Letter from John Boston, a runaway slave, to his wife, Elizabeth, January 12, 1862

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from John Boston, a runaway slave, to his wife, Elizabeth, January 12, 1862

Subject

Slavery.Emancipation

Description

Fleeing slavery in Maryland, John Boston found refuge with a New York regiment in Upton Hill, Virginia, where he wrote this letter to his wife who remained in Owensville, Maryland. At the moment of celebrating his freedom, his highest hope and aspiration was to be reunited with his family.

There is no evidence that Elizabeth Boston ever received this letter. It was intercepted and eventually forwarded to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

Excerpt:

“My Dear Wife it is with grate joy I take this time to let you know Whare I am
i am now in Safety in the 14th Regiment of Brooklyn . . . this Day i can Adress you thank god as a free man I had a little truble in giting away But as the lord led the Children of Isrel to the land of Canon So he led me to a land Whare fredom Will rain in spite Of earth and hell Dear you must make your Self content i am free from al the Slavers Lash . . . I am With a very nice man and have All that hart Can Wish But My Dear I Cant express my grate desire that i Have to See you i trust the time Will Come When We Shal meet again And if We dont met on earth We Will Meet in heven Whare Jesas ranes . . .”

—From John Boston’s letter to his wife

Creator

John Boston

Source

National Archives, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s–1917

Publisher

https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/eyewitness/html.php?section=9

Date

January 12, 1862

Rights

Public Domain

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

letter

Files

Boston letter.png
Boston letter envelope.png

Geolocation

Date Added
March 17, 2021
Collection
Diaries and Letters
Item Type
Text
Tags
, ,
Citation
John Boston, “Letter from John Boston, a runaway slave, to his wife, Elizabeth, January 12, 1862,” Mapping the Civil War in Arlington, accessed January 24, 2022, http://mtcwia.com/items/show/132.