Tuesday, May 2, 2017

John Brown [alias Nelson Hawkins] to his family, August 17, 1857

Tabor, Iowa, Aug. 17, 1857.

Dear Wife And Children, Every One, — I have just received the letter of Henry and Ruth, of 26th and 27th July, enclosing one from Mr. Day. We are very glad to learn that all were well so lately; and I am pleased to discover that Mr. Day is willing I should pay Henry, if I have any funds of his in my hands. This I shall certainly try to do, should that prove to be the case. I do not know how that is, as I have not yet had time to overhaul some papers left by me last fall in my old chest with Owen. Shall try to do that soon. I wrote home from here week before last, on Saturday. Since then we have been waiting either for news or for a small escort of men and teams to go with us. We get no special news from the West as yet. We are beginning to take lessons, and have (we think) a very capable teacher. Should no disturbance occur, we may possibly think best to work back eastward;1 cannot determine yet. I hope you will continue to write me here till I say to you where else; and I want you to give me all the particulars concerning your welfare. God bless you all!

N. Hawkins.

1 Here is the first intimation in these letters of a purpose to use his armed force against slavery in the eastern States, as he did two years after.

SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 414

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