Nell, William Cooper. Letter to Amy Kirby Post.


Handwritten letter from William Cooper Nell to Amy Kirby Post. Nell writes to Post about his recent travels through New York States. He also mentions recent capital punishment trials that have taken place in both Rochester and Massachusetts.


October 25, 1858

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(Page 1)

                                       Boston Oct 25th 1858
Kind Friend
                          On leaving 36. Sophia Street
that rainy afternoon I was sorry to leave
So many   friends without interchanging a
ShaKe of the hand .. but events hurried me
on = = I reached Geneva in almost a hurricane
during the most violent thunder and Vivid
lightening I remember to have seen = stopped
with FranK and her Babies till next day
12. O.ClocK and tooK the second Class Car to
Syracuse = reached there Just as F. Douglass
left.      remained about Gays Hotel = with
W. F. Johnson the Blind man of Ithaca
and who I met at Canandaigua when there
with Sallie Holley and the Fosters –
   on taKing the midnight train had for
Company T.W. Higginson (who preached
a weeK Yesterday for Theodore Parker   .
  Samuel Johnson of Lynn Yesterday –
  Mr ParKer is supposed to be convalescent.

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at the Social meeting of the Fraternity Last Friday Eve    we a variety of exercises Music and

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and elocutionary   tooK place = ( I gave the Frenchman and the Rats
2 of the officers are those members of the Mercantile who
   Seconded my bringing up the matter of excluding Colored
men from the FranKlin Procession two Years ago –

(Page 2)

I reached Boston Sunday Morning
quite well =-
                      Louisa was very sorry not
to have Known that Edmund P. Willis
visited Boston = indeed Mr Wallcut
Knew not of it =- perhaps he called
In at 21 during his absence .did not
maKe himself Known.      had I been
present.  I would have taKen much
pleasure in introducing him to the
  Boston Lions . =     I see a Mr
Hallowell has removed from Philadelphia
to Boston. -                  I met at the
    Fraternity Lecture Oct 5th A. J. Davis
we had a few words concurring about
the Rochester Home 36 Sophia St
    3 . Cheers for Amy and Isaac
      Long may they wave = Hurrah
  a few Evenings since I was invited
into a Spiritual Circle among some
Colored friends Some of whom enjoy
these sittings under protest from thier [sic]

(Page 3)

Several interesting manifestations were
  were [sic] made = 2 excellent mediums
through whom many friends made
themselves Known one preaching a
long discourse = many reminiscenses [sic]
were brought up.-
                               C.F. Hovey is now
Confined with the Rheumatism -
          Mrs Phillips seems now more of an
Invalid than ever = He has a bad
Cold = = and has in consequence of her
illness curtailed most of his usual
winter list of lectures-    
                          What a time You
have had about . Rochester Capital
punishment =     well so the powers
  that be murdered Ira Stout-
       But the recent cases in the
Several States =    Magee in Massachusetts
and Stout in Rochester will much
accelerate the downfall of the
  Gallow = at least So I. thinK .

(Page 4)

I have been down to Salem once since I
   returned . and Very liKely may again.
I always enjoy myself there=-
  J. H. P. has a long seated cough . which
accasions [sic] his friends some apprehension -
              I . Shall have more to say of
Salem associations by and bye

  I have secured a situation for Ira
to learn the art of engraving which
promises well for him -and my
  mind is at ease on that matter.

Tell Mary Ann I. have not forgotten
the promise to send her some
Music = though I also remember
that She did not Sing for me

  Please distribute my Kind regards
to the entire Circle and
           believe me as ever
                 Fraternally Yours
                                        William C. Nell.



William Cooper Nell, an abolitionist and former slave, is writing from Boston to fellow activist, Amy Post. Nell refers to the Post family home at 36 Sophia Street in Rochester. Frances was one of Nell's sisters. Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist and former slave. Sallie Holley traveled the anti-slavery lecture circuit with Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone and Sarah Remond. The members of the Foster family were abolitionists and women's rights supporters. Thomas Wentworth Higginson was the editor of the Atlantic Monthly and an abolitionist. Theodore Parker was a Transcendentalist and reform minister in the Unitarian Church. Samuel Johnson was a clergyman and an abolitionist. Louisa was one of Nell's sisters. Edmund P. Willis was Post's brother-in-law. R.F. Walcutt published an anti-slavery pamphlet by Reverend Bleby. Mr. Hallowell could refer to Post's son-in-law, William R. Hallowell. Andrew Jackson Davis was a Spiritualist leader. Spiritualists believed that through mediums they could communicate with the dead.  Charles Fox Hovey was a businessman and an abolitionist from Boston, who established the department store C.F. Hovey and Co. Anne Terry Phillips was a member of the Boston Anti-Slavery Society and married to Wendell Phillips. Wendell Phillips was American abolitionist, Native American advocate and lawyer. John H. Putnam was an abolitionist. Ira was Nell's nephew. Mary Ann Pitkin took care of Post's youngest son, Willie.

About the Original Item

Nell, William C. (William Cooper), 1816-1874
Post, Amy Kirby, b. 1802
Internal Identifier
Post, Amy Kirby, b. 1802
Nell, William C. (William Cooper), 1816-1874
Slavery, abolition, and emancipation
Rochester (New York)
Boston (Mass.)
Letters (Correspondence)
, ,
Post Collection
Item Type:
Nell, William C. (William Cooper), 1816-1874, “Nell, William Cooper. Letter to Amy Kirby Post.,” Post Family Papers Project, accessed December 11, 2018,