Wife writes that getting rid of slavery not such a good idea


Date Written

July 11, 1862

Francis Henry Brown was 26 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Charles F. Wyman, was 27 when it was received.

Francis Henry Brown died 54 years, 10 months, 4 days after writing this.
It was written 161 years, 2 months, 24 days ago.
It was a Friday.

July 11, 1862

My Dear Charles,

On arriving here on the night of the 4th, I found your letter, enclosing the shoulder straps; so I suppose I must consider myself owing you a letter. Louise wrote to Margie a few days informing you I suppose, of our arrival & everything to date. Since then we have been quite well & busy. Wish you could look in on us. Louise is very much contented here. She sits down in her room & sews or reads or runs in to see the family with which she has become quite well acquainted. She seems entirely happy and I think has no present yearnings for Cambridge. She is quite well. She seems very bright & happy.

This afternoon we have been up to the White House to walk in the President’s ground. It is a very beautiful spot, an open lawn, opening a fine view of the Potomac, with hills covered with trees on either side. Lorrie was much pleased with the “East Room”. It is a very grandly and gorgeously furnished perhaps not quite in New England styles, but everything very rich.

Louise wants to finish the sheet to you—I will write again soon.
F. H. B.

Horsecars just came running today, from the Capitol.
14th J

My Dear Brother,

I told Frank I would write a few lines to Margie, but I am very happy to write them to you. As Frank says I have not had any yearnings for home yet still should love dearly to see you all. I am learning a great deal here as well as Frank, and O’ Charles, you don’t know how different slavery seems when one is living in the midst of it (this is for yourself alone, I am afraid anyone else my misjudge me). I don’t mean my ideas of the right & wrong of it, are altered in the slightest, but I can’t help seeing the effect of the law freeing them In the district. There is one instance right in the back yard here, a woman with six or seven children with a do-little of a husband is free of course—they were slaves in this family; more they can’t possibly make a living, but almost starve, and a great many I hear the law had never been passed, but I find I have not room, Charles, to write all I wanted to about it so, I will leave it till I am home again then I expect I shall prove myself more of an Eaton than ever.

P. Kisher writes that Margie has been ill—has she been any sicker since I left home? I do really hope not. She made herself sick running for and waiting upon me. I’m afraid I don’t know what I should have done then without her & you both. I do want to hear dreadfully from some one at home; I have not yet.

Now one word for Margie unless she is sick. There is a lady here who dresses sweetly, a young married lady; she wears something I think perhaps you would like to have especially if you have not bought a new dress. A black silk skirt (which you have) with a plain main[?] (I don’t know whether I spell it rightly) waist just plaited like Lillie’s zouave under waist, buttoned down the back with small lace buttons and in other respects like Lillie’s even white waist only. She wears a black silk point about twice as large as your velvet one, trimmed all round with a narrow rouche of pinked black silk and her little rouche goes over her arm like for sort of shoulder straps. She wears the [?] point & waist with muslin dresses, so I thought you could wear it with your blue muslin skirt, and black silk skirt would be very handsome. I have black silk or like the dress. Have I told you there is a fine Qr. Church right directly opposite here? Love to all. Affectionately Louise.

[Letter finished by Francis]

Let me know how recruiting in Mass. Prosperous. I fear poorly. We must have reinforcements & that speedily or, I fear the most disastrous consequences will ensue. We see things here more as they are; as long as our country is ruled by these detestable politicians and our armies are so thoroughly restrained from checking this inhumane rebellion, because one general or another is getting too popular, so long will she hold an inferior place among nations, as I fear she does now.

I have just had forty new cases—all sick—none wounded—a day or two ago performed quite an operation on an arm.

Love to all. We have heard from no one from home except my Father, Mother, and W. P. K. We have written to everybody there I believe. Transcripts from F. B. are very welcome.

F. H. B.

Scans of Letter