Document Index

Letters to and from
Freedmens' Teachers


Letters to and From Freedmen's Teachers

Sarah Chase to Her Father, Philadelphia, PA, April 20, 1861--Sarah requests permission to go south to serve as a nurse, announcing "I must go!"

L. B. Russell to Lucy Chase, Boston, December 23, 1862--Informs Lucy that she and her sister Sarah had been chosen as teachers for the New England Educational Commission.

Lucy Chase to Major General John A. Dix, Commanding Department of Virginia, Craney Island, VA, January 19, 1863 (image only)--Report on number of "contrabands" in the camp and statistics concerning their employment and support.

Lucy Chase , January 29, 1863--A long and very descriptive letter containing many stories of her own responsibilities and of how housing, work, and the distribution of clothing are organized. She also tells of many first-person encounters with the freedpeople touching on such topics as freedom, education, religion, work, and what slaves were told by plantation owners about northerners.

Lucy Chase, February 7, 1863--Lucy opens "I am rejoicing with the happy negro in his greed for letters," and goes on to describe her attempts to address the educational and practical needs of the freedpeople. Also describes reactions to new circumstances of a "poor white" as well as former house servants; she also discusses marriage relationships among the freedpeople.Expresses great enthusiasm for her work, exclaiming: "To be in at the birth! is it not something to rejoice in?"

Lucy Chase, June 13 1863--Describes the local homes, her own quarters, and the response of blacks and whites to her work.

C. B. Wilder, Capt. & A. Q. M, to Lucy Chase, Fort. Monroe Sept. 25, 1863--Union officer thanks Lucy for her "very businesslike letter" reporting on the situation at Craney Island suggests that Lucy and Sarah move to the mainland along with "your people." Also describes living conditions awaiting the freedmen and freedmen's teachers.

Lucy Chase to Her Family, Craney Island, VA., Sept. 30, 1863 --Lucy offers an account of the move of a freedmen's camp, commenting on both the enthusiasm of the people and their difficult circumstances She emphasizes their passion for learning and love for their families and reports on a touching reunion.

John Oliver to C. B. Wilder, September 22, 1863--The head of "an employment office for colored persons" offers to find homes and positions in Philadelphia for freedmen who had taken refuge at Fortress Monroe.

Rebecca B. Spring to Lucy Chase, November 22, 1863--Expresses her belief that "the wrath and wickedness of man is becoming the glory of God in the freedom of his long suffering devoted people who in the times of tribulation ever trusted in him." Also comments "I do not wonder at the quickness with which they learn to read" and goes on to tell of how she helped an African-American washerwoman learn to read the Bible.

Lucy Chase to Anna Lowell, Norfolk, VA, November 29, 1863--Lucy congratulates Anna Lowell on the inauguration of the United States Commission for the Relief of National Freedmen, which was formed from the merger of the New England Freedmen's Aid Society with the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Chicago aid societies. Reports on her work and says "We want everything! At all times! And in all quantities!"

Lucy Chase to Hannah Stevenson, Dec. 9, 1863 [?]--Lucy summarizes the work she'd done on on Craney Island.

Sarah R. May to Sarah Chase, March 18, [?]--Reassures Sarah of the importance of her work and letters, saying: " It is a great thing to have these laborers at a distance brought into such an intimate knowledge of the daily lives of these poor, long-neglected beings & you cannot do better than let us hear from them in their own simple, earnest words." Also reports on money raised at a fair and the contents of a barrel of supplies being sent.

Angela Fiducia to Lucy and Sarah Chase, 1864--Praises Lucy's and Sarah's work in the south in religious terms. (Written by a woman who would later serve as a freedmen's teacher.)

Contraband (Lucy Chase), "Letter from Norfolk, VA." The Commonwealth, January 15, 1864, 2.--Describes the emancipation celebrations in Norfolk.

F. W. (Frank) Bird to Lucy Chase, January 13, 1864--An editor of the Boston Commonwealth thanks Lucy for the letter published in his paper and encourages her to write again.

J. Wistar Evans to Lucy Chase, Philadelphia, January 18, 1864--A letter from the Chairman of the Forwarding Committee reporting on the efforts of his organization of Friends to collect funds and supplies for the freedmen. In return, he solicits information about the freedmen that could be used to stimulate interest among potential donors.

Mrs. Lewis Tappan to Sarah or Lucy Chase, New York, February 13, 1864 --Speculates about methods of promoting a "new field of benevolent action, and one certainly of great importance:" the education of white children in the South. Also mentions Beecher's suggestion that he would eventually lecture in the slave states.

[?] Palmer to Lucy Chase, Fortress Monroe, Virginia, March 6, 1864--Military memo directs Lucy to provide aid for the families of General Birney's African-American soldiers who would soon be arriving at the fort.

S. W. Cope to Lucy Chase, March 27, 1864--Discusses plans for sending a group of orphans north to be cared for in the Shelter for Coloured Orphans.

F. A. (Fanny) Hill to Lucy Chase, Worcester, Massachusetts, April 17, 1864--Describes box of donations for white refugees.

Lucy Chase, July 1, 1864. [probably to members of a freedman's aid society)]--Lucy stresses the distinction between charity and self-help, urging people to "leave them [the freedmen] alone." She also tells a number of moving stories related to the difference between marriage under slavery and in freedom, describes the religious practices of the freedpeople, and comments on the good treatment received by African-American soldiers in the hospital.

Sarah R. May to Lucy Chase, Leicester, Massachusetts, July 11, 1864?--Invites Lucy and Sarah to attend a meeting of a newly-organized Freedmen's aid society during their visit North to "give us the valuable information you can & add an interest to our movement."

Lucy Chase to Sarah Chase, Roanoke Island, Virginia, January 12, 1865--Gives account of visits to several schools, encounters with white refugees, meetings with white residents of the area, and a tour of a battlefield.

Lucy Chase to Sarah Chase, Newberne, N. C., January 15, 1865--Describes her trip to Newberne, what is being done for the white refugees there, and a "Pay School" run by an African-American who taught himself to read.

Sarah Chase to Fred W. G. May, Norfolk, Virginia, January 23, 1865--Sarah promises to take notes on her conversations with the freedmen so that she can transcribe accurate accounts in her reports. The letter includes several poignant stories about women's reactions to the loss of their children and of life under slavery; it closes with the lyrics of a spiritual.

Daniel Denny to Lucy Chase, Boston, February 7, 1865--Turns down request for assistance on the grounds that he and his friends are already "largely involved in aiding the Freedmen."

