Lydia Maria Child to John Brown, October 26, 1859

    Source citation
    Lydia Maria Child to John Brown, October 26, 1859, Letters of Lydia Maria Child with a Biographical Introduction by John G. Whittier and Appendix by Wendell Phillip (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1883), 280.
    Date Certainty
    Transcription adapted from Letters of Lydia Maria Child (1883)
    Adapted by Michael Blake, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following transcript has been adapted from Letters of Lydia Maria Child (1883).

    Wayland [Mass.], October 26, 1859.

    Dear Captain Brown: Though personally unknown to you, you will recognize in my name an earnest friend of Kansas, when circumstances made that Territory the battle-ground between the antagonistic principles of slavery and freedom, which politicians so vainly strive to reconcile in the government of the United States.

    Believing in peace principles, I cannot sympathize with the method you chose to advance the cause of freedom. But I honor your generous intentions,--I admire your courage, moral and physical. I reverence you for the humanity which tempered your zeal. I sympathize with you in your cruel bereavement, your sufferings, and your wrongs. In brief, I love you and bless you.

    Thousands of hearts are throbbing with sympathy as warm as mine. I think of you night and day, bleeding in prison, surrounded by hostile faces, sustained only by trust in God and your own strong heart. I long to nurse you--to speak to you sisterly words of sympathy and consolation. I have asked permission of Governor Wise to do so. If the request is not granted, I cherish the hope that these few words may at least reach your hands, and afford you some little solace. May you be strengthened by the conviction that no honest man ever sheds blood for freedom in vain, however much he may be mistaken in his efforts. May God sustain you, and carry you through whatsoever may be in store for you! Yours, with heartfelt respect, sympathy and affection,

    L. Maria Child.

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