1862 July 31 Andover, Mass.

                  Andover  July 31 1862

My Dear Friend [Duchess of Argyll]

         Your lovely generous
letter was a real comfort to
me–& reminded me that a
year–alas a whole year
has passed since I wrote to
your dear mother–of whom
I think so often as one of
God’s noblest creatures–&  one
whom it comforts me to think
is still in our world–
So many! good & noble have
passed away whose friendship
was such a pride such
a comfort to me–Your noble
father–Lady Byron–Mrs
Browning–their spirits as
perfected as ever passed to the
world of light–I grieve about
your dear mothers eyes–I
have thought about you all

[page 2]
many a sad long quiet hour
as I have lain on my bed
& looked at the pictures on
my wall–one in particular
of the moment before the
crucifixion which is the
first thing I look at when
I wake in the morning–
–I think how suffering is
& must be the portion of
noble spirits–& no lot so
brilliant that must not
first or last dip into the
shadow of that eclipse–
Prince Albert too–the ideal
knight–the Prince Arthur
of our times–the good wise
steady head & heart we
that is our world–we
anglo Saxons need so much
and the Queen!–yes I have

[page 3]
thought of & prayed for her
too—–but could a woman
hope to have always such
a heart–& yet ever has
weaned from Earth–“All
this & heaven too?–“
Under my pictures I have
Forasmuch as Christ also
hath suffered for us in the
flesh; arm yourselves with
the same mind–
this year has been one long
sigh–one smothering sob
to me–& I thank God that
we have as yet one or
two generous friends in England
who understand & feel for
our cause–
The utter failure of Christian
antislavery England in those
instincts of a right heart
which always can see where
the cause of liberty lies
has been a bitter a grief

[page 4]
to me as was the similar
prostration of all our American religious
people in the day of the
fugitive slave law—-
Exeter Hall is a humbug–
a pious humbug like the rest
–Lord Shaftesbury–vale
let him go–he is a tory–
& has after all the instincts
of his class–But I read the your
dukes speech to his tenants!  that
was grand!
If he can see those things
they are to be seen & why
cannot E  H  see them–
–it is simply the want of
the honest heart
–Why do the horrible barbarities
of southern soldiers not cause no
comment?–why is the sympathy
of the British parliament
reserved for the poor women

[page 5]

of New Orleans deprived of their
elegant amusements of throwing
vitriol into soldiers faces
& practising other indecencies
inconceivable in any other
state of society–Why is
all expression of sympathy
on the southern side–
There is a class of women in
New Orleans whom Butler protects
from horrible barbarities that
up to this day have been
practised on them by these
so called New Orleans ladies
but British sympathy has
ceased to notice them—-
–You see I am bitter–
I am–You wonder at
my brother–He is a man
& feels a thousand times more
that I can & deeper than
all he ever has expressed
the spirit of these things

[page 6]
You must not wonder therefore
–Remember it is the
moment when every nerve
is vital–it is our agony
–we tread the wine press alone
& they whose chief rhetoric
has been for years pushing
us into it now desert
“en masse”–
I thank my God, I always
loved & trusted most those who
now do stand true–your
family–your duke yourself
your noble mother–I have
lost Lady Byron–Her great
heart her eloquent letters
would have been such a
joy to me–& Mrs Browning
–oh such a heroic woman

[page 7]
–None of her poems can
express what she was–so
grand so comprehending so
strong with such inspired
insight–She stood by Italy
thru its crisis–her heart was
with all good thro the world
–Your prophecy that we should
come out better, truer, stronger
–will I am confident be
true & it was worthy of yourself
& your good lineage–  —
—Slavery will be rent out
by this agony–we are only
in the throes & ravings of
the exorcism–The roots
of the cancer have gone
every where–but they
must die—  will —
Already the confiscation

[page 8]
bill is its eventual destruction
Lincon has been too slow
–he should have done it
sooner & with an impulse
but come it must come
it will–your mother will
live to see slavery abolished
unless England forms an
alliance to hold it   up–
England is the great reliance
of the slave powers to day
& next to England the faulting
weakness of the north
which palters & dare
not fire the great broadside
for fear of hitting friends
–These things must be
done & sudden sharp [?]

[in right hand margin of page 8]
are mercy–Just now we are in a dark hour

[page 9]
but whether God be with us or
not I know he is with the
slave–& with his redemption
will come the solution of our
I have long known what & who
we had to deal with in this war
When I wrote U.T.C.—I had letters
addressed to me showing a state
of society perfectly inconceivable
That they violate graves–make
drinking cups of sculls–That
ladies wear cameos cut from
bones– & [?] scalps is no
surprise to me–If I had written
what I knew of the obscenity
brutality & cruelty of that society
down there society would have
cast out the books– it
is for their interest–the
interest of the white man
in the south that we should
succeed–I wish them no ill
feel no bitterness they have
had a Dahomean Education

[page 10]
which makes them savage
we dont expect any more
of them–but if slavery is
destroyed—one generation of
education & liberty will
efface these strains–They
will come to themselves–
these states & be glad it
is over–
I am using up my paper
to little purpose–Please give
my best love to your dear
mother  I am going to write
to her–If I only could have
written the things I have
often thought  I am going
to put on her bracelet with
the other dates that the abolition
of slavery in the D.Columbia.
Remember me to the duke
& to your dear children–My
husband desires his best regards
My daughters also

[in side margin of page 10]

I am lovingly ever yours  H B Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1811-1896, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, to which she refers on page 9

MSS 6318

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