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    Harriet Beecher Stowe raises money for the Normal School for Colored Girls

    Harriet Beecher Stowe Autograph Letter Signed to Myrtilla Miner, Founder of the Normal School for Colored Girls. Two pages, 8" x 10", Andover, [Massachusetts], December 10, 1855.

    "Miss Minor / Dear Friend
    I enclose to you Anna's answer to your letter which I must say meets my own judgments. Greatly should I rejoice were she able, but the statements which she gives is perfectly true & I think it must commend itself to you as being unanswerable. I can now only think of that other young lady of whom I know that she earnestly desires the work whether she is otherwise fitted for it I do not know, & you know that sometimes people desire what they are not fitted to do. I will however make enquiries & endeavour to put you in communications with her. I am sorry brother Charles cannot undertake the agency, but that also is impossible the situation of his family & his other duties render it impossible. For me as I said before I am willing to head a subscription with $500 & if I think that a letter from me to Benjamin Tatum is necessary I will write one tho as I am overwhelmed with writing I could wish that he would subscribe without it.
    I observe Miss Manns letter that she wishes funds to be sent to her & I have not a specific direction without which I do not think it safe to enclose money. Will you write me immediately how I shall direct the money shall be forwarded forthwith.
    Very Affectionately,
    HB Stowe

    P.S. On second thoughts I have thoughts that I would enclose some money for Miss Mann in a letter to you sufficient at least to pay the balance on the 1st of January. The agreement as I at present recollect it was she was to receive $100 a term out of which she was to pay the travelling expenses. If this was not correct, she of course will remind me of it."

    The Normal School for Colored Girls was established in Washington D.C. in 1851 by Myrtilla Miner. Although Miner received her initial funding from a Quaker philanthropist, the school's rapid growth required new funding streams. Stowe donated money from the royalties she received for Uncle Tom's Cabin, but also worked tirelessly as a fundraiser. As is evidenced by this letter, she was also involved with administrative duties such as hiring teachers and negotiating salaries.

    The letter is written on both sides of a single sheet, with light toning. There is a partial separation across a horizontal fold. A docket along the top left margin reads: "Please leave this on our table Miner." From the Judith Kaplan Women's History Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
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