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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Brown, John Jr. (1821-1895) to Alexander M Ross

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03007.56.11 Author/Creator: Brown, John Jr. (1821-1895) Place Written: Ottawa County, Ohio Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 19 June 1879 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Brown Jr. writes from Put-in-Bay Island located on South Bass Island (Lake Erie), Ohio. He mentions he will personally be traveling to Kansas and possibly Colorado to examine the land for the purpose of "settlement by Colored people of limited means; making the [inserted: results] of my observations known to the public through Newspapers friendly to their cause." Says he will be returning "by way of the Northern Pacific route from Bismark [sic] Dakota to St. Paul and Duluth," and plans on examining the land with the same purpose in mind. Sends a copy of his article "address before the Colored Emigrant Aid Society in Sandusky, O.," which was printed in the Cleveland Leader (not included). "In regard to the aspect of affairs are assuming at the South; nothing human can be more certain than that a radical [strikeout] change must soon be inaugurated and become the dominate state of society there, or Revolution is inevitable. I am convinced that the North is slumbering over a Volcano, and that at no distant day our people will be awake from their dreams of money getting and in astonishment exclaim, 'Why did we not see these things before?' It is the North that is this time to be put in the position of rebellion, or in that of abandoning the freedmen to slavery absolute and all that was gained in the war. I am utterly astonished at the blindness and apathy of the people of the North. Will we never learn? How blinding is the service of the god Mammon.!"

People: Brown, John Jr., 1821-1895.
Ross, Alexander Milton, 1832-1897.
Brown, John, 1800-1859.

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Keywords/Subjects: African American History, John Brown, Abolition, Slavery, Religion, Westward Expansion, Immigration and Migration, American West, Journalism, Travel, Land Transaction, Charity and Philanthropy, Finance, Freemen, Jim Crow, Reconstruction

Sub Era: Development of the West