Abigail Goodwin to William Still, September 23, 1862

    Source citation
    William Still, The Underground Rail Road (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 621-622.
    Adapted by Michael Blake, 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.

    SALEM, September 23, 1862.

    DEAR FRIEND: - Thy letter dated 17th, was not received till last night. I cannot tell where it has been detained so long. On the 22d, yesterday, Amy Reckless came here, after I began writing, and wished me to defer sending for a day or two, thinking she could get a few more dollars, and she has just brought some, and will try for more, and clothing. A thousand thanks to President Hamlin for his kindness to the contrabands; poor people! how deplorable their situation; where will they go to, when cold weather comes? so many of them to find homes for, but they must and will, I trust be taken care of, not by their former care-takers though.

    I have read the President's proclamation of emancipation, with thankfulness and rejoicing; but upon a little reflection, I did not feel quite satisfied with it; three months seems a long time to be in the power of their angry and cruel masters, who, no doubt, will wreak all their fury and vengeance upon them, killing and abusing them in every way they can - and sell them to Cuba if they can. It makes me sad to think of it. Slavery, I fear, will be a long time in dying, after receiving the fatal stroke. What do abolitionists think of it? and what is thy opinion? I feel quite anxious to know something more about it. The "Daily Press" says, it will end the war and its cause. How can we be thankful enough if it should, and soon too. "Oh, praise and tanks," what a blessing for our country. I never expected to see the happy day. If thee answers this, thee will please tell me all about it, and what is thought of it by the wise ones; but I ought not to intrude on thy time, thee has so much on thy hands, nor ask thee to write. I shall know in time, if I can be patient to wait.

    Enclosed are seventeen dollars; from Amy Reckless, $1,50; J. Bassett, $1; Jesse Bond, $1; Martha Reeve, $1; S. Woodnutt, $1; Hannah Wheeler, $1; a colored man, 25 cents; 25 cents thrown in, to make even; A. G., $10. Amy is very good in helping, and is collecting clothing, which she thinks, cannot be sent till next week. I will attend to sending it, as soon as can be, by stage driver. May every success attend thy labors for the poor sufferers.

    With kind regards, thy friend,


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