Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926) to Alexander M. Ross
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03007.15
Author/Creator: Adams, Anne Brown (1843-1926)
Place Written: Rohnerville, California
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 31 July 1887
Pagination: 5 p. ; 17 x 11.5 cm.
Summary of Content: Discusses Frederick Douglas’ and Franklin Sanborn’s treatment of John Brown in writing. Teaching her children about slavery, they ”were interested in the Scraps or Relics of Barbarism you sent.” While reading ”The Life of Frederick Douglas” to them ”When I came to his account of his visit to father at Springfield Mass, they asked if the story about his not eating his supper on an old table without a table cloth was true, I told them ’no’ that there was not a word of truth in the statement, neither was there any more truth in his statement that he did not promise to go with father. They refused to hear or read another word of the book, saying that if he did not tell the truth about that, they did not know whether to believe his accounts of other things.” Likes Sanborn very much, but wishes he wouldn’t include so many private family letters, or ”family rubbish” in his writings. Has been too busy with eight children to write more often.
People: Adams, Anne Brown, 1843-1926., Ross, Alexander Milton, 1832-1897., Brown, John, 1800-1859., Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895., Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917.
Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900
Full Transcript: Rohnerville, Cal, July 31st 1887., , Dr. A. M. Ross, My Dear Friend, Your most kind letter of Jany 18th found me in bed, too ill, to answer it. Since then the care of another little one, then added to my numerous brood, has prevented my [struck: from] writing. I now have four girls and four boys, the oldest not quite seventeen years and the youngest one six months old. So you see I  have no lack of ”home missionary work.” The [inserted: children] were much interested in the Scraps or ”Relics of Barbarism you sent. I sent and got copies of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Dred for them to read, as I thought they were the best works I knew of, to help them understand the situation of this country under the Slavery rule. I read a part of the Life of Frederic Douglass to them. When I came to his account of his visit to father at Springfield Mass. they asked if the story about his eating his supper on an old table without a table cloth was  true. I told them ”no” that there was not a word of truth in the statement.” Neither was there any more truth in his statement that he did not promise to go with father. They refused to hear or read another word of the book, saying that if he did not tell the truth about that they did not know whether to believe his accounts of other things”, Mr Sanborn has been a good friend to me, and I would not offend him on any account, but still I cannot help regretting that he has published such an  amount of family rubbish. It seems entirely unnecessary. Too much chaff with a very small amount of wheat. He intends publishing a second volume called ”John Brown and his Comrads,” I have supplied him with some material for it - as I am anxious to have him do better work on that. He is very set in his opinions and hard to convince, when he has formed a wrong opinion. I have heard that he has published a Life of Thoreau. Mr. Thoreau once told me that ”Sanborn will have to bite a ten-penny-nail in two, before he can understand me.” So I have felt curious to know, how he disposed of the nail. ,  I see by the papers that Smallpox is still in the lower part of San Francisco, and that Vaccination is ordered by the city authorities. I do not believe there is a paper in the state that could be induced to publish anything against it., With many thanks for your kindness and best wishes for yourself and family I am , as ever, Annie Brown Adams
Keywords/Subjects: African American History;, Transcendentalist;, Slavery;, Abolition;, Reform Movement;, John Brown;, Education, Children and Family;, Literature and Language Arts;, Women’s History;, Woman Author;, Morality and Ethics;, Home Furnishings;
Background: Anne Brown Adams was the daughter of John Brown., Alexander M. Ross was a famous Canadian naturalist, also a prominent abolitionist and a strong supporter of John Brown.Order Image