"Slavery is an abominable abomination and I rejoice that I am in it no deeper"

Date Written

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 169 years, 2 months, 22 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

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