Transcript of this letter is shown below:
Concordville, Del [Delaware]
8 mo 10 1860
My dear Friend
We have been spending several weeks in this pleasant locality, where we are enjoying the rest & quiet so necessary to those who spend a large part of their lives in the noise & excitement of a busy city. As it seems long since we have heard from thee directly, I thought a few minutes might be employed in addressing thee.
Last 2d & 3d day we were in attendance at our Quarterly Meeting & saw Ellmore Till who informed that he was kept pretty constantly employed in publishing. He has thy 2d volume about half finished, also a Book for Jane Johnson, one for Harriet E Stirkly [?] & the republication of the Journal of one of our ancient friends which is being published for Nathaniel Richardson – These & other things which might be mentioned give evidence of progress in the right direction – Thou wilt perceive by the Intelligencer that the Subject of Education is exciting some interest among Friends – The actions of the last New York Yearly Meeting appears to have awakened there a renewed interest. A Committee appointed by Friends to superintend the building of a new Meeting house have visited our City, & were much interested in the Schools & I understand some of the wealthy friends there have offered to furnish the means towards the establishment of such institutions as may give to their children the advantages of a guarded education under the care of the Society.
The subject occupied the attention of your Y. [Yearly] Meeting some years ago, & thou mayest remember in our last Annual Assembly much concern expressed that the Society should be moving in the same direction. Now it seems to me that the time has arrived for the Yearly Meetings of Baltimore, New York, & Philad [Philadelphia] to move jointly in the matter with a view to remedy the deficiencies which seem to be universally felt among us – If we could succeed in raising a Comm [committee] in each of these Y. Meetings & agree upon a plan, I have little doubt, means could be raised for the object. As your Meeting comes next in course, I should be glad, if way opened, for you to move first in the matter. There is no doubt the other Yearly Meetings would follow, & even if nothing definite could be agreed upon, the very fact of such an appointment would rouse the Society to a consideration of this deeply important subject, & might be productive of good results.
Having suggested this for thy consideration, I will proceed to discharge a promise made a few weeks since to a colored citizen of Canada & will premise it by saying that Edw’ [Edward] Hopper & myself had some business which called us into Ohio, & concluded to take ourselves & wives to Niagara on our return –
While we were admiring the beautiful scene before us, Seated on the bank of the river, I was approached by a colored man, who enquired if I was from Loudoun Co. Va Upon my answering in the negative, he apologized by saying that he thought I resembled Mr. Saml [Samuel] Janney – This led to considerable conversation in which our whole party were very much interested, & the particulars of which I will not now detail. Suffice it for the present to say that he preferred Canada to Virginia & left Loudoun in 1850. His name is Amos Norris. He lived at one time with Nathan Janney & married Amanda Mann, whose Sister Betsy Lambert lived with thee when he last heard from her – Amos is doing well – owns a little farm with comfortable buildings & has a good carriage & pair of horses which are employed in conveying visitors to the points of interest in the neighborhood – We found upon enquiry he was a thriving, respectable man, doing well every way, & a faithful Subject of the Queen – He took us to see David Dangerfield (alias Webster) in whose case Edward Hopper was employed when he was captured at Harrisburg & an attempt made to return him to his master in Loudoun Co. We found him living Comfortably in a neat house with sufficient ground to raise his own provision, & it was difficult to realize that the fine bright eyed man before us, was the same Daniel that Edw’ [Edward Hopper] & myself saw hand cuffed in one of our Court rooms in Philad’ [Philadelphia] – about 2 years before. The interview between Daniel & the Company will not soon be forgotten by any of us – We were informed that about 200 fugitives live within 2 miles of the Falls of Niagara on the Canada side, & that they are remarkable for their good Conduct & thrift. They enjoy of course equal privileges with the whites & there appeared to be no distinction – But to return to Amos – He says it is a long time since his wife has heard from his Sister Betsey & he fears the latter may have miscarried. He desires to hear from her & request the letter may be directed to Amos Norris – Drummondsville, Canada West Niagara Falls – He says they have written Several letters to his sister Betsey within a few months. Shouldst thou think it preferable, a letter to him might be enclosed to me & I will forward it from Philad.
I regret that our absence prevented our seeing thy daughter in law & her afflicted child – I hope B- Edward gave the needful attention & from his report of D. Hunt’s opinion of the case, the disease of the Eyes, is one that will easily yield to medical treatment.
If in the City when she returns from New York, we shall hope to see her at our house.
The locality where we have pitched our tent is one of the most beautiful & healthful in the neighborhood of the City. We are directly opposite Concord Meeting house part of which was built in 1724. We are surrounded by a neighborhood of Friends & within a few miles of Providence, Chester, Chichester, Birmingham, Wilmington, West Chester, Kennent, Wa-, & other Meetings which are easily reached. Yesterday we called to see Wm Larkin & his wife, both Elders & steady attendees of Concord. They live 4 ½ miles from the Meeting house & are seldom absent. They were married at Concord in 1803. He is 81 & she is 78 years of age, & there is hardly any evidence of infirmity in either of them. They have raised 11 children. 10 of whom are still living, & respectable members of Society. The Old friend is making t- Business for one of his children in a shop adjoining his house where he has for many years followed his trade of Cabinet making –
At the time of their marriage, they built the house in which they now live, & have devoted many acres of ground to fruit trees, the product of which their son carries to Philad’ market. We computed that during their married life, they have travelled to & from Concord Meeting house a distance twice round the globe – Last week we attended the Quarterly Meeting at Concord – The large house was filled to its utmost capacity, & it was a memorable time in which the gospel stream was opened to the refreshment & encouragement of many –
We shall probably remain here about 2 weeks longer & shall be glad to hear from thee
With love to thy family in which my S. joins. I conclude thy cordial friend.