Pickard, Kate E.R., letter, Camillus, [N.Y.], January 29, 1853, to "Uncle Peter" [Peter Still]


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Jan. 29, 1853

Dear Uncle Pete

I was very happy to receive your letter of the 8th inst. We were all glad to hear from you, and glad that there is a prospect of you receiving aid in Boston.

I received a letter from sister Julia on the last day of December. She expresses much interest in your success and Dr. Hargraves will do all in his power to induce Maj. McKiernan to let your family go. If no attempt had been made to run them off it would not be difficult to buy them but Maj. McKiernan being a hot-headed politician was very much enraged by that attempt, and probably meant, when he told Mr. Thorton that he would not take less than $5000 - that he would not not sell them at all. I trust however, that he may be induced to let them go. The Dr. has enlisted Judge Weakley's interest in your behalf, and you need not fear that any effort on his part will be wanting In the [meantime] you must work yourself and be careful to maintain a right spirit. Do not cherish bitter or resentful feelings at

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the delay of your hopes. Trust in that God without whose notice not a sparrow falls to the ground. These are day of trial - do not let your patience fail.

It is very hard and unkind in Maj. McKiernan to ask such a high price for your family, and even to be unwilling to sell them at all, but you must not speak harshly of him or even let your thoughts dwell too much on that part of the subject. It will do you no good - it will make you no friends to indulge such feelings but it will injure your character. You will not be so well fitted to enjoy the company of your wife and children, if you let your temper become soured before you meet them. I write this to caution you - for I know it is hard for any one to keep a meek and quiet spirit when he knows he has been, and is, suffering unkindness and injury.

Sister Julia says in her letter "Tell Peter his master young John Hogan is dead and the elder Mr. Hogan and his wife have both become Christians and united with the Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia. Miss Maria Cockburn married a Mr. Lavender, a dancing master, in Tuscumbia, and in consequence, all the family have cast her off. They do not even recognize her when they meet in the street.

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His old friend Mr. Brady was married a few weeks since to a Miss Johnson of Kentucky and has gone to New Orleans to live. Please give him these bits of information - I can think of no other Tuscumbia news that would interest him. Remember me to him most kindly. Assure him too, that everything will be done that can be to get his wife and children, but tell him not to be too sure, for he may be disappointed. Poor fellow! it will be hard, if after cherishing his dream of happiness so many years, he must then be so cruelly disappointed! Tell him I'll be home in June, and then I hope I'll have the pleasure of looking into his good kind honest face once more."

I have copied the close of Sister Julia's letter, that you may have it in her own words. When I hear from her again, or from Dr. Hargraves I will write you - I should have sent you this information earlier, but Mr. Pickard and my little Willie have been ill and have taken all my time and care. They are better now however.

I trust that the next letter I receive from the South will contain more encouraging news. It is some comfort to know that there are warm hearts there enlisted in your favor. If you make any

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change in your plans, let me know, and be assured you have the warm sympathy of

Your friend

Kate E. R. Pickard



Pickard, Kate E.R., letter, Camillus, [N.Y.], January 29, 1853, to "Uncle Peter" [Peter Still]


Kate Pickard acknowledges receiving Peter Still’s letter; relates information from her sister Julia, in Tuscumbia or vicinity, regarding a Dr. Hargraves and a Judge Weakley there who are sympathetic to his cause; acknowledges that the higher price of 5,000 dollars quoted to Mr. Thornton for Peter’s enslaved family after the "attempt to run them off" [help them run away] is probably really meant by Maj. McKiernan; counsels Peter not to loose his patience or temper; and quotes from Julia's letter (including some information about people in Tuscumbia).


Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries




public domain


4 p.




Pickard, Kate E. R., “Pickard, Kate E.R., letter, Camillus, [N.Y.], January 29, 1853, to "Uncle Peter" [Peter Still],” Peter Still Digital Edition, accessed June 22, 2024, https://stillpapers.org/items/show/11.

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