(Rev.) Seth Sweetser to Lucy or Sarah Chase, February 20, 1865--Responds to request for assistance with suggestion that some help might be forthcoming but the explanation that "the calls for work and charity are so numerous, and the objects presented [?] in such rapid succession that it is very difficult to meet all the demands."

Rebecca B. Spring to Lucy and Sarah Chase, February 26, 1865--Describes the event she held to raise funds for the freedmen and the positive effects it had on the residents of the house. Spring tells of responding to a man who did not share her beliefs about the freedmen by saying: "Nobody wants you to marry them!" She comments to the Chase sisters: "I think people who have hardly looked at this thing at all as a matter of justice, have rather an idea that freedom will bring social equality in some way different from what we have in other cases of the laboring people around us."

Hannah E. Stevenson to Lucy and Sarah Chase, 1860's--The Chase sister's contact at the New England Educational Commission suggests that if they wish to teach on the front lines in Richmond rather than in "one of those cities already pre-occupied," they could transfer their services to the Society of Friends, which sponsored a school there.

IP Lucy Chase, Washington, March 3, 1865--Describes a visit to Newberne.

Gertrude Allen, Charleston, April and May, 1865--Gertrude Allen was only sixteen when she accompanied her uncle, who had been assigned by the New England Freedmen's Aid Association, to serve as a supervisor of schools in Charleston, South Carolina. In these light-hearted letters to her parents, Gertrude describes her adventures on her journey south as well as her living conditions and experiences teaching in a freedmen's school. Unfortunately, only two months after leaving home Gertrude fell ill and died. Her mother subsequently transcribed her letters into a notebook which also contains published accounts of Gertrude's death and funeral. The notebook is in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society

Lucy Chase to Anna Lowell, Richmond, VA, April 20, 1865--Written on the reverse of a blank bill of sale for a slave, probably taken by Lucy Chase from offices of Dickinson & Brother, slave auctioneers, in this letter Lucy describes opening a school in the 1st African church which drew more than 1,000 children and 75 adults the first day. She also complains: "The rebel prisoners and citizens are fattening upon our choice stores of food. . ."

Sarah Chase to Sarah R. May, Norfolk, VA, May 25, 1865--Expresses the fear that "the negro will suffer more in this coming year of peace than in any he has during the war." Explains: "I had the satisfaction of lowering rents, restoring property, and adjusting difficultys in several cases, but many colored people have bought property without having taken any papers—and there is no way of getting it back from the whites who have taken it. Tells the story of "Aunt Aggie" to illustrate the problems faced by the former slaves. This same story also appeared as "The Story of Aggie Peters," in the Worcester Daily Spy and reprinted in unidentified newspaper, in 1865.

Charles A. Raymond to Lucy Chase, Fort Monroe, VA, May 26, 1865--Jokes that he is surprised that Lucy has not abandoned "everything pertaining to the White persuasion in the way of poverty and ignorance." A note--apparently penned at a later date as subject heading--labels the letter "L's 'White' work."

(Rev.) Mr. Richardson to Lucy or Sarah Chase, June, 1865--Says that the city of Worcester, Massachusetts and the "National Union Commission" are busy aiding "poor whites" and suggests that he could take up a special collection to meet her request for aid. As Richardson also directs the recipient to submit a request to the "Union Commission," it is possible that the plea focused on the needs of southern whites.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, Hilton Head, S. C., June 25, 1865--Jane describes her duties, her pupils, her perception that black men are superior to black women, her belief in the importance of giving the franchise to the former slaves, and her wish that there were more religious "free-thinkers" since "most people do not think at all."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, Hilton Head, S. C., August 10, 1865--Comments on the importance of writing letters: "I know that to many of my acquaintance, a here, written by me whom they know of things which I know, will have far greater effect in "stirring them up" upon the negro question than a pamphlet written by a stranger, with infinitely more power." Also argues that "educated blacks are . . . invariably good citizens."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, Port Royal, S. C., December 20, 1865--Tells "friend Fisk" (her future husband), not to worry about the quality of his letters. "I feel more honored, by far, to receive the genuine outpourings of another heart--just as it comes--perhaps turbid, perhaps clear, but at least no counterfeit. 'The highest compact man can make with his fellows is: Let there be truth between us two forevermore.'"

L. Nelson to Sarah Chase, March 9, 1865--Describes the plans adopted by the "Freedmen's Relief Society" to which she belongs for dispersing the funds collected at their fair, and asks Lucy's advice on the matter.

Sarah R. May to Sarah Chase, March 16, probably 1865--Expresses her appreciation of the letter Sarah sent to "Mrs. Nelson" (see description above of letter from L. Nelson to Sarah Chase, March 9, 1865) and describes content of "barrel" being sent.

Hannah E. Stevenson to Lucy and Sarah Chase, May 12, 1865--Expresses her appreciation of Lucy's and Sarah's letters from Richmond, and her belief that despite the fact that the editors of the Freedmen's Record "fancy that things written here will be more acceptable than our Teachers' letters; . . . we Ladies of this Com. believe that people at home cannot make the Record so interesting as those who are living the history of the work, it is intended to recommend."

Sarah Chase to Sarah R. May, Columbus, GA, February 5, 1866--Sarah reports on her schools in Savannah and Columbus, and persecution of Union supporters by Confederate sympathizers, observing " I can more easily conceive of the Lion and Lambs lying down together, than of a union of the North and South." Yet, she also confesses "No mortal is happier than I am in my work; and my success is fairly intoxicating."

Sarah Chase to Fred W. G. May, Charleston, S. C., March, probably 1866--Tells of visiting the homes of her students, reading and writing letters to help reunite freedpeople with their families, churches supported by African-Americans, and efforts of freedpeople to support themselves. Speaks with approval of the Oberlin-bound students she heard examined in Latin and with concern of plans for colonization in Florida.

Lucy Chase to Fred W. G. May, Charleston, S. C., March, 1866--Describes the evening classes of "moral young men," a "colored meeting" to discuss politics, and a large gathering of African-Americans on the Citadel Green which unanimously adopted the Republican platform after hearing speakers which included black ministers. The letter records the comments of one of the ministers, Solon Robinson, and concludes: "Men of intellectual force, of determined persistent effort are not wanting, here and elsewhere, in the Southern states, to hold firmly what Congress grants them, and to lead their people from the pitfalls the Southern whites may dig for them."

Sarah Chase to Fred W. G. May, April 2, 1866--Sarah explains her concerns about using freedmen's societies to aid the whites, reports how a slave was shot on a local plantation for asking to be treated as a "man," and describes attempts to band freedpeople together to support a hospital.

