"Slavery is an abominable abomination and I rejoice that I am in it no deeper"
Dec. 26, 1849
John Browne Sherrerd was 29 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Sarah Dutton Sherrerd Blakely, was 26 when it was received.
John Browne Sherrerd died 2 years, 4 months, 7 days after writing this.
It was written 170 years, 6 months, 16 days ago.
It was a Wednesday.
Etna [Pattonsburgh, Va.]
Dec. 26, 1849
My Dear Sister,
The day I left you brought us to Trenton at about 9 o’clock, thence to Philadelphia the next morning after visiting the Relling Mills, got to Aunt H’s about 2 just after dinner, desert on the table yet; of course, I rec’d a most cordial reception there I staid then until after suppose 8 o’clock; called at Mrs. Strand’s saw all the tribe I believe. Anne R. was delighted to see me and I could hardly get away from her.
At 10 (the judge was wrong) Dr. Strand left me left me comfortably excused in a high back seat in a car where I need not have opened my eyes or moved a peg until I get to Baltimore as car & all was taken over the river to Have de Grace.
I reached this place at the expected time viz. Friday morning. I had a cold ride to the sun but felt no ill effects from it whatever-my friends were surprised to see me back so soon & so sound & when I tell them I am from the North their surprise is still greater as they had me fixed in the other direction. I reached home in time to help a little in getting the negroes off to let them see that I was well & to be about again another year. They are all gone and it is quite lonesome, no negroes nor family, just now I am quite alone. Mr. A. has gone hireing & Chester I have sent away on business. Mrs. A has no black girls so she & old Molly do all the work. We have stopped up the furnace until hands come back, so there is little or no work going on. So, my business if of a rather passive nature.
The only news of importance is the small pox is in the neighborhood, but I don’t reckon it is very bad. Miss Ann Sissin is very much afraid of it as is natural for young ladies with pure skins, etc.
I can’t say that I passed a very Merry Christmas. I was where duty called me so I spent no vain regrets tat I was not where I would wish to be & where my good friends would wish me to be. We had an ham of a bear for dinner so we had a little rarity if nothing else.
I can’t say that I feel perfectly at home here. I felt more so at Philadelphia than anywhere else since I left Belvidere & I believe if I could find a clever fellow to buy me out here, I would stick out my shingle yet in my Maternal city & pave my road to Fame with pills.
Aunt H. was delighted with your visit she said & spoke in the kindest terms of you. I saw Mr. Kent there & as the balance I was much pleased with him.
After seeing so much of the North as I have lately, I assure you Sis, when contrasting the appearances of things I am almost ready to declare myself an abolitionist in a pretty broad sense. Slavery is an abominable abomination and I rejoice that I am in it no deeper.
Tell Father I brought a piece of Corpus White iron along with me to compare with ours & find in appearance they are precisely the same. [?] thought there was more like it in the U. S. It is said to be the kind that the Swedish Steel Iron is made of.
I am looking for brother Saul over in a few days. I reckon you hear from cousin [?] Sister F. oftener than I do. When Sister F. goes home is Alec to go after her or not. It did seem fully understood at Trenton. I suppose Father would send her down with pleasure, how does Eliza get along without Miss H. I reckon much better than with her ladyship. I hope you will excuse my sudden departure from B. & any who may feel slighted by my not calling. Give my love to all & believe me as ever your very Affectionate brother—hoping to hear from you all soon.
Jn B. Sherrerd