Letter to sister about slave children


Date Written

Jan. 26, 1865

Clement S Dunning was 28 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Abigail Dunning, was 23 when it was received.

Clement S Dunning died 43 years, 3 months, 8 days after writing this.
It was written 158 years, 8 months, 7 days ago.
It was a Thursday.

Portsmouth, N. H.
January 26th 1865

Dear Sister,

Your letter of the 22nd inst. I received last Mondy night and was pleased to hear from you also to know the money went safe. I think you must have had a splendid exhibition by the description you gave of it. I should have liked very much to been at home that evening.

We have some exhibitions here. We had quite an interesting one last Sabbath evening. Three slave children from N. Orleans sent north by Gen. Butler, one was born in Virginia, one in Miss, and one in Texes. They were as white as any children in our town. They sung and spoke several pieces and they did tip top for such young children; their ages were 8, 9, and 11 years. They had been sold once or twice each. They had no learning at all when they came north, but they have learned some since and they spoke some pieces that would have astonished you. I will inclost their pictures in this letter and drop the subject for perhaps I have wrote as much about it as will interest you.

How is the ice now? Is it strong enough to haul wood from the Island yet or are you all everday with snow. I understand there has been a grate fall of snow to the eastward of this place.

Abbie I have just had to move to the other side of the room to give them a chance to play the darned old melodeon and just you see the ink they spild on this letter. Pleas write all about the ice and whether you are likely to get any wood from the Island. Tell Farther to be careful and not freeze him self these cold mornings. Can’t he get 2 pair of rubber boots? Tell Mother to be careful of her self to, as far you, I think you are like myself; you always do. If the wether is to rough, get Isaac M. to stop with you. You write long letters and that is just what I want.

You wished to know how much longer I expect to stop here. That, I don’t know myself; perhaps, I shal stop a year, but anyway I am comeing home in about four weeks to make a visit. I will say that it depends on what wages they pay. I have just heard today that orders have come from Washington to pay 350 for Feb. and March. Abbie, I can make $60 per month clear of board. Don’t you think I should stop her a while longer?

Abbie, there is a singing party here tonight and they bother me about writeing. I believe I will close soon. Pleas excuse this writeing. This leaves me well and I hope it will find you all the same. Give my respects to all enquiring. Yours with love and respect. From your brother,

C. S. Dunning

*Punctuation included to facilitate reading.

Scans of Letter