Sarah Chase, May 1866--Note written in margin of letter explains: "Sarah E. Chase, Columbus, Geo May 21, 1866.  The paper cut off was Miss Chases's Receipt of our Treasurers of Ten dollars—she goes on to show how it was spent." Sarah also comments once again on her "white position," i.e., her opposition to using resources of freedmen's organizations to provide education for whites.

B. L. Canedy, "Extracts from Teachers' Letters: From Richmond," The Freedmen's Record, June, 1866--Bessie Canedy tells the story of a Southern white boy who refuses to attend school with his black playmates and describes the reaction of the freedmen to Johnson's veto of the Civil Right's Bill.

Mary E. Perkins, "Baltimore, May 24," The Freedmen's Record, June, 1866--Compliments her students on their understanding of the political situation and summarizes their response to the Civil Right's Bill.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, September 8, 1866 (Excerpt)--Jane expresses her commitment to returning South, the delay caused by yellow fever and cholera, and her dismay over Johnson's presidency. "What a man to be Abraham Lincoln's successor! What a spectacle for the world to laugh at--the Chief Magistrate of such a nation as ours going about making speeches in such a style! As if it were not enough for him to act the enemy of the public good, he must make the whole country ridiculous."

Sarah Chase to Fred W. May, Nov. 1, 1866--Recovering from the effects of a shipwreck suffered while she and Lucy were traveling to Charleston to take up their posts for the winter, Sarah refuses the money offered to help her replace the possessions lost in the wreck, insisting that she could earn a salary if she needed one. Posing the question of whether it would be more useful to the freedmen to work elsewhere and use the money to send someone in her place, she concludes "that a truly interested person can accomplish more directly than through any agent."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, November 29, 1866--Jane describes the teachers' house, the "poor blind girl who has had rheumatic fever till her limbs are all drawn out of shape" who is her "pet" pupil, the hospitality of the black families she visits, and her joy that she will be included in the communion during the visit of a minister even though she is a "free-thinker."

Sarah Chase, (probably to Fred W. May) Charleston, South Carolina, December 7, 1866--Confides that she had feared she would not be strong enough to do the work and writes with delight: "as soon as I laid my hand to the plow--strength came: and I anticipate a good season--May the Good God bless my undertakings!" Also describes challenge of keeping order among 215 students accustomed to being ruled by physical punishment.

(Mrs.) A. Y. Pillsbury to Lucy Chase, 1867?--Responds to the question whether "any laws exist in any state prejudicial to the colored man?" J. Pillsbury served as Gen. Supt. of Freedmen at Charleston; his wife, A. Y. Pillsbury Pillsbury was the matron of the Shaw Colored Orphan Asylum in that city. In her memoir, "From a New England Woman's Diary in Dixie, 1865," freedmen's teacher Mary Ames recalled meeting the Pillsburys' upon her arrival in Charleston:

Arriving at Charleston early in the morning, we were taken to Mr. Redpath's office. He being absent, Mr. Pillsbury, of Massachusetts, came to meet us. He gave us a most cordial greeting. Emily, weary, discouraged, and homesick, threw herself sobbing into his arms, saying, "Oh! sir, have you a wife?" At once, he took in the situation, called an ambulance, and put us in charge of a sergeant with a note to his wife. Mrs. Pillsbury, a lovely, motherly woman, took us in and made us comfortable. They were living in one of the most elegant mansions in Charleston; the furniture, pictures, and ornaments were all as their owner had left them. The garden was a delight; I never saw finer roses.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, January 18, 1867--Recounts the response of a group of black preachers to the news that their teacher, Jane, was not a member of a church.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, February 13, 1867--Describes gifts from her students and letters to and from a "love-lorn swain" one teacher wrote and read on behalf of a "sooty damsel." Also describes her impatience with the complaint of the white former officer of a black unit that "In ten years more the blacks will be the educated class at this rate" and that a black president was imminent.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, March 1, 1867 --"It is not quite five months since I left Massachusetts, and in that time I have written one hundred and eighty-six letters, according to an account I have been foolish enough to keep, addressed to forty different persons. To you and my mother I have written every week--can more be expected?" Also describes how Southern reactions are changing over time: "You can hardly conceive the change which six months has wrought in making possible such an incident as that. The negro is a power in the land; the government is not quite effete; the teachers have an acknowledged position. Yet some barbarisms of prejudice remain to be overcome, particularly among the women."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, March 14, 1867--Explains why she wants to die even though, "once I thought such a life as I am in now would be so glorious that I should feel so sensibly that I was working with God, that I should be longing to live forever." Also describes her vision of an afterlife. At the end of the letter she comments on "the utter poverty of the South."

Sarah Chase to Fred W. May, Charleston, South Carolina, March 22, 1867--Characterizes reactions of whites and blacks to the prospect of the freedmen voting, describes the night school for adults and the students' reaction to a discussion of moral questions, and concludes: "Oh these are glorious days--! And I thank God that I live in them--How grand it is to see a great Nation struggling for principles rather than power or wealth! as I read the earnest faces, listen to the glowing words or answer the eager questionings of these men--I feel that I am witnessing the birth of a great nation."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, April 1, 1867--Talks about temperance controversy in Massachusetts and tells of an incident that occurred in her class.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, May 5, 1867--"Last Friday at Lynchburg--twentyfive miles from here--a chivalric Southron deliberately shot a colored minister named Lynas M'Cloud, who had won the hatred of the Southrons generally by his boldness in telling the freedmen of their rights."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, May 31, 1867--Gives an account of a visit to Lynchburg, the hostile reaction of the white citizens to members of their group, and the delegation of freed people who welcomed them home after their two-day absence. The letter also includes a discussion of rumors that Southerners who received government distributions of corn had traded it for whiskey, the elimination of segregated transportation, the agricultural and economic problems faced by plantation owners, and the scarcity and costliness of educational opportunities for Southern whites.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, June 10, 1867--Describes formation of the Union league and the fact that women are not admitted. Comments negatively on the need to write letters on behalf of the freedmen and also makes a negative remark about black ministers: "You don't know what a pleasure there is in listening to an intelligent 'white' sermon now and then, after the darky trash to which I am forced to lend an unwilling ear, week after week, for the sake of example." She explains her own "ultra" religious beliefs and the reason she does not belong to a church. Finally, she speaks of an upcoming mass meeting of the "Union Republican Party" with one white and one black speaker.

