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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.

Anderson, Robert (1805-1871) to Anthony Thornton

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03748 Author/Creator: Anderson, Robert (1805-1871) Place Written: Fort Sumter, South Carolina Type: Autograph letter Date: 21 January 1861 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Discusses South Carolinians view of the Union, and worries that America may be punished. States "All give me much more credit for what has been done here, than I deserve...I fear that as a Nation we have taken too much upon ourselves - that we have thought most of self and of worldly vanity and pride than we have of our Maker and that He may now bring us under subjection to his will by severe punishment - Never had a people better reason - if any be needed -than ours to be grateful to God -" Says Charleston's residents "seem to me to have lost all love for the Union, and to think that S. Carolina is all the world to them. The time will come, I think, when their children's children will think kindly of me for having, for a time, at least, saved their ancestors from civil strife - I am heartily tired of my position here." Original signature was removed from the letter. A new signature of Anderson's has been inserted, so the document is not signed, but does contain an authentic signature from Anderson.

People: Anderson, Robert, 1805-1871.
Thornton, Anthony, 1814-1904.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Confederate General or Leader, Confederate States of America, Secession, Religion, Politics, Union Forces

Sub Era: The American Civil War