attended an "Anti License-law Meeting." See also C. W. Wood ALS to E. B. Dearborn, May 27, 1837, in the Clements Library's Education Collection. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1838 -1841 . Ms. Journal Entries. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1839 March 1 . W[illia]m Lloyd Garrison, Maria W[eston] Chapman, and Edmund Quincy Printed Circular to John Smith; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1839 May 6 . Thomas Clarkson ALS to [Henry Forster] Burder; [London, England]. (2 pages)
Has stayed longer at Hatcham than expected, on account of "Intreaties, the irresistible Intreaties, as you know, of our friends to remain there." Appointments, dinner invitations, etc. Will sit for Mr. Bohnes today, so that he make final corrections to his marble bust of Clarkson. Unable to dine with Dr. Burder tomorrow. Clarkson remarks that his poor eyesight makes writing difficult. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1839 November 26 . James Forten & Sons ALS to Richard S. Smith; Philad[elphi]a, [Pennsylvania]. (1 page)
African American businessman apologizes for not having a "Matt" finished by an agreed time, "owing to the indisposition of the person who undertook the making of it." He offers the matt as a donation to Smith's new church. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1839 . Inhabitants of the Town of Lenox (Mass.) Pr. DS to Senate and House of the United States; Lenox, Massachusetts. (1 page)
Petition, with 45 signatures, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1840 March 15 . Emma May Roath ALS to Mary E. Bulkeley; Norwich, [Connecticut]. (4 pages)
Recounts incident of a black servant who told of his mistreatment and the resulting anger of the local black community and abolitionists against his master. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1840 April 17 . T. J. Winchell ALS to Madison Winchell; Albany, [New York]. (4 pages)
Comments on Madison's activities in Cuba, favoring it to "this land of Liberty… whiggery & Abolitionism." Comments on the practice of saving money. Includes jokes. Briefly notes New York elections, racial intermarriage, "The Great Belgian Giant," and other shows and exhibitions. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1840 July 28 . A. Willey ALS to John E. Godfrey; Hallowell, [Maine]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1840 August 14 . A. Willey ALS to John E. Godfrey; Hallowell, [Maine]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1840 October 17 . Julia ALS to Caroline Morgan; [post Augusta, Georgia]. (4 pages)
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, resulting in less quarreling. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1840 November 6 . Jacob Smalley, William G. Hedges, and William P. Payne DS; Nicholas County, [Kentucky]. (6 pages)
Estate inventory for the late Jno. Bradley. Lists debts owed to individuals and 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, 023.15. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1841 February 8 . W[illia]m B. Stephenson ALS to Otho Scott; Hartford County, [Maryland]. (2 pages)
Difficulties of laws/punishments for runaway slaves; consequences for blacks who are enslaved for a specific number of years and "elope" before their service expires, are too lax." 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1841 February 16 . Geo[rge] W. Benson ALS to Charles Perry; Brooklyn, [Connecticut]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1841 May 7 . Dinah Rollins ALS to Samuel [Elliott] Coues; Portsmouth, [New Hampshire]. (2 pages)
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.." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1841 September 1 . Charles Stewart Renshaw ALS and printed circular to J. M. Ward; Oberlin, [Ohio]. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1841 December 29 . Louis Sheridan ALS to Benjamin Hornor Coates; Bassa Cove, [Liberia]. (3 pages)
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 them. Ladies attended by boys and girls"affect the style and ape the manner of the their former masters"--which Sheridan believes is an evil. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1842 January 10 . Nathan Chapman ALS to "son"; Lenox, [New York?]. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1842 August 25?] . Elihu Burritt Partial AL to [Mr. Fechem and Mr. Harlow]; [Troy, New York]. (1 page)
Final page of a letter. Writes of the dissolving of strong bonds, casting blame on the current debt repudiation crisis. Comments on slavery and its hypocrisy. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 March 4 . New Hampshire. Court of Common Pleas (Merrimack County) Doc. to Jonathan Page; Merrimack County, New Hampshire. (1 page)
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 extols 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 April 23 . Charlotte H. L. Coues ALS to Nathaniel Rogers; Portsmouth, [New Hampshire]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 June 20 . S. S. Miller ALS to Alfred M. Miller; Evansville, [Iowa]. (4 pages)
Miller received several publications in the mail: The Perfectionist and Salvation from Sin (a Witness Extra). Mention of [John Humphrey] Noyes. S. S. Miller, a doctor, described Lockland, Ohio, as a good place to practice medicine as Typhus Gravior prevailed and the local "mineralists" were unable to treat the condition. James Boyle [editor of The Perfectionist] visited Lockland to deliver a lecture on slavery. Miller's letter includes a description of the lecture room and ensuing anti-abolitionist violence. Members of the crowd attacked Miller and Boyle during the lecture. The following day, Miller was forced to flee town after a large mob attempted to lynch him. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 August 22 . Onondaga County (N.Y.) Citizens Ms.; Syracuse, [New York]. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 September 6 . Friends of Temperance ADS; [Baltimore, Maryland?]. (2 pages)
