May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 72

Price Realized: $ 531
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
"FREEDOM NEITHER FEEDS OR CLOTHS" (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Laidley[?], May. Letter describing a woman who allegedly "says she does wish she was a slave again." Autograph Letter Signed to Mrs. G.W. Summers of Kanawha County, WV. 3 pages, 8 x 5 inches; minimal wear. With original stamped envelope bearing New Richmond postmark and circa 1861-66 3-cent Washington stamp. New Richmond, OH, 16 March 1865[?]

Additional Details

An Ohio woman offers a report on a former servant: "The colored woman you spoke of . . . is living here in New Richmond. . . . She seemed delighted to think you had not forgotten her & inquired about her. . . . I think she dislikes Ohio very much. She has very hard times here. She says the people here are so mean & wants to work a Negro to death. She says the people look on Negroes like they were horses. . . . She cannot see what the black folks want in Ohio. They got nothing here & freedom neither feeds or cloths. She says the Negros calls her a rebel. She says she does wish she was a slave again. I think really she does. . . . She is living with her daughter. Her husband is dead. She owns a small house." We never learn the name of this freedwoman. Did she really long for a return to slavery, or was she telling Mrs. Laidley what she wanted to hear, or was Mrs. Laidley making up a story to please Mrs. Summers?