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    John Brown sends provisions to black settlements Blacksville and Timbuctoo

    John Brown Autograph Letter Signed. One paged with integral address cover (now detached), 7.75" x 10". "Springfield, Mass 28th Oct 1848." A letter to Willis A. Hodges, an African-American abolitionist and business owner regarding provisions:

    "I have just returned home & on my way at Troy I bought 5 Barrels of Pork & 5 Barrels of Flour. Three Barrels of the Pork & three barrels of the flour are directed to yourself care of Colvin & Allen, Port Kent. The other two Barrels of Pork & of Flour I have sent to Timbucto [Timbuctoo, New Jersey was a small settlement of free blacks and former slaves founded in 1820] I wish you so to divide with the different families as to make all as happy & comfortable as possible... You will have the freight to pay from Troy as I had not sufficient funds with me to pay it. You must try & make your money reach now until Spring as I have now paid out quite a sum in the different ways. I shall expect to hear from you soon how you all get along, & whether you get the provisions all safe. Yours in truth John Brown"

    The cover is addressed to: Mr Willis A Hodges (near Loon Lake / Merrillsville Post Office / Franklin Co / N Y."

    Willis A. Hodges (1815-1890) was born free in Virginia. He followed his brother William to New York, when William was forced to leave after being accused of forging free papers for slaves. In 1848, Willis started a short lived settlement called Blacksville on 200 acres of land given to him by abolitionist Gerrit Smith. It was a small community of about 10 families, and they abandoned the settlement after two years. Brown is no doubt sending provisions to the settlement, as the letter offered here is dated October 1848. As noted in the letter, a portion of the provisions were also going to Timbuctoo, another black settlement in New Jersey.

    Condition: Very fragile and brittle, with paper loss at bottom right and top left corners. Address sheet is completely separated, with paper loss where wax seal was opened, and at folds. Estimated for condition.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    5th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
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