Resolutions passed by the Friends of Temperance in memory of John Zug, including an acknowledgement of the services he rendered to the community,"cherish a lively sense of his many virtues," and participate in his funeral procession. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 September 20 . Washington Temperance Society ADS; Baltimore, [Maryland]. (2 pages)
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." With an appended ANS from James Patterson, secretary, to Mrs. Zug, September 20, 1843, informing her of the resolutions. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1843 November 22 . T. J. Dobyns ALS to James Gordon Bennett; Brownsville, Tennessee. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1844 February 28 . Fanny ALS to Caroline E. Mackay; Concord, [Massachusetts]. (4 pages)
Discussion of Lydia M. Child, a letter she wrote on valentines, and the townspeople of Concord's interest 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1844 July 3 . Adams County (Miss.) Citizens DS to Adams County (Miss.) Board of Police; Natchez, [Mississippi]. (1 page)
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 make grant her . . . permission to reside in said County upon her Complying with the law respecting free Persons of Color." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1844 September 1 . Thomas Clarkson ALS; Suffolk, England. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1844 November 20 . F. A. Thompson ALS to G. W. McMillan; Lane Seminary, Walnut Hills, Ohio. (3 pages)
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]. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1844 December 7 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine M. Moore; Elizabethtown, [New York]. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 January 23 . E. H. Stow ALS to Robert Darragh; Washington, [Pennsylvania]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  [ca. January 1845] . Lewis Tappan, W[illia]m E. Whiting, William Mowrey, and J[ames] C. Jackson Pr. LS to N. R. Chapman; Albany, [New York]. (3 pages)
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 a handwritten note from Jackson, asking Chapman to buy some of Tappan's books. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 March 22 . C[assius] M[arcellus] Clay ALS to A. M. Sannary; Lexington, K[entuck]y. (1 page)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 April . L. Munsell ALS to N. R. Chapman; Indianapolis, [Indiana]. (3 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 May . Nathaniel Baxter, Attorney General of Maury County (Tenn.) ADS; Maury County, Tennessee. (1 page)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 June 3 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Eliza S. St. Clair; Moriah, [New York]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 July 5 . W[illia]m Jackson DS to Hezekiah McWhiteker; Harrison County, Kentucky. (1 page)
Bill of sale for a slave named Nelson, about 24 years old, for $600 to McWhiteker, "his heirs excecutors and adminstaters for ever." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 July 12 . Clarissa Mitchell and Thomas E. Mahan DS; Maury County, Tennessee. (1 page)
Document of 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 July 30 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Eliza S. St. Clair; Lake Erie, Steamboat Chesapeak. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 August . Nathaniel Baxter, Attorney General of Maury County (Tenn.) ADS; Maury County, Tennessee. (4 pages)
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 guilt" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 October 21 . William Wirt ALS to Lawrence Washington; Baltimore, [Maryland]. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 December 1 and 1845 December 19 . John J. Williams and Jacob Sand[rus?] DS; Orange, [Connecticut]. (2 pages)
Deposition identifying Francis Cisco as an escaped slave from New Jersey; Williams "saw him often on Hollidays, somewhat older than myself Know his Grandparents & knew him…untill he left the state & also knew his Master..." Sand[rus?] 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]." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1845 December 2 . John Rankin ALS to Rev. A. S. Rankin; Ripley, [Ohio]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1846?] January 30 . Nathaniel [Peabody Rogers] ALS to Mary P[orter] Rogers; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1846 February 23 . Isaac Stearns ALS to John Selee; Mansfield, [Massachusetts]. (8 pages)
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 [enclosure not present]. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1846 August 21 . Joseph Carpenter ALS to Esther P. Titus; New Rochelle, [New York]. (1 page)
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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1846 August 23 . Ms. Note; Place not identified. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   4  
  1847 January . W[illia]m Davis and Emeline Davis ALS to Margaret T. Davis; Philad[elphi]a, [Pennsylvania]. (2 pages)
Mentions a concert of the Hutchinson family at the Musical Hall, which 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--" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1847 May 6 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catharine M. Morse; Ft. Madison, Lee County, Iowa Territory. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1847 October 8 . J. B. Hayden, Jr. ALS to James D. Perkins; Portland, [Maine]. (4 pages)
