Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926) to Alexander M. Ross
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03007.10
Author/Creator: Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926)
Place Written: Rohnerville, California
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 15 January 1882
Pagination: 3 p. ; 15 x 13 cm.
Summary of Content: Inquires after Osborne P. Anderson, a free black from Canada who was with her father at Harper’s Ferry. Anderson escaped and wrote a book about the events. Adams has lost her copy, and would like another one. Hopes he is still alive, though she had heard reports that Osborne had died years ago, which was in fact true.
People: Adams, Anne Brown, 1843-1926., Ross, Alexander Milton, 1832-1897., Brown, John, 1800-1859., Anderson, Osborne Perry, 1830-1872.
Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
Full Transcript: Rohnerville , [inserted: Humboldt Co] Cal, Jany 15th 1882., , Dr. A. M. Ross, My dear Friend, I owe you an apology for neglecting to answer your kind letters so long and thanks for the paper so kindly sent. sickness has been my excuse. I have been very unwell myself the past summer and my time almost entirely occupied with a delicate child. She does not allow me much time to write now but her health is improving. , I fear the children’s poor little dried flowers disapointed you as they are so delicate and lose their brilliant colors by drying., I will send you some more moss that was packed in from the mountains but if it is wet I think it will come out again., During the rainy season we do not miss the leaves from the trees, as they are so  loaded with moss and a small fern grows all up and down the trunks and branches., Your visits to Chatham must be very interesting indeed. When you make your next visit there will you please do me the favor to ask of the colored people if any one there ever knew Osborn P. Anderson? a light mulatto, who was with my Father at Harpers Fery. He escaped, went back to Chatham where he followed the printers trade. He wrote an account of that affair and published it in a small pamphlet. He sent me a copy which was afterwards stolen with some other valued articles from me, and I would like very much if it is possible to procure another copy, as it is the only account written by any one who was actually [inserted: engaged] in that affair, and lived to tell the tale. , I read in a newspaper, a few years ago, that he died of consumption, in grate poverty, and was buried in a paupers grave  in Boston, Mass. I hope the story is untrue. He told me with tears in his eyes that his own father, a wealthy man, in the State of [Perm], drove him away from his door with threats of having him arrested and sent back to Va (when he applied for food and shelter) while he was escaping,) and called him all manners of vile names for what he had done., I think most of the colored people of Canada believed him to be an impostor at the time, but they were mistaken, as I knew him before, and afterwards, but lost trace of him after I came to California. Poor fellow, he deserved better treatment from his own race than he recieved from them. If he is really dead, my brother Owen and I are the only ones left of that little band, and in a few short years and we too shall be gone. With many thanks for your kindness and love to your family. I remain your friend,, Annie Brown Adams
Keywords/Subjects: African American History;, John Brown;, Abolition;, Slavery;, Woman Author;, Women’s History;, Canada;, Literature and Language Arts;, Children and Family;, Freemen;, American West;
Background: Anne Brown Adams was the daughter of John Brown., Alexander M. Ross was a famous Canadian naturalist, also a prominent abolitionist and a strong supporter of John Brown.Order Image