Sarah Chase to Fred W. May, Philadelphia, July 11, 1867--Expresses her disappointment both that illness had prevented her from participating in the "reunion" at the festival held by the New England Educational Association, and that she had not "staid a little longer with my people--after our schools were closed, to look after the improvement clubs, societies etc."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, July 25, 1867--Speaks of new regiment in town and of rumors being spread about her character. "They are so angry because I take so much part in the affairs of state, & advise the people so much in political matters, that they take every means in their power to vent their spite. They seem bound now to drive me away, but they won't do it--not yet."

Sarah Chase, Worcester, MA, August 24, 1867--Sarah resigns from her work with the freedmen for health reasons and pronounces herself "most weary, but most happy."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, September 13, 1867--Complains about Andrew Johnson's "Amnesty Proclamation" but comforts herself with the thought that the black citizens of the town will protect her from any threats by rebel whites. Jane also describes local prices, gifts of food she receives, and her feelings towards her students. "I think them just as cunning as white children, and have not the slightest objection to have them hang about my chair and play with my watch or hair if they like to."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, September 17, 1867--Feels reassured that Johnson cannot "nullify the action of Congress" and is grateful for the fact that Grant is "so square for the right."

Edward P. Smith and S.A. Thayer of the American Missionary Association to Sarah Chase, September 10, 1867. An explanation of the scholarship policies of Oberlin and Thayer's own commitment to supporting African-American students. Sent in response to an inquiry from Sarah seeking financial support to enable former students to attend Oberlin.

Anna C. Lowell to Lucy Chase, October 15, 1867--Attempts to make arrangements for new post.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, November 11, 1867--Looks forward to finding out if she will move to a different posting and also to the upcoming election. " I shall be glad when it is fairly over, and we get going again. I do so hope for a Republican victory, and yet the chances are only about even, taking all things into consideration. Our candidates for Convention here are F. J. Moses Jr. representation of one of the first families in the state, an Irishman, a colored Northerner, and a young man who was formerly F. J. Moses's slave. Is not that a fair representative ticket?"

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, November 22, 1867--Discusses temperance, female orator Anna Dickenson, and recent election results, reporting: "the whites showed great apathy, not more than three or four voting at all. They affect to regard the whole thing as unconstitutional . . ."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, December 6, 1867--Describes plans for Christmas for her students, which include a tree, singing, and speeches by the children.

Notes to and from Lucy Chase Regarding Needs of Two Freedwomen, 1868?

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, January 10, 1868--Explains her hope that she can "bring the school into that condition that it need not expire the day I leave Sumter for the last time."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, January 12, 1868--A detailed description of what, how, and who she teaches each part of the school day.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fisk, February 19, 1868--Contrasts her work with that of a New England district teacher and asserts her intention of remaining in Sumter through most of the summer.

S. S. Jocelyn to Lucy Chase, February, 25, 1868--Responds to Lucy Chase's request for temperance pledges for circulation among the freedmen.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, March 12, 1868--Comments on the tensions in her household in part caused by the relationship between a married soldier and one of the female teachers. Enclosed is a letter written by one of the students.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, April 15, 1868--Criticizes the suffragette newspaper, The Revolution, reports she is still not speaking with her housemates, and writes with anticipation of her students' Mayday festivities, which she hopes will be "a feast of reason and a flow of soul."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, April 24, 1868--Outlines her plan to set up a "mutual improvement society" for a group of young men in her classes.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, May 22, 1868--"This week I organized my oldest boys--a dozen young fellows of eighteen or nineteen years--into a society for debating, declaiming, and any other useful exercise. I assure you it has added six inches to their height, and they have become suddenly invested with the dignity and gravity of American citizens."

Lucy Chase to Anna Lowell, Richmond, Va., June 1868--Lucy describes her efforts at promoting banking, temperance, and other reforms; she also describes religious practices and neatness of the freedmen.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, June 11, 1868--Reports the murder of a white Southern republican.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, July 3, 1868--Tells story of mocking birds who poison their young if caged "preferring for them death to slavery" and wonders "if the unhappy slave mother sometimes took pattern by the sweet-voiced freedom-loving mothers around her?" Also talks about the attachment of the freed people to their first teachers.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, August 3, 1868--A short note indicating when she will be home.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, November 8, 1868--Describes a quiet election day, tells the story of the advice on voting a freedman received from his former master, and attributes the murders of a white man and a freedman to the "spirit of slavery."

Lucy Chase, 1869?--Comments of the loyalty of the African-Americans to their white friends but expresses concern over drinking among the freedmen. Most poignant in this letter is the tragic story of Laura Spicer and her husband. Separated by slavery, they met again after the war but could not reunite because the husband had another wife who needed his support. The man begs for clippings of his children's hair and gives vent to his grief, writing: "My dear, the Lord know both of our hearts. You know it never was our wishes to be separated from each other, and it never was our fault."

Lucy Chase to Anna Lowell, Lake City, Florida, January 14, 1869--Describes the children's selection of their Christmas gifts in a way that suggests the value they place on education and culture. "In several instances we noticed a good deal of hesitation in trying to decide between a toy and a book. 'But I want the book most,' two or three said, and went away, looking far more satisfied for the struggle. One girl from the country chose a sack, but laid it down again as soon as she saw a 'reading book.'"

To Lucy Chase from S. D. Lane, c. 1869?--Invites Lucy and Sarah to take up posts in Florida.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, February 17, 1869--Comments on lack of public education in the South and concludes that "the blacks are far better of[f] every-way than the whites--the poor whites I mean."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, April 11, 1869--Describes the "music cards" she uses to teach songs and the brown bread she baked as a New England treat. Also comments: "My friend Mr. Whittemore is on the Reconstruction committee in the House of Representatives. It is a bitter pill for the unrepentant rebels, who know they have no favor to hope from him. He is not to be bullied or bought."

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, May 30, 1869--Mentions the new church bells (several earlier ones having been melted in the war "to uphold a cause whose strongest supporter has always been the church") and reading The Watchman and Reflector and The Atlantic.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, July 4, 1869--Discusses upcoming departure from Sumter and her religious beliefs. [Note: The excerpt from Theodore Parker she promises to include does not seem to be present in the manuscript collections.]

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, September 19, 1869--Declares her intention to return to teaching and not to matter ("never perhaps"), tells of the "humiliation" she feels when people tell her she is doing good work, confides that she longs for "annihilation," and asserts that Garrison is one of the few people who match up to her vision of a hero.

R. M. Manly to Lucy Chase, Richmond, VA, October 14, 1869--The Superintendent of Schools advises Lucy to do what "the day school really requires and give the remanants of strength (with proper care for yourself) to the night."