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 ministrel performers, possibly Dan Rice. "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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1847 December 10 . Ann Person, W[illia]m A. Person, and Tho[ma]s J. Person Document to George G. Person, James P. Person, and Samuel B. Person; Jackson, Tennessee. (1 pages)
Applying to the December term of the circuit court Madison County and meeting at the courthouse in Jackson to receive an Order of Partition and Division for jointly owned slaves Polk and Dalles. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 January 1 . Jeremiah Toole and C. Kennedy Partially printed DS to Eliza Nalle; [Virginia]. (1 page)
Agreement to pay $40 for the "hire of a male slave, called Henry Bonner until Christmas next, who is to be provided with, at the usual times, a summer and winter suit of clothes, a Hat, Blanket, two shirts, a pair of stockings and shoes, all of good serviceable stuff; said slave not to be carried out of the State of Virginia." Docketed on verso: "Caps to May Court. Dam $20." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 February 12 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine [M. Morse]; Chicago, Ill[inois]. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 June 4 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catherine [M. Morse]; Ft. Madison, [Lee County, Iowa Territory]. (4 pages)
Abolitionist writing to his sister, urging her to move to Iowa from Massachusetts. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 September 25 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catharine [M. Morse]; Belvidere, Boone Co[unty], Ill[inois]. (4 pages)
Abolitionist writing to his sister; mentions that he is "speaking every day" and traveling. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 October 29 . G[eorge] W. Turley ALS to Paris Seemes; Pittsburgh, [Pennsylvania]. (3 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 November 19 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catharine [M. Morse]; Gooding's Grove, [Illinois]. (4 pages)
Concerning his exhaustive lecturing throughout 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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1848 . G.B. Bate and Lucy Anne Gray Doc. to William Gay; Jefferson County, Kentucky. (1 page)
Bill of Sale for a slave named Jacob, between 27 and 30 years old, for $900. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1849 January 27 . Isaac and Joshia ALS to Roseanna; Etna Iron Works, [Pennsylvania]. (2 pages)
Address 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1849 February 23 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catharine [M. Morse]; Gooding's Grove, [Illinois]. (6 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1849 February 23 . Joseph Charles Simon, Joseph Simon, Antoine Belanger, Francisco Grappe, and Zeno Messeres DS; Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. (3 pages)
Document detailing the sale and succession of the property of a Damacine Simon, a deceased free black woman. 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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1849 May 5 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Catharine [M. Morse]; Gooding's Grove, Will County, [Illinois]. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1849 August 15 . Hiram Wilson ALS to Emily Howland; Hopedale, Dawn Mills, [Ontario]. (3 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1849 December 31 . Laura R. Stevens ALS to "Aunt Abby"; Richmond, [Virginia]. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1850 September 21 . Jno. [John] Pierpont ANS to Charles H. Morse; Medford, [Massachusetts]. (1 page)
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.'" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1851 March 11 . John L. Fuller ALS to Clement B. Grubb; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania]. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1851 April 17 . C. F. Dandridge DS to A. O. Harris; [Memphis, Tennessee]. (2 pages (total))
Sale of a"Yellow boy slave named Jehue" from Dandridge, of Shelby County, Tennessee to Harris for $800. Accompanied by a note from August 10, 1905, written by John Capp of the First National Bank of Memphis, concerning the document--C. F. Dandridge was "a slave dealer, and Harris "a commission merchant doing business in Memphis." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1851 May 27 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Calvin Ingraham; Rockford, [Illinois]. (4 pages)
Abolitionist writing to his brother-in-law; "I will give you a history of my journey this side of Plainfield, [Illinois]." [View Digital Surrogate]
  [18]51 November 15 . Ned [Edwin] ALS to Pierre [St. M. Andrews]; Richmond, [Virginia]. (3 pages)
Went to choir practice and a dance, but has not been out socializing much due to an abundance of business"since my return from Yankee Land." Had a hunting trip in Chesterfield." . . . Killed a goodly number of Partridges, & Old Hares, one big Owl & at night went ‘Possum' Hunting . . . they are queer chaps, something between a rat & Hog." Writes about bringing an African American man on the hunting trip to help cut down trees to capture the possums. Italian Opera Troupe performing in town. Obtained a book of music from Philadelphia, and inquires after others. Writes about there not being a day"set apart by the Gov't" for Thanksgiving, with only Christmas being the big holiday,"then all hands black & white, bond & free have a holiday." An Episcopal Church is being renovated, and Ned hopes they get a new organ. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1852 January 16 . Alanson St. Clair ALS to Mrs. C. M. Ingraham; Manlius, Grundy Co[unty, Illinois]. (4 pages)
