Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926) to Alexander M. Ross
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03007.33
Author/Creator: Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926)
Place Written: Petrolia, California
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 21 October 1892
Pagination: 3 p. ; 20.5 x 12.5 cm.
Summary of Content: Discusses Ross’ plans that somehow involve helping the black community. It is not clear exactly what this plan involves, but she suggests he try using the black newspapers to help his plans. Worries that few African Americans will care about his plan, since ”they take too little interest in doing for their own kind. You will recollect that father only succeeded in getting five colored men to join him. He found it much easier to get white men and money from white men to help him. Doing good to others is often very, very discouraging, especially when they do not seem to take the slightest interest in your work, nor care whether you succeed or not.” Mentions Quaker abolitionist poet John Whittier. Recipient inferred from content.
People: Adams, Anne Brown, 1843-1926., Ross, Alexander Milton, 1832-1897., Brown, John, 1800-1859., Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-92.
Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
Full Transcript: Petrolia, Cal. Oct 21st 1892., , Dear Friend, I received your letter in due time, also the photograph so kindly sent, please accept thanks for it., I do not know how you can dispose of it in the U. S. without [you] get a list of [inserted: all] the papers published by the colored people and let them act as agents among their own people. There are a great many wealthy ones among them who certainly ought to help along liberally. I have lived out of the world for so long a time that I really do not know much  about what is going on, but think that between the excitement caused by the election and the worlds fair that the white people will take very little interest in such a thing. Then they have contributed generously towards educating and helping the freed men in the past, and many would feel that it was time for those who can afford to, ought to help their own people. I do not wish to make a harsh or unkind remark, but my experience has been that they take too little interest in doing for their own kind. You will recollect that father only succeeded in getting five colored men to join him. He found it much easier to get white men  and money from white men to help him. Doing good to others is often very, very discouraging, especially when they do not seem to take the slightest interest in your work, nor care whether you succeed or not. Tennyson has followed our own Whittier. How much more the world thinks of a dead man than they do of a living one. Appreciation seems to come too late to do one much good in this world. Still I believe all things will come right some time or somewhere. With love to your wife and family I am as ever your friend, Annie Brown Adams, My children did not go to Chicago.
Keywords/Subjects: African American History;, John Brown;, Abolition;, Slavery;, Journalism;, Charity and Philanthropy;, Finance;, Literature and Language Arts;, Poetry;, Woman Author;, Women’s History;
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