Lucy Chase to Anna Lowell, Gordonsville, VA., December 14, 1869--Describes her methods of teaching and speaks of the difficulty of working alone.

Anna Lowell to Lucy Chase, April, 1870--Complies with a request from Lucy that her letters be returned so that she could employ them as notes when preparing lectures to deliver in Europe and thanks Lucy for her work and letters.

Henry Dickinson to Sarah Lucy Chase, New York, New York, May 3, 1870--In response to a request from Lucy that her letters be returned so that they can be used as raw material for lectures in Europe, Dickinson explains that the correspondence has been "packed away" in the archives. He suggests as an alternative that Lucy "draw upon that deep and well filled well of . . . memories which must be stored very largely with many stories of very thrilling interest" and expresses the hope that in their future lives "reminiscences of past 'labours in concert' may sometimes come before us and stimulate to future calls to duty".

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, June 5, 1870--Describes plans to visit him, talks again of her humiliation that people praise her, and tells of decorating graves of Union soldiers.

Jane Briggs Smith to Friend Fuller Fiske, January 23, 1871--Expresses her delight in her living situation, mentions her missionary work, discusses religious reading and philosophies, and once again shares her sense of failure and her fear that she is "not worthy to work for God."

Martha H. Chace to Lucy and Sarah Chase, May 24, 1872--A relative who had once taught with Lucy and Sarah in Norfolk reports on the whereabouts and activities of other former freedmen's teachers, tells of a former student who was soon to graduate from Howard, asks for news of other "colored friends in Norfolk," and expresses her own wish that she could someday unite with other former colleagues in forming "one household, with sympathetic work."

S. C. Armstrong to Edna Dow Chaney, Hampton, Virginia, January 19, 1876--Principal of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute asks whether Lucy knows of any former freedmen's teachers who might be willing to teach at Hampton at their own expense, indicating that "unless this can be done several hundred (about 500) children will, after five months schooling, be turned loose for seven months, and lose much of what they have gained." (See related letter of Edna Dow Cheney to Lucy and Sarah Chase, February 7, 1876 below.)

Edna Dow Cheney to Lucy and Sarah Chase, February 7, 1876--This note was written to go with the letter from S. C. Armstrong of January 19, 1876 and was probably enclosed with that letter and sent to the Chase sisters.

Elihu Burritt, possibly to Lucy Chase, New Britain, Connecticut, May 9, 1878--In response to a request for advice on volumes in other languages which could be translated for publication, Burritt suggests that the writer should cultivate his/her own ideas and language.


Letters from Freedmen


Emma Bynum to Lucy Chase--A composition describing her escape to freedom.

Hannah Standing, May 27, 1863--Statement on her marital status

Emma Colt, 1864--A letter from a student in Norfolk describing what her life had been like under slavery.

Joseph Green, 1865--A student sends his love to his former teacher and asks for a letter.

Charlotte Ann Jackson, 1865--Recollections of life as a slave--"When i was liveing Whith White People i was tide down hand and foot and they tide me to the Post and Whip me till i Could not stand up"--and descriptions of the stories told by southerners to make yankees seem terrifying.

Green Baker, 1865 or 1866--A grammar lesson.

Georgeanne Cook, 1866--A letter, probably from a freedwoman, sent to a teacher to request aid for a woman with five children.

Solomon Green, 1867?--A letter that seems to be offering an apology to a freedmen's teacher.

Elias T. Jefferson, 1867--Recollects " those Pleasant Evening that was so kindly Devoted to our improvement" and describes his intention to join Julia Rutledge in establishing a literary society. Jefferson and other students are also mentioned in the Oct 4th, 1868 letter of Julia Rutledge; it is clear that a number of former students of the same freedmen's schools all later attended the Virginia Normal School.

Washington J. Smith, March 9, 1868--A letter describing his studies and aspirations written by a student of Jane Briggs Smith sent to Smith's future husband as a specimen of student writing.

David Barr to Sarah Chase, 1868--A letter outlining his studies, referring to"the death of Mr. Ashburn" (a political organizer murdered by the KKK), and mentioning the fact that his city (Columbus Georgia) "is now under military law."

Jordan Johnson, 1868--Lists the subjects he is studying.

Joseph M. Stewart, 1868--Tells of Klu Klux Klan activities in Columbus, Georgia.

Julia A.Rutledge, Oct 4th, 1868--A former student describes her studies at the Virginia Normal School. She mentions that twelve other students of her former class at the freedmen's schools are also at the same institution.

Jordan Johnson, 1869--Reminds his former teacher of how she used to tease him and reports the death of another former student.

Celia Coonts, 1870?-- The parent of two students in a freedmen's school instructs teacher Lucy Chase to punish them if they don't obey says her instructions.

Matilda Hill, 1870?--A student sends her family's regards to her former teacher.

S. L. Rafe, probably 1870 -- An adult in Florida reports on conditions there after the war. Topics range from recent marriages and library use to the violence inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan. In a letter written on April 24, 1870, Martha L B Goddard writes to Sarah Chase--who was about to depart with her sister, Lucy, for an extended trip to Europe: "As soon as I am able, I think by Tuesday certainly, or perhaps tomorrow. I will go to Hovey's & inquire about the purchases for Mrs. Rafe; & will invest your money in small wares, & see that the package (with yours) goes to her."

Thomas Fry, 1870--Says he is studying from Lydia Child's Freedmen's Book and sends the love of all his classmates.

Moses Hume, 1870--Thanks his former teacher for her letter and former help and declares: " I did not Appreciate untill now that you was so good & I am determined to learn all I can."

Abraham Rose, 1870--Thanks her former teacher for a present, says that she has heard of the fall of Richmond, and tells of her school's fishing party.

Louis Water, 1870--A simple note sending love to a former teacher.

Dennis Adams, January, 1870--Says his father thinks he learns very fast and "wants to make a Preacher of me."

Dennis Colmon, March 4, 1870--Expresses the wish that his former teacher would return.

Dennis Colmon, April 29, 1870--Describes his studies.


Letters of Slave Owners and Dealers

E. Lockett, Slave Dealer, to R. H. Dickinson & Brother Slave Auctioneers, New Orleans, LA, February 13, 1846

Two Letters from Edmund and Alex Fitzhugh to Dickinson & Brother, Slave Auctioneers, February 16 and February 24, 1846


Laws, Letters, Articles, Reports, and Other
Documents Regarding Slavery, Race, and/or the Freedmen

Excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's "Query XIV: The Administration of Justice and Description of the Laws?" Notes on the State of Virginia, 1787.

Militia Act of 1792--Specified that the militia was to be composed of "free, able-bodied white male citizen(s) between the ages of eighteen and forty-five."