Discusses his abolitionist lectures in Morris which have caused people to convert to the antislavery cause and stirred up abolitionists. "The morality of the place is low." Mentions some ministers who are pro-slavery and "the balance of the churches are the same." He states this his antislavery efforts are the first in Grundy County and that "my labors, as far as I have gone, show how easily the whole state might be got right side up." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1852 March 22 . E. Cowgill ALS to Thomas Garrett; Dover, [Delaware]. (1 page)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1852 July 9 . Lewis Tappan ALS to D[wight] Baldwin; South Woodstock, Connecticut. (3 pages)
Acknowledges receipt of letters and donations from foreign missionaries to the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. " is cheering to know that converted heathen, at such a distance, under the faithful preaching of sypmathising Christian countrymen, feel for the slave, for the free people of this country, and for the Redeemers." Comments on the work of missionaries and their converts in furthering the anti-slavery cause and Christian principles generally. Materials recently sent to Baldwin, other missionaries, and Chief Justice [William Little] Lee (1821-1857), will give them a sense of the cause's current status. Committee accepts the $100 and will use it to distribute a tract, noting the failure of the American Tract Society to publish anti-slavery materials. Grateful for monthly prayer concerts "to pray for the downfall[l] of slavery." Will publish portions of Baldwin's letter in the Independent, noting the newspaper's strong anti-slavery stance and the number of ministers who subscribe to it. Mentions Harriet Beecher Stowe and the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin. "...the sale has been unprecedented, certainly in this country . . . Facts are woven into a fiction with a power superior to Dickens' . . . It is a good indication that such a work is read with so much avidity. The anti Slavery discussions prepared the way." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1852 December 22 . John C. Zabriskie and "Black Nel" DS; New Jersey. (2 pages)
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." She is to be taught to read and write, and be provided food, clothing, and shelter. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1853 January 11 . D. Campbell ALS to Thomas Parkes; Nashville, [Tennessee]. (1 page)
Asks Parkes to see if A. Merrill would buy an enslaved boy named Beeler for $600. Notes that the boy had rheumatism, and that the illness might return, but if the trade could be made he would bring the boy to Merrill. "Franklin is a better slave market than Nashville." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1853 February 16 . Charles K. Post and Rebecca A. Post ALS to [Augustus Beach]; Newport, [New York]. (4 pages)
Regrets the length of time since they last visited. Doing well in the lumber and mill business. Notes on dairy cows, cheese, hay, and horses. News of visits, health, deaths, children. Excited about the construction of a local railroad. Alexander Buell 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 coonverts. Notes on abolition, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and other anti-slavery literature. Brief mention of local newspapers, including "F[rederick] Douglas[s] paper" [View Digital Surrogate]
  1853 April 7 . Elizabeth Johnson ALS to William H. Brown and Charlott W. Brown; Clinton County, Ohio. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1853 September 29 . Walter C. Graham DS; [Shelby], Cleveland County, North Carolina. (2 pages)
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. On verso: Graham H. Anthony 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." Document was presented to Dr. C. D. Denning, at Hartford, Connecticut. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1854 March 18 . Thomas Washington ALS to W[illia]m H. Stephens; Nashville, [Tennessee]. (2 pages)
Inquiring after a tract of land in Jackson, Tennessee, which was granted to Philip Thomas, "our old barber here in Nashville, a mulatto man, who died before 1835." The land now belongs to his daughter, married to Reuben P. Graham of Cincinnati, "also a free man of colour." Includes copied text of the land grant. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [18]54 August 27 . Henry Lazenby ALS to Christopher Hiatt; Lynchburg, Virginia. (11 pages)
Comments on the diverse nature of the slavery debate. Argues about slavery and political representation. Discusses the 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 aggravated sectionalism. Considers whether the "Nebraska bill" would apply to 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, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison's decisions to liberate their slaves or not. 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. Mentions Harriet Beecher Stowe. 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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [18]55 December 30 . L. A. E. Messinger ALS to Geraldine; [Baconham?]. (2 pages)
