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Taylor, E. W. (fl. 1837) to Jeremiah Wilbur

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08476 Author/Creator: Taylor, E. W. (fl. 1837) Place Written: Charleston, South Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 25 January 1837 Pagination: 4 p. : address : docket ; 25 x 20 cm.

Summary of Content: Taylor, a Northerner who had moved to South Carolina and became a slave owner, explains his views on slavery and his willingness to fight for it. "If these matters are going to be carried so far as to the separation of the Union and blood must be spilt I fight for the South, & feel as though I could plunge the dagger to the heart almost of a brother in such a glorious cause. It would be for Liberty, Liberty." Believes abolitionists should leave well enough alone or the result might be the dissolution of the Union. Accuses abolitionists of being hypocrites and relays the story of a Northern minister who met a wealthy slave owning woman in the South and suddenly turned cheek and started railing against Northern abolitionists. Taylor states that he detests such men, "I candidly think that there are hundreds of others at the [N]orth who are now accusing the Southern Slave holder of cruelty &c&c- that would jump to do as this minister has done." Talks at length about how comfortable his life is now that he has a woman to make the house a home, not like their past bachelor life. Enjoys having a slave cook his meals and remembers a time when they had to worry about cooking for themselves because the cook quit. Addressed to Wilbur, a New York City merchant.

Background Information: Taylor's view expressed in this letter mirrored the opinions of many Southerners who resented the antislavery propaganda abolitionists attempted to disseminate in the South.

Full Transcript: Charleston Jany 25th 1837
Think not my dear Sir that because I [inserted: have] accepted of Gods best gift to man, the nearest & dearest friend this world affords, Think not, that ...because I have found, & am now in possession of such an one, that old & true friends are forgotten, No such is not the Case, you know what a multiplicity of matters & things there are to attend to upon setting out in the world & that consequently much time is required about such things, time that otherwise would be devoted to friends away, & now as I have written new passage which amts to nothing, upon start something of Some importance.
You may perhaps be desirous of knowing what our present situation is &C&C It is soon told, Instead of lonesome Rooms, inhabited by lonesome Bachelors, we now have Lively rooms lively fires, & lively people around them, Now on closing business for the day - we are greeted by the smiles of lovely woman, ah how changed from the time when slowly & sadly we climbed the old rickity stairs to our "Sanctum [Sanctorum?]" there to spend the evening alone, alone, & Ah! My good friend Could You see that Lovely being whose presence has occasioned this delightful Change, engaged as she is from morn till eve in preparing & rendering things comfortable & nice for us all, & using all those little endearing ways known only to the fair sex - to make our [2] home a happy one, [inserted: ago You would methink call her a demon] & I assure You she is successfull & I trust all all here, (& I care not what people at the North think, for I am now a regular Southern) appreciate her worth, ago I know so & this but Enough
And now You old abolitionist one more to You about meddling with other people's affairs, If every man in this world would pay strict attention to his own affairs & let his neighbors alone the Millennial day would come along much quicker & then be a slight possibility of the whole world being sometime or other Christianized, but as long as those who profess to be Christians, are sinning with a high range, & by this influence & gold producing dispair [struck: &] discontent, rebellion, insurrection & the Dead & all, it never will take place If these matters are going to be carried so far as to the separation of the Union & blood must be spilt I fight for the South, & feel as though I could plunge the dagger to the heart almost of a brother in such a glorious cause, It would be for Liberty Liberty, & You wish to know how many G[illegible] wenches have have at a time why it depends upon who they live with, if with men favourable to abolitionism from 3 to 6 at a lick, if with others from 1 to 1½ only, Oh! by the way - I heard of an instance the other day, of one of Your fraternity suddenly changing his views with regard to the Darkies - A minister from the north he was spending the winter in a Southern city & when he could making known his sentiments [3] In course of time he was introduced to a Young Lady of much beauty, but more property, in Plantation Nigers &C&C amounting to $116.000 - All at once his feelings suddenly changed, he rated against Northern abolitionists, & northerners generally, the result of it is has just got the gal & what he likes better the niggers & I bett $100.000 Doll, there in less than 3 Years he will have slaves of his own blood - Now Jerry such men I detest I abhor them, & I must say that I candidly think that these and [struck: 100] hundreds of others at the north who are now accusing the Southern Slave holder of cruelty &c&c - that would jump to do as this minister has done and yes envy him his good fortune as they will call it, & now about holding slaves I must tel[text loss: l] You my mind is somewhat changed - as for having to cook for a week at a time because our Cook chooses to quit we don't do it - about 2 or 3 will answer our purpose
Love to all
Yrs ever
E. W. Taylor
Mr W
Dr Sir
Not having heard from You for sometime we take the liberty of Enquiring, Whether the Amt of dft forwarded still lays in Your "Breichy Pocket" or what You have done with it, If You have a balance in Your hands of Enough to pay Mr Woodburn You will [4] please pay him that amt & charged to us We shall not either of us visit M. Y. this Spring Please write & tell us all the news how Dry Goods are going &c&c
Yr Truly
Robt Taylor

[address leaf]
Mr Jeremiah Wilbur
Mess Masters Markoe & Co.
New York
EW Taylor
Charleston Jany 25. '37
Recd Feby 3 - -
Answd - 7 & 10 -
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People: Taylor, E. W., fl. 1837
Wilbur, Jeremiah, fl. 1837

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: LibertyCivil WarMilitary HistoryConfederate States of AmericaSoldier's LetterConfederate Soldier's LetterAbolitionAfrican American HistorySlaveryReligionWomen's HistoryDiet and nutrition

Sub Era: Slavery & Anti-slavery

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