Frances Watkins Harper to Mary Ann Day Brown, November 14, 1859

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 762.
    Date Certainty
    Adapted by Sayo Ayodele, Dickinson College
    Transcription date

    The following text is presented here in complete form, as true to the original written document as possible. Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    FARMER CENTRE, OHIO, Nov. 14th.

    MY DEAR MADAM: - In an hour like this the common words of sympathy may seem like idle words, and yet I want to say something to you, the noble wife of the hero of the nineteenth century. Belonging to the race your dear husband reached forth his hand to assist, I need not tell you that my sympathies are with you. I thank you for the brave words you have spoken. A republic that produces such a wife and mother may hope for better days. Our heart may grow more hopeful for humanity when it sees the sublime sacrifice it is about to receive from his hands. Not in vain has your dear husband periled all, if the martyrdom of one hero is worth more than the life of a million cowards. From the prison comes forth a shout of triumph over that power whose ethics are robbery of the feeble and oppression of the weak, the trophies of whose chivalry are a plundered cradle and a scourged and bleeding woman. Dear sister, I thank you for the brave and noble words that you have spoken. Enclosed I send you a few dollars as a token of my gratitude, reverence and love.

    Yours respectfully, FRANCES ELLEN WATKINS.

    Post Office address: care of William Still, 107 Fifth St., Philadelphia, Penn.

    May God, our own God, sustain you in the hour of trial. If there is one thing on earth I can do for you or yours, let me be apprized. I am at your service.

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