WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 9th, 1856.
DEAR SIR: — I was unavoidably prevented yesterday, from replying to yours of 6th instant, and although I have made inquiries, I am unable to-day, to answer your questions satisfactorily. Although I know some of the residents of Loudon county, and have often visited there, still I have not practiced much in the Courts of that county. There are several of my acquaintances here, who have lived in that county, and possibly, through my assistance, your commissions might be executed. If a better way shall not suggest itself to you, and you see fit to give me the facts in the case, I can better judge of my ability to help you; but I know not the man resident there, whom I would trust with an important suit. I think it is now some four or five weeks since, that some packages left this vicinity, said to be from fifteen to twenty in number, and as I suppose, went through your hands. It was at a time of uncommon vigilance here, and to me it was a matter of extreme wonder, how and through whom, such a work was accomplished. Can you tell me? It is needful that I should know! Not for curiosity merely, but for the good of others. An enclosed slip contains the marks of one of the packages, which you will read and then immediately burn. If you can give me any light that will benefit others, I am sure you will do so. A traveler here, very reliable, and who knows his business, has determined not to leave home again till spring, at least not without extraordinary temptations. I think, however, he or others, might be tempted to travel in Virginia.
SOURCE: William Still, The Underground Railroad: A Record of Facts, Authentic Narratives, Letters &c., p. 44-5