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Brown, John (1800-1859) to Willis A. Hodges

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06615 Author/Creator: Brown, John (1800-1859) Place Written: Springfield, Massachusetts Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 January 1849 Pagination: 2 p. : address ; 24.6 x 19.7 cm.

Discusses arrangements at North Elba, and upcoming plans for this African American farming settlement. Says money is being raised to help the "infant colony," urges residents not to lay out plots yet, but instead cut wood. Also discusses the conduct of the residents, saying "Do not let any one forget the vast importance of sustaining the very best character for honesty, truth, industry, and faithfulness. I hope every one will be determined to not merely conduct as well as the whites; but to set them an example in all things."
Brown planned on moving up to North Elba in the spring, and helping the black farming community being built there. Gerrit Smith had given away thousands of acres to free Northern blacks who wished to move to the Adirondacks and become independant farmers and land holders. Brown planned on moving into this community, called Timbucktoo, and assisting in its building. Though his family moved to North Elba, Brown's bussiness plans complicated his situation, and he was never able to devote as much time to this project as he had hoped. Letter addressed to Hodges at Merrillville, a town near North Elba. Signed twice by Brown, once with initials.

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