N. R. Johnston to William Still, April 3, 1858

    Source citation

    William Still, The Underground Railroad (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872), 588-589.

    Author (from)
    Johnston, N.R.
    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.

    TOPSHAM, VT., April 3d, 1858.

    DEAR FRIEND STILL:- I entreat you not to infer from my tardiness or neglect, that I am forgetful of my dear friend in Philadelphia. For some time past I have done injustice to many of my friends, in not paying my debts in epistolary correspondence. Some of my dearest friends have cause to censure me. But you must pardon me. I have two letters of yours on hand, unanswered. One of them I read to the Sewing Circle; and part of the other. For them I most heartily thank you. You are far kinder to me than I deserve. May God reward you.

    I long to see you. My head and heart is full of the cause of the slave. I fear I give the subject too much relative importance. Is this possible? I preach, lecture, and write for the slave continually. And yet I don't do enough. Still I fear I neglect the great concerns of religion at home, in my own heart, in my congregation, and in the community.

    I wish we were located near to each other. We are far separated. I am almost isolated. You are surrounded by many friends of the cause. Still we are laboring on the same wall, though far apart. Are we not near in spirit?

    You see by the papers that we have been trying to do something in our Green Mountain State. The campaign has fairly begun. We will carry the battle to the gate.

    I see our friend, Miss Watkins, is still pleading for the dumb. Noble girl! I love her for her devotedness to a good cause. Oh, that her voice could be heard by the millions! I hope that we can have her again in Vermont.

    Give my kind regards to our mutual friend, Miller McKim. Will I not see him and you at the anniversary in New York?

    Do you ever see Rev. Willson? Is he doing anything for the cause? I wish I could peep into your house to-night, and see if there are any "packages" on hand. God bless you in your labors of love.

    Yours, truly, for the slave,


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