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.

Bibb, Henry (fl. 1852) to John Calkins re: how his money was used for fugitive slaves

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 #: GLC06834 Author/Creator: Bibb, Henry (fl. 1852) Place Written: Detroit, Michigan Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 19 June 1852 Pagination: 4 p. +addr 31.1 x 19.1 cm

Summary of Content: A long, detailed letter from Bibb, the noted runaway slave and conductor on the Underground Railroad, telling Calkins of Wilbraham, Mass., how his money was spent in aiding runaway slaves who had traveled on the Underground Railroad, particularly those who had just arrived in Canada. In part: "The next sum was used to aid a sick man who had [been] but a short time in Canada before he was attacked with the intiminant fever.... He must have died had I not procured medical aid for him." Bibb lectured widely and published a number of works, including his Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb. In 1851 he founded Canada's first Negro newspaper. Burnhole on first page, upper right, affecting text.

Background Information:

People: Bibb, Henry, fl. 1813-1852

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Enslaved peopleUnderground RailroadAfrican American HistorySlaveryRunaway SlaveFugitive Slave ActCanadaHealth and MedicalDeathFinanceCharity and PhilanthropyBlack Author

Sub Era: Slavery & Anti-slavery

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources