A letter from William Lloyd Garrison to his son Francis about a fair to be held to benefit the yellow fever victims in the South, 1878.


Tarrytown, Sept. 9, 1878

My dear Frank:
Yours of yesterday, with the two letters enclosed, is received. I hope you accepted the invitation of Mrs. Otis; and if you did, and anything noteworthy occurred at the seance, let me know at your leisure.

I shall write at once to Mrs. Diaz acknowledging the receipt of her letter, and the regret I feel that I am not able to attend the funeral of her uncle Edwin Morton, this day at Plymouth. His esteem and friendship for me from the first hour of our acquaintance to the end, were uncommonly strong; and mine for him were quite as unvarying. He was of a modest and gentle nature, with ever a pleasant smile upon his countenance, ardent in his feelings, radical and progressive in his views, erect and uncompromising in his principles, and steadfast in his abolitionism as the needle to the poles.

[page 2] His older brother, Ichabod Morton, was of a similar type, and equally earnest in his advocacy of the anti-slavery cause. I shall always cherish a profound respect for their memories as among the best of men.

I arrived here on Saturday evening about a quarter past 7 o’clock, and had such a greeting as you can imagine from Harry, Fanny, and the children -- Agnes included, of course. They were hoping that I had taken the morning train, and so were looking for me at an earlier hour. From Boston to Worcester I had the company of Aaron Powell and his wife, and from Worcester to Springfield that of your co-laborer in the office, Scudder. Continuous conversation served to lessen the tediousness of the long ride, and the absence of dust was something to be specially thankful for.

I found John and Rosa Ritchie here who had preceded me but a few hours, having come from Boston via the Stonington route (which I came near taking on Friday night. There were quite charmed with this location, and enjoyed their

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visit to the full while they remained. Yesterday afternoon Harry ordered a carriage to take them, with Fanny and myself, to a drive down to Sleepy Hollow, through Kingsley’s fine estate, and thence to Irvington and towards Dobbs’ Ferry. You know the route, and how beautiful and attractive it is. This forenoon Fanny and I escorted John and Rosa to Sing-Sing, in a carriage, where they are to remain two or three days, then going to Fishkill for a short visit, and from thence making a similar visit to Wendell at Orange, provide Wendell can find room for them, which is perhaps somewhat doubtful as his is having one visitor after another; so that the tax upon his time, attention and hospitality must be considerable. John and Rosa are bound for Chicago.

Your Club picnic appears to have been consummated most agreeably, notwithstanding the unpropitious state of the weather in the morning, which did not clear up here with us until Sunday forenoon, when we had a brilliant remainder of the day, and a glorious moonlight night. I shall be quite ready to accompany you on my

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return to the spot and the residence which you describe as so lovely.

I take it for granted that George is having a pleasant time at Osterville with William and Ellie. He must try to spend a few days here before the return of the family to New York.

When you write again, give me the address of Mrs. Parsons, of Brooklyn, in full.

The children are very busy in making preparations for their Fair in behalf of the yellow fever sufferers at the South, which is to come off on Friday next. They have had printed one or two hundred tickets of admission, at ten cents each, and are endeavoring to find purchasers for them. How many persons may be induced to come from the town is problematical. A lady, boarding at Mr. Cole’s, has generously expended sixty dollars in purchasing articles for the tables.

It is a good report that you send of Minnie Garrison. She is fortunate to have found such friends, and such a situation.
Your loving Father.

[post-script, upside down on top of page 1]
Fanny did not preserve Mr. Clark’s first letter, but remember that the name of the clergyman at Lockport was Norton. -- Look in my desk in the boudoir, and if you can find Mrs. Manson’s letter to me, please forward. Kind regards to Georgina.