Comments on travels to Quicksburg and [Baconham?], being delayed in Kentucky on account of illness. Symptoms of fever, chills, bloody flux, and using calomel as medicine. Describes Dr. Moore's farm near Harrodsburg, [Kentucky?], his livestock, and how his "family consists of about twenty persons white and black." Notes African American servants' Christmas celebrations. "...having great times in music and dancing and various other sports and jollification together with receiving their christmas gift from their Master and Mistress." Includes recipes for [Jenny?] Lind cake, corn bread, and hair oil. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1855?] . Ms; [Boston, Massachusetts]. (6 pages)
List of members and rules for an antislavery society; member list includes John G. Palfrey, Horace Mann, Charles Sumner, John G. Whittier, and Charles Sedgwick. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1856 January 26-28 . J[oh]n Aldridge ALS to Andrew Aldridge; Place not identified. (2 pages)
Considering how to handle Sam, a 17-year-old enslaved man hired out to Mr. Bean to thrash rye, who has turned himself in to jail in protest of abuse. Mr. Bean struck Sam with a brush after finding him avoiding work. "...he had previously said no man should whip him this year, if they did he would go to Leesburg & be sold." Has left Sam in jail, hoping "he would come too but you know the Devil is in the whole of Matilda's breed & I expect we will have to sell him, or perhaps loose him as soon as he can find some one who will go with him to Penna." Thoughts on how to handle the other "shareholders" who have invested in Sam. "We own one half of him & I am not disposed to run the risk of loosing him entirely." Notes the popularity of enslaved people turning themselves in to jail, "& I expect in 20 years Loudoun will have no slaves in it this I attribute to the prevailing abolition feeling in the Co." A "negro buyer" suggests Sam is "too bright for the highest market price." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1856 March 26 . John H. Dunlap ALS to John A. Beauhamp; Paris, Tenn[essee]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1856 July 29 . Frederick Douglass ALS to J[oseph] C. Hathaway; Rochester, [New York]. (2 pages (total))
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." Pasted onto a sheet also containing, on verso, James Redpath ALS to A. Leffingwell; Boston, [Mass.], August 19, 1863. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1856 August 25 . Standish (Me.) Republican Town Committee Ms; Standish, [Maine]. (1 page)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1856 September 5 . C. B. Lines ALS to Mr. Kingsbury; New Haven, [Kansas]. (3 pages)
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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1857 April 3 . W[illiam] B[uell] Sprague ALS to G. E. Ellis; Albany, [New York]. (4 pages)
Anecdote about a 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1858 July 23 . Fredericksburg (Va.) Coroner and Jurors DsS; Fredericksburg, [Virginia]. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1859 August 13 . Gerrit Smith ALS to Dyer Burgess; Peterboro, [New York]. (2 pages)
Does not belong to any secret societies and has a strong dislike of them. Burgess has a good reputation; relates a brief story about a man who traded an enslaved man for hogs. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [1859 September 12] . Coleman S. Ratliff DS; Nicholas County, [Kentucky]. (1 page)
Nicholas County Court. Coleman Ratliff, petitioner and owner of Frank, a 7 year-old slave, wished to sell him. "The Petitioner says he is to be free at the age of 35 years." Ordered that Frank may be sold, will be freed at the age of 35, and may not be removed from the state of Kentucky. Includes a description of Frank. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1859 December 6 . A. Wright ALS to "Andrew" [brother]; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 February 2 . James F. Smith ALS to [Samuel Fenton?] Cary; Bellevue, [Ohio]. (4 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 July 15 . Nancy ALS to "sister"; Place not identified. (4 pages)
She will send money from their brother, for clothing. When her sister travels to Milwaukee, he will send money for travel expenses. Nancy recently stayed with Henry at his large plantation in Louisiana. She remarks: "I should think the slaves the happiest servants in this country, I did not see any of the horrors we read of." Steamer travel up the Mississippi. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 August 21 . Matilda A. Pleasant DS; Powhattan, [Virginia]. (1 page)
Document certifying that Adaline, a thirty-old slave of John T. Pleasant, has been manumitted contingent upon the Powhattan Court's issuing Adaline her "free papers." Pleasant's children inherited Adaline as part of the estate of John T. Pleasant upon his death. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 October . George Dennis DS; Frederick County, Maryland. (1 page)
Judgement 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 on the information of John Pope." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 November 5 . W[illia]m Lloyd Garrison ALS to J. M. McKim; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (3 pages)
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 allegedly "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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 December 28 . John M. Pettus and S. A. Pettus Doc. to M. E. [C.] Gillian; Virginia. (1 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1860 December 25 . John M. Pettus and S. A. Pettus Doc. to M. E. C. Gillian; Virginia. (2 pages)
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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1861 February 28 . Gerrit Smith ALS to N. W. Green; Peterboro, [New York]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1861 March 14 . Gerrit Smith ALS to N. W. Green; Peterboro, [New York]. (2 pages)
