Letter from Sally A. Kendrick to Jennie Reed, September 12, 1863

In this letter from September 12, 1863, Sally A. Kendrick writes to her friend Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, discussing the recent death of her brother and the war. She speculates that the war will not end until slavery is abolished, but notes that she did not think so until after the fall of Fort Sumter. She states that she is no abolitionist, does not believe in "the equality of the races," and does not "want them here among us," but does "want to see them free and colonized some where [sic] ." She shares several ideas regarding what should be done with the slaves after they are freed.

My Dear Friend

I had begun to think that you had forgotten that there was such a being in ixistance [sic] as my poor little selfe [sic] when your very welcome letter came to hand. It found me in a very deep affiction for I had just lost a beloved brother, and was ill very ill myself for 4 weeks, I was not out of beed [sic] . I had nursed my brother throughout his sickness did not undress for 11 nights 9 nights of the time sat up all night and the two nights that I did did not lay down before 10 or 11 and got up at four then did not lay down at all in the day this I did not feel while my brother lived did not know that I was tired untill [sic] after the funerell [sic] when I sunk under it for the first week all thought I would die the Dr thought that I could not possible [sic] live. I too though [sic] that I was going home to be with my Savior. My husband, mother, brother [too]. But God saw fit that I should stay in this world of sorrow longer. He has some work for me to do. O for grace to do it aright, I must no longer be a cumberer of the ground. But must be up and about my work so that when it is done I may depart.

I sincerely symphathise [sic] with you in the death of your brother. When will this terable [sic] war cease. When will the traitors lay down there [sic] arms. I am affraid [sic] that there will be no peace untill [sic] the terable [sic] curse of slavery is wiped a way [sic] forever. I did not always think this but ever since the fall of Sumter, espesially [sic] ever since the excape [sic] of my brother from Texas where he saw slavery in its worst forms I have thought so, the south began this war, the want to extend this great evil, we as a nation of Christians must put it down then when we have peace it will be a lasting peace. I am no abolitionist. I do not believe in the equality of the races. I do not want them here among us. But I do want to see them free and colonized some where [sic] , say take the state of South Carolina and as many of them as are not willing to go to Africa let them go there and live. Or let them live in the south and let their present masters hire them. I am for peace when we can have an honourable lasting peace not before.

I am afraid that I can never go to the hospitals and nurse as I have done month in and month out. My strengh [sic] is gone the spirit is willing but the flesh is week [sic] .

You say that Mr. Clifford is not setteld [sic] where is he. I thought that he was in the army he was at Memphis the last time that I heard from him. Who is the pastor in his place. Where is [Santa Banster] I have not heard from her for a long time. Indeed I never hear from Muscatine now. I wish very much that I could see you Mr. Reed an [sic] Anna. I must not write any more now for my finger is beginning to hurt. I have had a bone [fellon] on my thimble finger it had to be cut open to the bone and is still very tender give my love to Mr. Reed and Anna. I am always glad to hear from you.

Truly your sincere friend
L.S. Kendrick

My brother in law, name is Allan Lathan but if you direct your letters (Box 1700) it will be all the same thing if you or Mr. Reed come to [Cin] we live 105 Broadway between 3 & 4 streets.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Sally A. Kendrick to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 30
  • Date: September 12, 1863