Education from LVA

"Abolitionists in our midst"

  • "We have a goodly number of abolitionists in our midst."
  • "We have a goodly number of abolitionists in our midst."
  • "We have a goodly number of abolitionists in our midst."
Writing early in November 1860, Sue Gilmore mentioned to her cousin Callie Anthony that she feared a slave insurrection in Senatobia, Mississippi, fueled by local abolitionists.
Related documents:
  • "We are no longer one of the united States"
  • "You were supprised to hear of my marriage"
« Return to July 1860 to January 1861
My Dear Callie

"We have a goodly number of abolitionists in our midst."

Sue Gilmore to Callie Anthony, November 4[–6], 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Callie Anthony says: My cousin, Sue Gilmore, lives in Senatobia, in northern Mississippi. She began her letter on November 4, but finished it on election day, two days later. She mentioned the widespread fear of a slave insurrection fueled by local abolitionists, but she didn't think that it would happen.

Mostly Sue goes on about how sad she is about not going to Texas. She is so fragile; disappointment affects her quite terribly. I hope she will start getting out; autumn is fair season and such a good opportunity for her to have some fun.

If Sue's brother is marrying a lady like Ida Ross from Marion Harland's novel Alone (1854), then he is a lucky man. I loved that book: Ida was a sweet, pious lady who faced her tribulations with resolve.

Sue Gilmore to Callie Anthony, November 4[–6], 1860, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Senatobia Nov 4th / 1860
Dear cousin Callie
I have been very feeble for several months, and have been prevented by that of answer'g your letter. but as I am alone, memories of the past wash to my mind while listening to the falling of the leaves rendered so withered and sere by the chilling winds and frosts of dreary November. Past memories carries me back to the days of my childhood, and I sit here all alone and cling so fondly to those bright and beautiful pictures that are so vividly presented to my view. For then I knew aught of sorrow, I then knew nothing of the sad realities of this cold and heartless world. I was then oh! so happy in my childhoods home, blessed with kind and indulgent parents, while all the comforts of life surrounded us, but alas! How difficult the scene today, the difference is so great dear cousin that I forbear giving you a description of it, suffice to say I for the last few months have indeed been most wretched and since we abandoned the idea of going to Texas, my health has been so bad that I have no resolution to do or try to do any thing again, although I have been slowly improving for the last month. I have not done any work for a long time, have been confined very closely at home, that I cant bare the idea of entertaining company not even my most particular friends, I am constantly told by the inmates of home and my dear friends that I ought not to be so gloomy, and I often try to shake off the chain of sadness that binds me, but I find myself wholy incapacitated to perform such a task. Ma was anxious that I should attend the state fair but I was not able to go. Cousin Jane & Nannie went Nannie did not come back with Cousin Jane, she went with Cousin Julia, to Center Hill but will return next week she is much delighted with her trip so far. Cousin Jane will attend a fair this week held at Panola Town, and all are anxious I should go. I have consented although I care nothing about it. Mama & Cousin Jane are making me a very pretty silk it is brown which is the most fashionable shade here I have gotten me two other dresses this fall, an English Debege and a Mouslin. I sent to Memphis and got me a bonnet, it is white straw, trimed in green and has white plumes, it is very pretty, but I dont like it, it is so gay, too much so for an old maid, I expicted to have gone to Mo. This fall but my health would not admit of it. I wrote Will word that I could not accompany him home but he did not recieve the letter untill he started. When he got to Arrow Rock he there recieved the letter, he then went back home he was he said very sorry I could not go as he is to be married the 15th of this month and was anxious I should be present he reprisents his lady love as being the counterpart of Ida Ross one of the carachters of Alone. What think you of her? You wished to know if I had read Nemesis, I have not, but intend getting it soon. I have devoted very little time to reading for the last few months, I take two papers, & Godey & Arthur home Magazine and hav'nt read a number through for three months, my eyes are very weak and I cant read much. I often fear I shall lose the use of my right eye altogether. Cousin Williams wife has been very sick for several weeks with Typhoid Fever and has nearly gone blind, but it is thought if she recovers from the fever her sight will be restored, but I think Homer has doubts about her recovery. Cousin W. is in a very low state of health, I don't think he will live long Mamie has been very feeble for several weeks. We think she has night chills. Sallie is teaching school has a very good school. If my health improves enough this fall I will teach after Xmas, where I taught last summer but I fear I will not be able to do any thing soon, I am affected very much like Sis May was.
Well I will try and finish this letter or rather scratch for I cant write these days. To day is election day and I have felt very sad and lonely all day, as there has so much talk of an insurection on today, but the morning had passed and it is late in the evening and so far every thing had passed off quietly. I am afraid to retire at night and have been for some time and we have good reason to be afraid, as we have a goodly number of abolitionist in our midst several of them have been caught at Senatobia and used very roughly but not more so than they deserved. Let me tell you a piece of news, nearly every member of Dr. Anthonys family have had a falling out with Henrys wife I believe none of them are friendly with her except Homer and he says she is as good as any of them. Alcea and Elma used very abusive language toward her. I am sorry for her and she poor creature is so frail and delicate I have not seen her, but Cousin Jane says she thinks her very nice lady, but enough of this. Brother John will start to Texas soon I dont know exactly when, I saw a letter he received last week from his ladylove twas a very nice thing indeed she hes a splendid education and is I guess a very nice lady. Thy will marry as soon as he goes home, every one to their notion for my part I expict to remain as I am for some time yet and perhaps forever. My old widower was down to see me not long since, he is a nice old man and very wealthy but yet there is something lacking. You must excuse this letter for I cant write I really believe my brains are addled write very soon Ma and all join me in love to you all Mamie sends a kiss to you. Sallie has received her saddle and says she is under many obligations to your Papa for his kindness & trouble Goodbye dear cousin
Your absent but loving Cous,