Regarding antislavery and the constitution; Mentions Wendell Phillips. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1861 December 20 . James A[lexander] Hamilton ALS to Samuel B[ulkley] Ruggles; Nevis, Dobb's Ferry, [New York]. (4 pages)
Lists items he wishes to bring before Congress relating to slavery, including abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, repealing protections of inter-state slave trading, and amending the Constitution. Recommends Constitutional amendments to repeal the Fugitive Slave Act and the 3/5ths Compromise, prohibit slave trading and admitting slave states, and prevent secession. Proposes declaring Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas United States territories if they do not "abjure all allegiance to the assumed Southern Confederacy." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1862 August 26 . Henry ALS to Mr. Johnson; Barbados. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1863 February 19 . Tho[ma]s Garrett ALS to "Esteemed friend"; Wilmington, [Delaware]. (1 page)
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 any sympathy for the slaves." Comments on pro-slavery sentiments in Maryland and mentions that the postmaster is proslavery. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1864 June 1 . James T. Bailey ADS; Perry County, Alabama. (1 page)
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" is struck out with two pen strokes. Signed by George H. Kirk, Jr. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1864 September 24 . E. Stephens ALS to William Conrad; Florence, Boone Co[unty], K[entuck]y. (1 page)
Abolitionists gain control of various Baptist churches; "I feel satisfied that the Abolition portion of the Associ would Rule..." He discusses various Baptist associations 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1865 May 3 . Nancy S. [Battey] ALS to "Mother" [Ruth Muzzey Battey]; Darlington Farm, [near Yorktown, Virginia]. (4 pages)
Letter from a teacher at a freedman's school, possibly under the auspices of the Friends Freedmen's Association. Wishes she could visit home, "but suppose the traveling expenses will be too much for a contraband teacher." Sorry to hear of Isaac's poor health and wonders if he is interested in hiring one of her African American students. "Would he like me to take a smart colored boy home to work for him a year or two? There is one that has been to school considerable, who wants very much to go north, is more fond of farming than anything else; is bright, intelligent, full of good natured fun and seems determined to do what he can to help himself along in the world." Notes her comfort having him associate with the children and dismisses neighbors' hesitations. "I presume that some of the neighbors will turn up their noses if Isaac should have a colored boy live with him, but who cares for that? perhaps they would have to respect him upon acquaintance whether they wish to or not." Notes the superintendent visiting, illness of a teachers at Williamsburg and Slabtown, heavy work loads, and her appreciation for Dr. [James Evans] Rhoads (1828-1895). "The people here say that they do not want us to go for they fear we shall not come back; but I would not be willing to stay through the hot weather for considerable." Briefly comments on the death of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). "The people sincerely mourn the death of the president; they feel that he has done much for them and are grateful for it." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1865 July 24 . W[illiam] Lloyd Garrison ALS to Benjamin Chase; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (4 pages)
Comments on his friendship with Chase and his appreciation for photography. Grateful for Chase's approval of his anti-slavery work, especially because Chase labored so long for the cause under equally difficult circumstances. Notes the reversal of opinion on abolition, attributing it to God. Acknowledges continuing prejudice and expects "insults and outrages" to continue to be perpetrated against African Americans. Believes America is moving towards justice. His wife, Helen Eliza Garrison, is receiving electrical treatments for paralysis. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1865 December 5 . J. L. ALS to Joe; Brades, [Montserrat?]. (8 pages)
Comments 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. Mentions citizenship rights for African Americans, social equality, and the poor logic of colonization. Touches on Irish independence. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1865 December 31 . W. J. McCalley and J. R. Wyly DS to Reyton McCalley; Madison County, Alabama. (3 pages)
Contracts for labor with a former slave, Reyton 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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1866 February 1 . Thomas Wentworth Higginson LS to Lewis G[eorge] Janes; Newpot, Rhode Island. (3 pages)
As a member of the School Committee of Newport, answering questions posed by Janes about African American students. 13 African American students enrolled, "and it gradually increases. It was advised by members of the committee that the introduction should be gradual." School attendance generally diminishing, but only "about a dozen" white children left directly due to African American attendance. No conflicts have been reported and believes integration beneficial to all. Believes existing laws, if properly followed, are sufficient to secure equal access to schools, and community opinion seems to be in favor. Integration first raised to the School Committee by "a colored citizen named Mitchell S. Haynes, who claimed the right to have his child admitted to the school nearest his residence." Accompanied by a ca. 1871 CDV portrait of Higginson. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1866 April 8 . [P.] R. ALS to William C. Rives, Jr.; Castle Hill, [Virginia]. (4 pages)
