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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.

Fletcher, Francis H. (b. 1841) to Jacob C. Safford

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC07345 Author/Creator: Fletcher, Francis H. (b. 1841) Place Written: Morris Island, South Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 28 May 1864 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Fletcher, a black soldier in the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry, complains bitterly of the inequality of treatment and pay between the white and black soldiers. "Just one year ago to day our regt was received in Boston with almost an ovation, and at 5 P.M. it will be one year \85in that one year no man of our regiment has received a cent of monthly pay all through the glaring perfidy of the U.S. Govt." He references an act for equal pay passed in 1864, "All the misery and degradation suffered in our regiment by its members' families is not atoned for by the passage of the bill for equal pay." Expresses his anger and resentment about the situation, "I cannot any more condemn nor recite our wrongs, but console myself that One who is able has said Vengeance is mine and I will repay."

People: Fletcher, Francis H., b. 1841.
Safford, Jacob C., fl. 1864.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, African American History, African American Troops, Soldier's Pay, Union Forces, Government and Civics, Law, Congress, Religion

Sub Era: The American Civil War African Americans and Emancipation