Excerpts from The African Repository and Colonial Journal. Sample passages from an antebellum periodical advocating colonization.

The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Vol. 1, August, 1836, No. 1.

Angelina Grimke, "Appeal to the Christian Women of the South," The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Vol. 1, September 1836, No. 2.

John Greenleaf Whittier, "Massachusetts to Virginia," published in Voices of Freedom, 1846

Elizabeth Wilson to Elihu Burritt and Lucy Chase, Glasgow, Scotland, February 5, 1850--Letter concerning the Peace Movement.

"A Slaveholder's Letter," clipping (probably from a Northampton, MA newspapers), 1850, regarding former slave, John Andrew Jackson, who was attempting to raise funds so he could purchase the freedom of his wife and child. The article reprints a letter, purportedly from a friend of Jackson's former owner, defending the slave system.

To Lucy Chase Regarding John (Andrew) Jackson, March 29, 1850--John (Andrew) Jackson was a fugitive slave who had taken up residence in Salem, MA and was traveling through the area collecting money in the hopes of redeeming his wife and child. Jackson eventually used the money to purchase the freedom of his parents, after the man who "owned" Jackson's wife and child refused to sell them. Jackson later wrote the story of his life as a slave, served as a freedmen's teacher, and toured as a lecturer to raise funds to build a school in South-Carolina for African-Americans.

Samuel Osgood to Lucy Chase Regarding John (Andrew) Jackson, April 1, 1850

Samuel Osgood to Lucy Chase Regarding John (Andrew) Jackson, April 5, 1850

John (Andrew) Jackson to Lucy Chase, April 28, 1850

Elbridge Nann to Thomas Chase regarding John (Andrew) Jackson, July 2, 1852

Thomas Carlyle, Occasional Discourse on the Nigger Question, Communicated by Thomas Carlyle, (London : Thomas Bosworth), 1853.

Excerpts from Lydia Maria Child's Letters to Marianne Silsbee, 1857-1866--In the course of corresponding with a friend who holds different views, Child comments on her anti-slavery beliefs and the effect they have had on her life.

James Henry Hammond, "Speech of Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina, On the Admission of Kansas, Under the Lecompton Constitution: Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 4, 1858," Washington, D. C., 1858--This is the complete text of the famous speech that usually appears excerpted under the title "Cotton is King."

R. B. Spring to Lucy or Sarah Chase, March 7, 1860--Describes petitions and other unsuccessful attempts to have the sentences of Dwight Stevens commuted. Stevens had been convicted to taking part in John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry.

"Returning Fugitive Slaves," Boston Journal, May 18, 1861.

The War and Slavery; Or, Victory Only Through Emancipation. Boston (R. F. Walcutt: 1861)

"The Wisdom of Forbearance; or, the Present Phase of Affairs," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Feb. 2, 1861, 162.--Calls for reconciliation rather than split between north and south, arguing that "The destruction of our Union, merely to rescue a runaway nigger, would be as absurd as the Chinaman who set fire to his house merely to roast a little pig."

"A Slave Auction at the South," Harper's Weekly, July 13, 1861, 447

The First Confiscation Act, August 6, 1861

"Negroes Taking Refuge at Fort Monroe," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 8, 1861, 55. --Includes both illustration and accompanying text.

"Southern Barbarism--Employment of Savages in War," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 14, 1861, 274

"The Beginning of the End," Harper's Weekly, September 14, 1861, 578.--A commentary celebrating General Freemont's proclamation declaring martial law and emancipating the slaves in Missouri, concluding that one "important result of General Fremont's proclamation has been the discovery of the fact that the people of the North are much more solidly united on the question of slavery than was imagined."

"General Fremont's Proclamation--Emancipation," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 21, 1861, 290

Excerpt from "Southern Items," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 28, 1861, 307

"Our Illustrations of the Black Hole in Washington," Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Dec. 28, 1861, 86.

A Description of the Contrabands at Fortress Monroe, from the Boston Journal, June 3, 1861.

"General Butler's Plough," The (Worcester, MA) Palladium, June 5, 1861

"Contraband Chattels," Boston Journal, June 6, 1861

"Striking Home," Boston Journal, June 8, 1861

Timothy Gordon, Excerpt from "Letter from Fortress Monroe," June 7, 1861, Newspaper Clipping from Civl War Scrapbook Collection, Manuscripts, American Antiquarian Society--A soldier describes a contraband.

Second Confiscation Act, July 17, 1862

"The Negro Steward, Tillman, Killing the Prize Captain of the S. J. Waring," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, August 3, 1861, 190. Accompanying Illustration

"Southern Barbarism--Employment of Savages in War," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 14, 1861, 274

Edward L. Pierce, "The Contrabands at Fortress Monroe," Atlantic Monthly, November, 1861, 626-640

E. L. Pierce, The Negroes at Port Royal: Report of E.L. Pierce, Government Agent, to the Hon. Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury. Boston: 1862

"Appendix" from Mary S. Peake, the Colored Teacher at Fortress Monroe, by Rev. Lewis C. Lockwood, (American Tract Society: 1862), 53-64. Comments on freedmen's schools, morals, marriage, and "native eloquence."

"Address to the Public by the Committee on Correspondence of the Educational Commission," and "Circular Letter," Boston, February 20, 1862

Abraham Lincoln, A Message to Congress Requesting a Joint Resolution on Compensated Emancipation, March 6, 1862

An Act to Make an Additional Article of War, Approved March 13, 1862

"Abolition in High Places," Harper's Weekly, March 22, 1862, 178

"Southern Brutality," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, April 5, 1862, 323

"War for the Union.--The Battle at Pea Ridge.--Federal Troops Driving Off the Confederate Savages, Who were Scalping Our Wounded," New-York Illustrated News, April 12, 1862, 363

An Act for the Release of Certain Persons Held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia (Washington D.C. Emancipation), approved April 18, 1862

"Congress, April 7," New York Illustrated News, April 19, 1862, 370--About the adoption of a program of compensated emancipation in the District of Columbia

General David Hunter, "General Orders--No.11," Hilton Head, S. C., May 9, 1862--Hunter uses martial law to proclaim all slaves in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina free.