Discusses tensions between slaves and former owners, and slaves traveling to Liberia; "I think any of those would be wise to go to a country where the mild and equable climate..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1867 April 13 . C[harles] C. Stevenson ALS to William F. Hall; Carson City, Nevada. (3 pages)
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. On "State of Nevada--Senate Chamber" printed stationery. [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   5  
  1868-1966 and   undated
  1868 August 26 . Texas District Court (Jefferson County) Document Cy; Travis County, Texas. (13 pages)
True copy of documents related to the 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 write of error, acceptance of service, error bond, and certificate. Witnessed and certified by Frank Brown, clerk of the district court of Travis County. Filing dates to October 6, 1868. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1868 November 13 . J[ohn] C. Norris ALS to Rufus B. Bullock; Warrenton, [Georgia]. (2 pages)
Warrenton, Georgia, 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 Jeffers's son, William. Violence against freedmen. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1869 June 26 . William D. Forten ALS to James H. Whallon; Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania]. (2 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1872 January 14 . Edgar Clark ALS to Adin B. Clark; Rochester, New York. (4 pages)
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 20 years. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [after 1872?] . W[illiam] Lloyd Garrison ALS to W[illiam] A. Wallace; Roxbury [Boston, Connecticut]. (9 pages (total))
Respecting articles in the Liberator concerned with the destruction of a racially integrated school for"black and white scholars" in New Canaan, Connecticut, by the local community in 1835. Writes that townspeople angered by whites and blacks socializing together described school as a nuisance and insisted upon its removal. Accompanied by an 8-page manuscript respecting the incident from 1872 or later. The enclosure was written on printed "Office of the New Hampshire Patriot" (Concord, N.H.) stationery and on printed "Greeley and Brown Club" petitions. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1873 February 6 . Wendell Phillips AQS; New Haven, Connecticut. (1 page)
Brief quotation of lines that Phillips attributed to John Brown. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1874 December 2 . Flo ALS to Mary J. Mayhew; Savannah, [Georgia]. (6 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1876 February 28 . W[illia]m Lloyd Garrison ALS to Benj[amin] Chase; Boston, [Massachusetts]. (4 pages)
Received Chase's letter, which contained "anti-slavery reminiscences and suggestive reflections." Recognizes ongoing prejudices against African Americans. Underlines the distinctions between current oppressions and slavery. Happy to be invited to Chase's 50th wedding anniversary, but poor health prevents his attendance. Contains snippets of poetry, including James Thomson's "Spring." Reflects on the character of his late wife, Helen Eliza Garrison, and their marriage. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1878 October 29 . [Jean Lowry Rankin] ALS to John [Thompson Rankin]; Lyndon, Osage Co[unty], Kansas. (2 pages)
Family news from the wife of abolitionist John Rankin to their son. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1879 February 17 . N. Y. Cavill ALS to S. A. Champion; Washington, D.C.. (4 pages)
Visited 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 Congress. Comments on "a little flutter in the color line," discussing [Bruce 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 printed U.S. Coast Survey Office stationery. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1880 February 25 . United States Army Partially Printed DS to Augustus Smith; Deer Lick Creek, Texas. (2 pages)
Military discharge from 25th (Colored) Infantry; Smith had enlisted in 1875 to serve five years. On vellum. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1880 July 15 . Ed [Parteneke?] ALS to "Uncle Henry"; Paris, Bourbon, Kentucky. (1 page)
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..." On printed "Wm. Davie & Co., Distillers" stationery. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1880 August 21 . Ebenezer Whittemore ADS; Sandwich, [Massachusetts]. (34 pages)
Inquest into the accidental drowning of Marcus Robbins, an African-American boy. Whittemore was a trial justice in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1885 January 19 . United States Army, 25th Regiment Colored Infantry Partially Printed DS to Augustus Smith; Fort Snelling, Minnesota. (1 page)
Commissions Smith as a sargent in "C" Company of the 25th (Colored) Infantry Regiment. On Vellum. [View Digital Surrogate]
  [after 1886] . Mary Rankin Typescript to Lucien V. Rule. (8 pages)
Typescript of a biography of Rev. John Rankin, "Rev. John Rankin--February 4, 1793 - March 18, 1886". With an endorsement in the hand of Mary Rankin: "For Mr. Rule" [Lucien V. Rule]. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1887 February 28 . B. H. Grierson, Jr. ALS to Mrs. A. K. Greirson; St. Louis, [Missouri]. (4 pages)
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." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1888 March 4 . Helen Douglass ALS to [Robert] Adams; Anacostia, [Washington, D.C.]. (2 pages)
