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Lawton, Edward W. (fl. 1810-1825) to Thomas Evans

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05800 Author/Creator: Lawton, Edward W. (fl. 1810-1825) Place Written: Newport, Rhode Island Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 May 1825 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket : free frank ; 25.3 x 20.7 cm.

Summary of Content: Lawton relates the details of the escape of a local slave girl to Evans, a druggist in Philadelphia. States that two years prior, the family of Anthony Barklay (or Barclay) moved to Newport with a young slave girl, whom they treated severely. The girl escaped, and has been residing at the family of Nathaniel Hathaway in New Bedford. Reports that Barclay is still searching for the girl, and friends are hiding her to protect her from Barclay's cruelty. Hathaway's wife, Anna Shoemaker, has taken to girl to Philadelphia. Hopes to obtain for the girl "the speedy and effectual protection which her case demands." Includes an endorsement by William Jenkins at the bottom of page two. Jenkins states that he passes Lawton's note along in complete confidence, Lawton "being one the number in NwPort who feel an interest in the wellfare of the children of Africa..." Both Lawton and Jenkins sign as "friend."

Full Transcript: In the summer of 1822 or 23, a person by the name of Anthony Barklay, or Barclay came from the south to spend the summer here accompanied by his Family in which ...was included a black girl held by him as a slave. Although professing great suavity of manners and much apparent kindness the master & mistress of this girl treated her with great severity, so much so as to induce some of the friends of Freedom in this place to assist her in making her escape from such intolerable and cruel servitude. She has been pursued by her master with the most implacable determination and there is reason to fear that if he should succeed in recovering her that her persecutions would be redoubled. Thus far the exertions of her friends have been successful in withholding her from his grasp, but information has reached here that Barclay will be here soon (perhaps this day) that he is still determined to recover his slave, and it is also known that many persons who are not to be trued, nay many who are seeking to betray her are possessed of the leading circumstances of her present condition and only want his arrival to disclose them to him. She has been residing in the Family of Nathaniel Hathaway in New Bedford, whose wife was Anna Shoemaker of Philadelphia, who is on a visit among her connections there and has the girl with her. I am unacquainted with the persons mentioned but have the information from an undoubted source in New Bedford by a Letter received this morning. The object of this letter is obviously to obtain for this unfortunate, and I am informed, very deserving girl, the speedy and effectual protection which her case demands, and which will I presure be a sufficient apology for this hasty address from an entire stranger.See More

People: Lawton, Edward W., fl. 1810-1825
Jenkins, William, fl. 1825
Evans, Thomas, fl. 1825
Hathaway, Nathaniel, fl. 1825
Shoemaker, Anna, fl. 1825
Barclay, Anthony, fl. 1825

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: SlaveryAfrican American HistoryRunaway SlaveFugitive Slave ActAbolitionWomen's History

Sub Era: The First Age of Reform

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