May, Samuel J., letter, Syracuse, [N.Y.], August 9, 1853, to Peter Still, Boston (2 p.)


[Page: 1]

Mr Peter Still

[Page: 2]


Aug. 9,

Dear Uncle Peter

I was right glad to learn[?] by your letter of the 4th from New Bedford that you had found friends there, and were likely to gather some valuable contributions toward the accomplishment of your great object. I hope you have not been disappointed. But I fear you will be obliged to raise at least five thousand dollars in order to procure the liberation of your wife and children. For some causes, which I do not understand, the price of slaves is now higher than it has ever been and according to present prices $5000 would not be a very exorbitant demand for your family. Nevertheless, go on in your labors, perhaps something may happen in the good providence of God to favor your wishes. I have not yet received a line from Mr. Birney of Philadelphia.

[Page: 3]

From this I infer that he has heard nothing from Alabama that he deems is worthwhile to communicate. So soon as I do receive a letter from him, you shall be made acquainted with the contents of it. Nor have I heard a word from your friend Mrs Pickard. But I have written to her informing her of your progress and I have no doubt that so soon as she shall have any thing to communicate, she will send it in a letter to Mr Garrison. Yesterday I sent by my son John Edward, the roll you left with me - Dr Furness' narrative of Seth Conklin. He expects to be in Boston by Saturday night or Sunday [?]morning and he will give the roll to Mr Garrison for you. All my family are as well as when you left us. They remember you very kindly and send to you their best regards. God bless you, Uncle Peter.

Yours truly

Samuel J. May



May, Samuel J., letter, Syracuse, [N.Y.], August 9, 1853, to Peter Still, Boston (2 p.)


The Rev. Samuel J. May acknowledges the receipt of Peter Still’s letter sent from New Bedford, Mass.; relates that the price of slaves is now such that 5,000 dollars, not 3,000 dollars, likely will be needed to purchase the freedom of Still's family (but encourages Still to continue fundraising nonetheless); states that he has not heard any news from Alabama through either Mr. Birney in Philadelphia or Mrs. Pickard; and notes that he is returning Dr. Furness’ Seth Conklin narrative (via his son, John Edward May, who is traveling to Boston to give it to William Lloyd Garrison).


Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries




public domain


2 p.




May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871, “May, Samuel J., letter, Syracuse, [N.Y.], August 9, 1853, to Peter Still, Boston (2 p.),” Peter Still Digital Edition, accessed June 22, 2024,

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