Mr. Douglass has gone to Charleston, South Carolina. Expresses her appreciation for the photograph and congratulations sent by Adams. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1893 September 6 . Frederick Douglass ALS to Robert Adams; Chicago, [Illinois]. (1 page)
Douglass notes that his schedule in August, September, and October is "full of Congresses to promote various objects, moral, scientific social and religious." He praises the World's Columbian Exposition. Written on printed "Exposition Universelle de Chicago, Pavillon Haïtien" stationery. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1898 October 5 . John R. Brooks ALS to "Patriotic Colored Women"; Camp Wikoff, Long Island, [New York]. (6 pages)
Letter from Brooks, an African American "Buffalo Soldier," sending gratitude from Troop H, 10th U.S. Cavalry, for "the compliments you have bestowed upon us." 10th U.S. Cavalry are "upholding and perpetuating the constitution of this glorious United States." References the "hard fights" the regiment has encountered since its formation in 1867, including those "in the late Cuban campaign" and "during the Indian Warfare." Glad the "soldiers of the 'Black Race'" are gaining recognition after years of public silence. 71st New York Volunteers and the Rough Riders will attest to the courage, sacrifice, and friendship displayed at San Juan, Santiago, and other Cuban battles, and their service should be "recorded in the front rank of the United States history among the first for heroism and bravery." Comments on African American soldiers and how they deserve positions as commissioned officers. Attested and signed by Shelvin Shrapshire, Sergeant, "troop 'H' 10 Cav." [NB: In November 1898, John R. Brooks was murdered in Huntsville, Alabama, by an African American civilian who was promised payment from local white men for each black cavalryman killed.] [View Digital Surrogate]
  1899 October 26 . Cha[rle]s W[addell] Chesnutt ALS to Herbert Small; Cleveland, O[hio]. (2 pages)
Has received first proofs of his Frederick Douglass biography; "I presume, from present indications that the book will be out before very long." [would be titled Frederick Douglass] [View Digital Surrogate]
  1899 December 15 . Cha[rle]s W[addell] Chesnutt ALS to Jerome B. Howard; Cleveland, O[hio]. (4 pages)
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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
  1902 July 25 . Paris A[rthur] Wallace ALS to Samuel [Ward] Boardman; Louisville, Kentucky. (5 pages)
Grateful for Boardman's letter, his "interest in my people," and to hear he has overcome his recent illness. "I am very much interested in the Negro Young People's Christian and Educational Congress, and shall not only attend it myself, but as one of the Commissioners for Kentucky I am doing all I can to interest others." Comments on his A.M.E. Church at Louisville and their publication of a weekly paper in coordination with other A.M.E. churches. Briefly comments on his wife and their meeting in Chattanooga while he was pastoring there. Writes about"the Maryville College boys," some of the first African American graduates from Maryville College, including W[illiam] H[enry] Hannum (1869-1942), F[rank] M[arion] Kennedy, O[liver] C[ampbell] Wallace (1872-1955), J[ames] A[llen] Davis, T[homas] B[artholomew] Lillard (18742-1904), and James M[oses] Ewing (d. 1944). Remarks on their work in churches, government offices, and colleges - including Livingstone College, "the leading institution of the A.M.E. Zion Church, and ranks among the leading Negro schools of the country." Mentions Bishop George W[ylie] Clinton (1859-1921). Written on printed Jacob Street Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church stationery. [Note: Recipient may be Samuel Ward Boardman (1830-1917), who also had a son who graduated from Maryville College - though, with same name.] [View Digital Surrogate]
  1942 April 27 . John R. Williams TLS to Jack Zeller; Detroit, Michigan. (1 page)
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 printed "Detroit Negro Base Ball Association" stationery. [View Digital Surrogate]
  1966 November 16 . John Doar TLS to Mrs. Van H. Manning; Washington, D.C.. (4 pages (total))
John Doar, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, responds to Mrs. Manning's letter following the shooting of James Meredith (b. 1993), in which she asked "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. [View Digital Surrogate]
  Undated [19th century] . American Anti-Slavery Society Document. (55 pages)
Bound volume containing a membership list, arranged by geography, following a printed copy of the Society's constitution on the front page. Includes names of members from New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois. [View Digital Surrogate]
  Undated [19th century] . W[illiam] H[enry] Furness ALS; [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. (2 pages)
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 service which he rendered to our country by his eloquent advocacy of the Cause of Freedom here & abroad must be very gratefully remembered." [View Digital Surrogate]
Folder   : Oversize Manuscripts  
  Undated [19th century] . James Madison MsS to Virginia House of Delegates; [Williamsburg, Virginia]. (1 page)
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..." [View Digital Surrogate]
Box   5  
  1868-1966 and   undated
  Undated [19th century] . Oliver S[waine] Taylor AMsS. (3 pages)
Report on African Sabbath School and the poor progress of scholars; "many of the scholars do not attend worship on the Sabbath." [View Digital Surrogate]
  Undated [19th century] . Ms. Poem and Illustration. (1 page)
Poem "Poor little slave...", with a pen and ink illustration on cloth, showing a kneeling slave praying to God. [View Digital Surrogate]