Mar 21, 2024 - Sale 2663

Sale 2663 - Lot 23

Price Realized: $ 406
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(ABOLITION.) Pennsylvania soldier's letter regarding the 40-acre plots being distributed to freedmen. Autograph Letter Signed only as "your brother," to sister Lavinia Isett (circa 1844-1868) of Limerick Square, Montgomery County, PA. 3 pages, 8 x 5 inches, on one folding sheet; folds, minor wear. With partial envelope. South Carolina, 31 January 1865

Additional Details

This letter was written by a Union soldier on the Carolina campaign near the end of the war, just two weeks after General Sherman ordered 400,000 acres of coastal land to be distributed to freedmen in 40-acre plots. This was the dawn of the fleeting promise of "forty acres and a mule." The soldier wrote:

"Gen. Foster has been on Buford [Beaufort] Island for 2 years and now Sherman has comand of his troops. I think tha will get off now. This iland tha have give to the niggars to setle on, that is all that have famlies, 40 acre to the man." He also describes ongoing engagement with Confederate troops: "Tha is a few johneys not far off. I have heard sevrel cannons today. Wee will be botherd with them all the way to Charleston."