"Sketches Round Fortress Monroe: Sketched By Our Special Artist A. Lumley.--Page 20," New York Illustrated News, May 17, 1862, 26

Abraham Lincoln, "Proclamation Revoking General Hunter’s Order of Military Emancipation of May 9, 1862," May 19, 1862 "

The Gallant Act of the Contrabands in Charleston Harbor," The New-York Illustrated News [Reprinted from the New York Herald], May 31, 1862, 51

"The Abolition of Slavery," Harper's Weekly, May 31, 1862, 339--Lincoln retracts General Hunter's emancipation proclamation

"The President's Proclamation," Harper's Weekly, May 31, 1862, 338

Excerpt from Louisa May Alcott's Hospital Sketches, originally published in The Commonwealth, May and June, 1862

Edward L. Pierce, The Negroes at Port Royal, S.C. Report o the Government Agent, Second Report, June, 1862

"Important Proclamation by the President," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 7, 1862, 145--Commentary on Lincoln's decision to overturn General Hunter's order emancipating slaves in Georgia Florida, and South Carolina.

"Carrying the War Into Africa: The Black Brigade, or the Darkey Division--Contraband Conquerors--The Sable Sharpshooters--The Negro Minstrel Military," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 7, 1862, 147

General Hunter to Edwin M. Stanton, Port Royal, June 23, 1862 published by the Emancipation League, Boston, 1862.--Hunter's defense of his policy of using former slaves as soldiers.

Abraham Lincoln, "Appeal to Border State Representatives to Favor Compensated Emancipation," July 12, 1862

Second Confiscation Act, July 17, 1862--This act guaranteed that any slave who escaped to Union lines or was captured by the Union army would be granted freedom--if that slave belonged to a rebel.

Horace Greeley, "A Prayer for Twenty Millions,"New York Tribune, August 20, 1862--Upset with Lincoln's response to the emancipation efforts of Generals Fremont and Hunter, Greeley uses his editorial to insist on the enforcement of the Confiscation Acts, arguing " that every hour of deference to Slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union."

Abraham Lincoln, "Emancipation or Preservation of the Union?" The New York Times, August 25, 1862--In response to Greeley's "Prayer for Twenty Millions" arguing for emancipation, Lincoln assets: "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.

"The Lounger: The President's Policy," Harper's Weekly, September 13, 1862, 578-579--A commentary on the Lincoln-Greeley exchange.

"What Our Fathers Did," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 20, 1862, 403--Asks "Why are negroes exempt from the burthens of the war?" and calls for use of African-Americans in the military, citing precedents from American history.

"To Abraham Lincoln, On His Demand for Three Hundred Thousand Men," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (reprinted from Punch), September 20, 1862, 406

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862

"The Lounger: The Proclamation," Harper's Weekly, October 11, 1862, 642-643

"The Proclamation in Secessia," Harper's Weekly, October 18, 1862, 658

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The President's Proclamation," The Atlantic, November, 1862, 638-642

Abraham Lincoln, "Second Annual Message," December 1st, 1862

William Wells Brown, "Robert Small," The Black Man, His Antecedents, His Genius, and His Achievements, 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863

"The Proclamation," The Commonwealth, January 10, 1863

"Negro Emancipation," Harpers Weekly, January 10, 1863

"The Emancipation Proclamation--The South," the New York Daily Tribune (taken from the Richmond Dispatch), Monday, January 12, 1863, 8

"Emancipation Day in South Carolina," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, January 24, 1863, 275 [See image of article.] [See accompanying illustration.]

"Jefferson Davis's Message," Harper's Weekly, January 31, 1863, 67

"Port Royal, S.C.," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, February 7, 1863

"A Gross Injustice," Harper's Weekly, February 13, 1863, 98

"First Annual Report of the National Freedman's Relief Association," New York, February 19, 1863

"Our Colored Troops in Louisiana," Harper's Weekly, February 28, 1863, 143

"Negroes as Soldiers," Harper's Weekly, March 14, 1863, 174

Frederick Douglass, "Men of Color, To Arms!" Douglass Monthly, March 21, 1863

General Orders, No. 143, May 22, 1863--Act establishing the Bureau of Colored Troops

The American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission, Preliminary Report Touching the Condition and Management of Emancipated Refugees, June 30, 1863

"The Fight at Milliken's Bend," Harper's Weekly, July 4, 1863, 428

"The Riots in New York," Harper's Weekly, August 1, 1863, 494

"The Attack on Fort Wagner," Harper's Weekly, August 8, 1863, 510

Edward L. Pierce, "The Freedmen at Port Royal," The Atlantic Monthly 12, September, 1863, 291-315.

Louisa May Alcott, "The Brothers," The Atlantic Monthly, November, 1863 [Also known as "My Contraband"]

Cairo Relief Association (Cairo, Ill.), "The White Refugees at Cairo, Their Condition, Numbers, and Wants," 1864

"The Oath Defined." The Worcester Spy, March 23, 1864

"Reluctant Justice," Harper's Weekly, May 7, 1864, 290--About congressional debate over equal pay for African-American troops.

"Touching Story of Contrabands," The Worcester Daily Spy, April 8, 1864

"The Education of Freedmen," The Massachusetts Spy, April 20, 1864

"Interesting Occasion," The Massachusetts Spy, April 20, 1864

"The Attack on Fort Pillow," Harper's Weekly, April 30, 1864, 283

Charlotte Forten, "Life on the Sea Islands" The Atlantic Monthly, May and June, 1864

Edward Everett Hale, "How to Use Victory," The Atlantic Monthly, June 1864, 763-768.

"Extracts from Letters of Teachers and Superintendents of the New-England Freedmen's Aid Society," Fifth Series, Oct. 15, 1864 (Boston: Printed by John Wilcox & Son, 1864).

American Union Commission, "The American Union Commission Feels Constrained to Appeal in Behalf of the Suffering Refugees of the South," N. Y., Nov. 9, 1864.

"Freedmen and Union Refugees Department of the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair," St. Louis, 1864

American Union Commission, American Union Commission Speeches, 1865

The Freedmen's Record, February, 1865.

"Sketches in Savannah, GA," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, February 25, 1865, 361

The Freedmen's Record, March, 1865.

The Freedmen's Record, April, 1865.

"Richmond," Harper's Weekly Magazine, April 15, 1865, 226

The Freedmen's Record, May, 1865.

Sarah Chase, "The Story of Aggie Peters," for the Worcester Daily Spy reprinted in unidentified newspaper, 1865--This same story appears in the letter of Sarah Chase to Sarah R. May, Norfolk, VA, May 25, 1865

"Charleston, and the Black People," The National Freedman, I, 4 (New York, May 1, 1865), 132-134

Lucy Chase, "The Reign of Terror in Norfolk," Norfolk, Va., June 25, 1865. A Lucy Chase signed "A Contraband," reporting on mob violence perpetrated by Union troops against African-Americans. Published in The Tribune and The Commonwealth.

