Anna H. Richardson to William Still, May 3, 1860

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 605-607.
    Author (from)
    Richardson, Anna H.
    Date Certainty
    Michael Blake
    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.

    54, WESTMORELAND TERRACE, June 8, 1860.

    DEAR FRIEND: - WILLIAM STILL: - It is a good plan to send me these interesting communications. The letter to your coadjutor at Elmira, reached us a few days since. That depot must not be allowed to go down if it be possible for this to be prevented. Perhaps J. W. Jones might be encouraged by a gift from England, that is, by a little aid from this country, expressly for the fugitives, being put into his hands. If you think so, I am sure my friends would approve of this, and you can use your own discretion in giving him our gifts in one sum or by detached remittances. The greatest part of the money on hand, has come in from the private perusal of thy interesting letters, and my friends simply gave my husband and me their money for the fugitives, leaving the exact disposal of it to our own discretion. It has struck me of late, that if I may be allowed to print occasional extracts from thy letters (with other Anti-slavery information), it would greatly facilitate the obtaining of pecuniary aid. As it is, I can lend a private letter to a trustworthy friend, but if by any chance, this letter got lost, it would be awkward, and it is also impossible, of course, to lend the original in two quarters at once. Then, again, the mechanical trouble of making copies of letters, is not convenient; much sedentary employment does not suit my health, and I cannot manage it. I have been thinking of late, that if my friends in various parts of the country, could be supplied with a small quarto, an occasional printed paper, for private circulation, it would save a great deal of trouble, and probably bring in considerable aid. My husband and I have long been accustomed to preparing tracts and small periodicals for the press, so that I think we know exactly what ought to be made public and what not. If thou likest to give me this discretionary power, do so, and I will endeavor to exercise it wisely, and in a way that I feel almost certain would be in accordance with thy wishes.

    The sum now remitted through our friend, Samuel Rhoads, is £8 (eight pounds). Of this, we should like £3 to be placed at thy own discretion, for the benefit of the fugitives, £3 (if you approve it) in a similar way, to be handed to J. W. Jones, and £2 as formerly, to be handed to the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee. The latter is not, however, as in past times, from the Newcastle Anti-slavery Society, for, I am sorry to say, it is not a sufficiently pains-taking and executive little body, but more apt to work by fits and starts, but from our private friends, who kindly place their money in our hands as their Anti-slavery stewards. My friend S. R. will therefore kindly hand for us: £3 for William Still, for fugitives; £3 for J. W. Jones, for fugitives; £2 for Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, for fugitives. Total £8.

    We are very sorry for thee to have to incur so much persecution. Be of good cheer, the right will eventually triumph, if not in this world, in that day, when all shall be eventually righted on our Lord's right hand. Oh, for ability in the meantime, to love Him, trust Him, confide in Him implicitly!

    Many thanks for the "Anti-slavery Standards." No one in this town, takes them in, consequently we only see them occasionally. Do any tidings reach you of our friend, Frederick Douglass? We heard from him from Portland, but are anxiously looking for another letter. He always spoke of thee, my friend, very kindly, and one day, when some money had been given to him for fugitives, said: "You shall have part of this if you like, for William Still," but I said, "No, I will try and get some elsewhere for him." Douglass left us in April, after losing his little Annie, but wished his visit to be kept private, and hoped to be able to return to England in August. My husband and I agree with F. D. in political matters. We are not disunionists, but want to mend your corrupted government. With kind regards, sincerely thy friend,

    A. H. R.

    We are well acquainted with William and Ellen Craft. They have just sent us their little book.

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