• 1860 Letter: Mother Expresses Sadness over Sickness to Teacher-Son at Sligo Plantation in Mississippi

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    WILLIAM ANDERSON was born in Londonderry on January 12, 1836 and graduated from Yale in 1859. He taught school at Sligo Plantation in Adams County, Mississippi. The 1860 Federal Census indicates that the plantation owner had 74 slaves. On his return North, he studied law at the office of Morse & Stevens in Lowell, MA. The University of Notre Dame’s Rare Books and Special Collections has an archive of William’s letters.  In this 4 pp, 4 ½ x 7 ½, dated July 6, 1860, our writer whom we believe to be Jane Davidson Anderson, the mother of William, speaks of sickness on the plantation.

    “…I was very sorry to hear of the sickness at Sligo [plantation] and more particularly that Susie, your favorite scholar, was so very sick.  I hope she will recover. I have felt very anxious about you since you went South & much more so since the epidemic broke out on the Plantation. I think the…weather must aggravate the disease & cause much sickness. I cannot advise you to your future & probably if your health is spared you will decide on that before this reaches you. I have no thoughts that Mr. W’s family will remain there during the hot weather if they are able to get away.

    “While you are suffering so much from draught, we are having timely & refreshing rains. Vegetation generally looks well…Wallace Mardin had come home out of health. He continued to fail until last Monday when he died. He rode out twice the Sat. before. I called to see him about three weeks before he died. He spoke with some difficulty, inquired particularly for you…At his funeral, a club of young men from Nashua of which he was a member sung…They provided him with many comforts during his sickness…A Photograph of the club lay on his coffin…

    “I think the sickness among your scholars during the last term must have injured your school & been a trial to you. I hope you may have strength given to sustain you in the trying scenes you may have to pass through…” Much more.

    Folds, four storage punch holes, affecting very little.  Very readable.

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