May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 59

Price Realized: $ 750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
"I TREMBLE FOR MY COUNTRY WHEN I REMEMBER THAT GOD IS JUST" (SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Way, William M. A Quaker abolitionist writes to chastise his slave-owning niece. Autograph Letter Signed to niece Emily Jane Smith of Georgia. 4 pages, 12 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches, on one folding sheet; folds, minimal wear. With typed transcript. Lancaster County, PA, 4 March 1860

Additional Details

Way was a committed Quaker abolitionist writing to his slave-owning Georgia niece on the eve of war, reminding her of their discussions many years before: "The girl in her teens, on her road to Quaker meeting, could not then have spoken of buying or selling God's accountable agents, dealing in the souls of God's image without a passing comment. She would not then have spoken of her own brother buying Negroes in the same cold business-like manner, as if they were horses or oxen. . . . The poor negro that toils for thy benefit, that becomes weary and tired that thou mayst rest, has as much right to his own muscles and bones as thou hast. . . . I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just and that his vengeance will not sleep forever. . . . Were I to come to Georgia, and although I should meddle in no man's business, have no intercourse with the slaves whatever, yet if it were known that I entertained the opinions expressed in this letter, I should be hunted like a panther in your native mountains, and probably cruelly murdered on your soil."