Storrow Higginson, in "Extracts from Teachers' Letters," The Freedmen's Record, July, 1865, 114-115

"To the Freedmen of Virginia," Orestes Brown, Richmond, Virginia, July 1, 1865

"Reconstruction--Suffrage," Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 1, 1865, 226

"To the Freedmen of Virginia," Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, July 1, 1865

"Teachers Remarks: The Asylum," George Newcomb, The National Freedman, 1, 6 (New York, July 15, 1865) 185-6.

Reports on the Southern Response to the Freedmen,"The National Freedman, 1, 5 (New York, July 15, 1865)

E.K. from "Extracts from Teachers Letters," The Freedmen's Record, August, 1865, 133-134. Describes dedication of students to learning.

The Freedmen's Record, October, 1865.

American Union Commission, The American Union Commission: Its Origin, Operations and Purposes, (New York: Sanford, Harroun & Co., 1865.) *published in October, 1865

"Circular," John A. Andrew, Oct. 20, 1865, announces formation of the Freedmen's Aid Commission through the merger of various aid societies.

"American Union Commission," Harper's Weekly, October 21, 1865.

“Poor Whites of North Carolina,” Boston Daily Advertiser, reprinted in The Freedmen’s Record, November, 1865, 186-7.

The Freedmen's Record, December, 1865.

Lucy Chase, "A Journey Through the South," Worcester (MA) Evening Gazette, Jan. 18, 1866

The Freedmen's Record, February, 1866.

"The Education of the Freedmen," Harper's Weekly, February 10, 1866, 83

"Domestic Relations of the Freedmen," The National Freedman. A Monthly Journal Devoted to the Promotion of Freedom, Industry, Education, and Christian Morality in the South. May, 1866, 143-145.

Excerpt from "At Home and Abroad," The American Freedman, May 1866, 22-23--Letters from "well-known and highly authoritative sources" expressing approval of the organization's commitment to aiding both freedmen and southern whites.

"The Cleveland Meeting," The American Freedman, June, 1866.

"Education and Religion," The American Freedman, September, 1866, 94-6.

"Return of Negroes to Louisiana," The New York Times, September 11, 1866, 1.

"Is It Safe for Northern People to Go South?" from the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle & Sentinel, reprinted in The New York Times, September 12, 1866, 2.

"Mr. Seward on Slavery and the Salvation of the Union," The New York Times, September 14, 1866, 4.

"The Argument of the Spelling Book," reprinted from The Independent in The American Freedman, October, 1866, 124-5.

Frederick Douglass, "Reconstruction," Atlantic Monthly, December, 1866, 761-765.

"Education In The Southern States," Harper's Weekly, November 9, 1867, 706

Excerpt from The Freedmen's Record (April, 1869) 43-51 Includes a report on books needed for libraries of Freedmen's schools and for Christmas boxes as well as a detailed discussion of teaching methods used in the schools.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment, 1869.

A Review of Higginson's Army Life in a Black Regiment, The Atlantic Monthly, November, 1869, 643-644.

J. W. Alvord, Letters from the South, Relating to the Condition of Freedmen, Addressed to Major General O. O. Howard, Commissioner Bureau R., F., and A. L. by J. W. Alvord, Gen. Sup't Education, Bureau R., F., & A. L. (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1870).

Benjamin F. Butler, The Negro in Politics. Review of Recent Legislation for His Protection--De fence of the Colored Man Against All Accusers. Address of Gen. Butler in North Russell Street Church, Boston, Monday Evening, May 8th, 1871. (Lowell: Marden & Rowell, 1871) 10-19.

Mark Twain, "A True Story, Repeated Word for Word As I Heard It," The Atlantic Monthly, November, 1874

Three Letters from Lydia Maria Child to Stephen Salisbury Regarding a Prospective Hampton Student, 1874.

"Civil Rights: Speech of Hon. Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts, in the House of Representatives, January 7, 1874." Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1874

"Worse Than Slavery," Harper's Weekly, October 24, 1874, 878; accompanying illustration.

Excerpt from Walt Whitman's Memoranda During the War, 1876

Anna C. Brackett, "Indian and Negro," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, September 1880, 627-630

Excerpt from from M. F. Frances' Hampton Institute, 1868 to 1885: Its Work for Two Races (Hampton, Va.: Normal School Press Print, 1885) 9-17, 31-32. Reports on Native American students of Hampton.

Edwin Forbes, "Chapter XXXVIIII. Officers' Cooks and Servants," Thirty Years After: An Artist's Memoir of the Civil War, (New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert [c1890]) 149-150.

Edwin Forbes, "Chapter LIX. The Reliable Contraband," Thirty Years After: An Artist's Memoir of the Civil War, (New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert [c1890]) 233-234.

Edwin Forbes, "Chapter LXXX. The Sanctuary," Thirty Years After: An Artist's Memoir of the Civil War, (New York: Fords, Howard & Hulbert [c1890]) 317-318.

S. C. Armstrong, "From the Beginning," in Twenty-Two Years' Work of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute at Hampton, Virginia: Records of Negro and Indian Graduates and Ex-Students, (Hampton, Va.: Normal School Press, 1891), 1-11.

Frederick Douglass, "Chapter XI. Secession and War," Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Written by Himself, 1892

W.E.B. DuBois, "Of the Dawn of Freedom," The Souls of Black Folk, 1903

Oswald Garrison Villard, "The Negro in the Regular Army, Atlantic Monthly, 91, 1903, 721-729

Excerpt from Carter Godwin Woodson, The Education of The Negro Prior To 1861: A History of the Education of the Colored People of the United States from the Beginning of Slavery to the Civil War (Washington, D.C. : Associated Publishers, 1919) 17-19. Brief sketch of early Quaker involvement in emancipation and education of African-Americans.


While some of the images and texts included in this site are racially offensive, they have been included in the exhibit in order to document a difficult and important passage of American history and explore its meanings.

Transcriptions in the online archive do not include words that have been crossed out in the manuscripts, but spelling and punctuation have been left uncorrected in an attempt to provide an accurate record. In cases in which the handwriting has made it difficult to decipher a word (or spelling) in the original, we have tried to select the most sensible option. A bracketed question mark [?] will mark those places where it has been impossible to decipher a word in the manuscript.


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An American Antiquarian Society Online Exhibition
Curated by Lucia Z. Knoles, Professor of English, Assumption College

All primary sources in this exhibit are in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society.
This site and all contents © 2006 American Antiquarian Society