Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Holden, William Woods (1818-1892) Tracts for the people. No. 1. Who were our friends in time of need?

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02888 Author/Creator: Holden, William Woods (1818-1892) Place Written: Raleigh, North Carolina Type: Pamphlet Date: 3 December 1859 Pagination: 4 p. ; 16 x 23 cm.

Holden, editor of the Raleigh Standard, issues an extreme pro-slavery tract declaring, "Too much liberty, too much indulgence will be sure to injure both the slave and the master." Instructs slave owners to maintain strict discipline over their enslaved people: "It is a good rule, in the management of slaves or servants, to clothe well, feed well, and whip well, if whipping be needed." Condemns whites who trade and interact with blacks. Accuses blacks as having a large appetite for "finery" and "good living." Also asserts "The true condition of the African race is that of dependence on the white man..."

Holden was editor of the Raleigh Standard for roughly 25 years. He served as Governor of North Carolina in 1865 and 1868-1871; his term ended with his impeachment.

[draft] [excerpt]
"... At a time like this every thing which concerns domestic slavery is interesting and important.

"We have observed for years in this community, and in this State, the prevalence and the increasing prevalence of the opinion, carried out in practice, that an extraordinary amount of kindness to the slave is as proper to be shown as regular discipline ... Far be if from us to advise undue rigor; But Too Much Liberty, Too Much Indulgence Will Be Sure To Injure Both The Slave And The Master. We must recur to the primitive times and to the early condition of the slave. The laws of rewards and punishments must be strictly observed ...".

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources