Civil War Letter about Slaves who were Stolen from a Confederate Officer. Letter sent to Josiah Nichol, Esq. At Washington, Arkansas notifying him of three slaves who had been stolen and would soon be lost if taken across the [Ouachita] River into Union held territory. Tates [Bluff], Arkansas: Jany 25, 1864. This letter on blue lined paper measures 7 x 9.5 unfolded.
It is franked with a pair of 5-cent blue Confederate stamps (Scott #7-Richmond printing) and cancelled with a circular Camden Ark postmark dated Jan 26. The stamps and letter are in nice shape with a few spots of light foxing and a small tear at the wax seal where it was opened.
In a rather frantic tone, the letter-writer informs Nichols that. I wrote Maj Peay to inform you in regard to 2 Negro Boys that were stolen from Maj. John Easton & a girl from Mrs Williams. The thieves are about here & I have no doubt the negroes will all be lost.
The girl is gone now. The Boys of Eaton are on this side of the River & placed with some woman who is instructed to keep them as her own if no one calls for them But I fear they will be taken away unless you come for them without delay. By 1864, the Union Army controlled much of Arkansas, and the states Confederate government had established its capitol at Washington.Tates Bluff was located on the Ouachita River about twenty miles north of the Camden, a Confederate stronghold. No doubt, Embres feared that whoever had stolen the slaves (likely members of the Underground Railroad) would soon spirit them across the river to Union territory and their freedom. Nichols relationship to the slaves owners is unstated, however, docketing on the letter notes that it is concerning Agnes. Perhaps, he was a friend of Ms.
William and Agnes was either her first name or, more likely, the name of her girl slave. Although written after the heyday of the Underground Railroad, this letter gives testimony that even late in the war, Southern abolitionists were risking their lives to lead slaves to freedom as the Union forces advanced.
Civil War Confederate letters discussing slave stealing are extremely scarce. Also, the two stamps that frank this letter are very scarce as most of this issue was printed in England, and the British printings out-number those made in Richmond by a factor of nine to one. As of 2017, although OCLC identifies a handful of letters that mention runaway slaves, none reference slave-stealing, and none have been written from a Southern perspective fear they were about to be spirited away to freedom.
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This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Correspondence, Mail". The seller is "ksanftleben" and is located in Dumfries, Virginia. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, Indonesia, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain.