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Documents >  Harriet Jacobs to Amy Post. [1852?]
Amy Kirby Post, abolitionist and women's rights advocate, befriended Harriet and urged her to write her autobiography. In this letter Harriet expresses her reservations about telling of her ordeal. "Your proposal to me has been thought over and over again but not with out some most painful rememberances."


Cornwall Orrange *Co* [New York] [ndnm1852?]

My Dear Friend

Yours of the 24 was recieved on the 27th and my pen will fail to describe my greatful feelings on reading it although you could never be forgotten yet you do not know how much itt cheers my sad heart and how much I appreciate a word of sympathy and friendship from those I love for you little know how much I have had to pass through since we last meet but it is a blessing that we can say a word in this way to each other many far more deserving than myself has been debared from this privilege

I answered Mrs Hallowell kind letter which I hope she recieved I wrote Mrs Bush also but I but I recieved a letter yesterday by the way of New York from her will you please say that I had written I am sorry to have given her so much trouble but I have been unfortunate twice and I thought this would be more sure to come to hand my best love to her I am glad her hopes were realised in a sweet little Daughter and hope she may be blessed in having her health and strength restored before she leaves our shores I am sorry to hear Dear little Willie looks so delicate I should dearly love to see him and oh my dear friend how much I would prise a few hours with you at this present time but we poor mortals must always strive to teach our hearts submission to our circumstances it is a hard lesson but it is a blessing to those who truly practice it

your proposal to me has been thought over and over again but not with out some most painful rememberances dear Amy if it was the life of a Heroine with no degradation associated with it far better to have been one of the starving poor of Ireland whose bones had to bleach on the highways than to have been a slave with the curse of slavery stamped upon yourself and Children your purity of heart and kindly sympathies won me at one time to speak of my children it is the only words that has passed my lips since I left my Mothers door I had determined to let others think as p they pleased but my lips should be sealed and no one had a right to question me for this reason when I first came North I avoided the Antislavery people as much as possible because I felt that I could not be honest and tell the whole truth often—have I gone to my poor Brother with my grieved and mortified spirits he would mingle his tears with mine while he would advise me to do what was right my conscience approved *it* but my stubborn pride would not yeild I have tried for the last two years to conquer it and I feel that God has helped me or I never would consent to give my past life to any one for I would not do it with out giving the whole truth if it could help save another from my fate it would be selfish and unchristian in me to keep it back situated as I am I do not see any way that I could put it forward Mrs Willis thinks it would do much good in Mrs Stowe hand but I could not ask her to take any step Mr W is too proslavery he would tell me that it was very wrong and that I was trying to do harm or perhaps he was sorry for me to undertake *it* while I was in his family Mrs Willis thinks if is not done in my day it will a good legacy for my children to do it after my death but now is the time when their is so much excitement everywhere Mrs Hallowell said in her letter that you thought of going to New York in the course of a few weeks if you will let me know when I will meet you there I can give you my Ideas much better than write them

if the Antislavery society could prapare this I would be willing to exert myself in any way that they thought best for the welfare of the cause they do not know me they have heard of me as John Jacobs sister

my dear friend would you be willing to make this proposal I would rather have you do it than any one else you could do it better I should be . . . [obliterated] happier in remembering it was you if Mrs Stowe would under take it I should like to be with her a Month I should want the first History of my childhood and the first five years in one volume and the next three and my home in the northern states in the secont besids I could give her some fine sketches for her pen on slavery give my love to your dear Husband and sons kiss Willie for me love to all God bless Yours

Harriet



Notes:

Autograph letter, signed; Isaac and Amy Post Family Papers, Isaac and Amy Post Family Papers, University of Rochester Library.