Unknown writer. Letter to Anna.


Handwritten letter from unknown writer to Anna, 1841.



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(Page 1)

[Text at top of page 1, beginning “the bosom of thy family,” is actually the concluding paragraph of this letter. The body of the letter begins on page 3 (page 2 is blank) and continues on page 4 before concluding on page 1.  The middle section of page 1 is a “title” for this letter, with text running downward.  The third section of the page, now missing, possibly contained the full name and address of “Anna,” (the recipient) and perhaps the identity of the unknown author.

[Page 1, middle, running downward]

          A letter on the subject of abstaining
from the use of articles produced by the labour of slaves.  1841
(Page 3)

Perhaps in all my little calls, and visits to thee, I have
never recurred to any of them with more satisfaction, than
the last; nor ever felt a sweeter flow of love towards thee.
Indeed I have ever felt it, and I am glad that it is the case,
as under no other impressions, a communication of this par-
ticular nature, could be received with that forbearance and
sisterly charity that I must ask of thee, and which all should
be willing to grant, who have felt the gentle touches of Divine
Love & the impressive intimations of duty whispered in the
inmost soul. A medium my dear friend through which
our Heavenly Father is pleased to convey his will, to his children
& as we all stand in this relation to him. Whatever our views
may be, or our situation in life, all are under his immediate
superintendence and in proportion to our individual faithfulness
will be our enjoyment, and the closer our communion with
him, the surer the evidence occasionally granted us that we
have been favoured to act in accordance to his will, and it
is here that we are made willing to yield our own wills in
acquiescence to his; Notwithstanding, in infinite wisdom both
in former ages, and at the present time, he sees meet to try
us, by proving our fidelity in little acts of dedication, to which
nothing short of this could induce us to yield. We have many
proofs of this recorded in the Scriptures of truth.
Moses when commanded as by the finger of the Almighty,
to engage in the important task of liberating the Israelites
from their cruel bondage, desired to be excused.
Gideon shrunk from the duty required of him, in the
moving language “My parents are poor in Manassah & I am
the least in my father’s house.” Could either of these servants
of the most high, have known that their efforts would
be crowned with success, they would not so hesitatingly
have acceded to the Divine commands; but no doubt for
the trial of their faith, the certainty was not granted them
and they had to go forward, tremblingly and in fear, with
no strength of their own; but a reliance on the Lord alone
sustained them, in the performance of their duty.

(Page 4)

I will now inform thee my beloved Anna, that for
several years, I have felt it incumbent, on me to abstain
from the use of articles which I know to be the products
of slave labour, and I assure thee many were the struggles
I had with my feelings; yet I found that peace of mind,
which I prize more than any thing else, was lessened
whenever I became indifferent, to those tender impressions
To abstain from luxuries, which were occasionally placed
before me, or the gratification of the taste in any way
at the expense of their toil, was a matter of no import-
ance to me, to this I could readily submit, in the
hope that the sacrifice would be accepted. But openly
to bear a testimony, by a public refusal to partake of
the spoil, was more than my extreme diffidence or
unyielding spirit could submit to; and many very
many have been the seasons that enjoyment for some
time has been withheld. But that merciful spirit
that “Waiteth long to show itself [merciful] gracious,” kept
near, and many times enabled me to retrace my
steps; until I find [such] ^great^ is the satisfaction.
But to allude to the subject that first induced me
to take the pen. I may inform thee that thy indiffere-
ence to purchasing articles of clothing which are the
products of free labour, induces me to decline aiding
thee in the line of sewing, however desirable the profits
may be to me in a pecuniary way. While sitting at
my needle my mind is turned towards towards this
suffering class and a fear is often indulged that I
am aiding in their sufferings, and that a faithful
testimony in this respect is required. Could my
friend be willing to purchase, free articles alone, it
would still give me pleasure, to ply the needle in her
service. And while thus employed, I could enjoy that peace
of mind, and that communion of spirit with my Heavenly
Father, that, at times has been interrupted by thus partici-
pating in the guilt of slavery. When I view thee in

(Page 1)

the bosom of thy family, with thy sweet little innocents
around thee, I am led to wonder, how thy feeling mind
can avoid extending, to the thousand tender mothers
that are torn from, their tender offspring to whom they
are as closely attached as is my friend to hers.
          With feelings of interest, for thee and thine as well
as the human family at large; I am thy sincere

About the Original Item

Internal Identifier
Item Type:
“Unknown writer. Letter to Anna.,” Post Family Papers Project, accessed December 10, 2018, https://rbsc.library.rochester.edu/items/show/6631.