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A Canterbury Tale: A Document Package for
Connecticut's Prudence Crandall Affair

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Prudence Crandall, "Letter to Simeon Jocelyn (April 9, 1833)," published in "Abolition Letters Collected by Captain Arthur B. Spingarn," Journal of Negro History, vol. XVIII, 1933, p. 81-82.


Canterbury, April 9th, 1833

Mr. Joclyn

Dear Friend

In the midst of tribulation the gleaming hope that better days will yet be mine gives tranquility to my feelings while surrounded by those whose enmity and bitterness of feeling can hardly he contemplated. It is a fact that many of the inhabitants of C met last Friday evening at the Masonic Hall in this Village and resolved that they would not sell anything to me or my family and that they would not in any otherwise assist me. There was one man Mr. Stephen Coit that withdrew from the resolve and told them that if anyone wished to buy of him he should sell to them. This man and his wife I trust are Christians and have previous to been violently opposed to me.

On Sabbath evening I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Wm. L. Garrison lecture at Brooklyn Ct. I passed the night at the same house with him and indeed it was a source of great joy.

The next day he sent for the stage driver to come for him when the stage left for Hartford but to his astonishment he never come. Mr. G. Benson soon procured a carriage and he overtook the stage after a ride of about three miles. Towards evening the news came that the Deputy Sherrif was in pursuit of him. The Sherrif went to Brooklyn in great haste and inquired for Garrison and if he had gone — he soon went to the hotel took his horse and rode west. We have been informed this morning that the Sherrif returned but why we do not know and for what they were going to take Mr. Garrison. We do not know, but we presume for what he said in the "Liberator."

It was also hinted that they wished to carry him to the South — This indeed was the occasion of much sorrow. It was his intention to lecture in Hartford this evening to the people of color.

His intention is to be in New Haven soon. I have but one boarder yet and one day scholar and I wish you to encourage those that are coming to come immediately. On account of the printer Mr. Mays letters to A. T. Judson will not be out until Thursday of this week.

It is supposed by a gentleman on whom I think I can rely, that there were five writs issued for Mr. Garrison yesterday. The truth of what I have stated I will write you by the next mail if I can Possibly obtain it. Please give my love to Mrs. Jocelyn and I remain with respect

Yours P. Crandall