Beinecke Library

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The collection comprises Howe’s outgoing and incoming correspondence, third-party correspondence, and six manuscript writings pertaining to slavery and ethics. The letters address Howe’s religious beliefs, opposition to the institution of slavery, support of the temperance movement, the annexation of Texas, and other political matters.

The papers contain four letter books and other official papers sent, received, and kept by George F. Usher, Haitian consul in New York under President Fabre Nicolas Geffrard; the correspondence primarily details Usher’s diplomatic and commercial work in New York City on behalf of the Republic of Haiti during the years 1859-1867, which included, in 1862, the United States’s official recognition of the Haitian government.

Thirteen printed and manuscript documents and fragments of documents, dating from 1794 to 1889, and signed by Haitian presidents and other government officials including Charles Hérard, Jean-Baptiste Riché, Jean Pierre Boyer, François Denis Légitime, Alexandre Pétion, Fabre Geffrard, Faustin Soulouque, Philippe Guerrier, Louis Étienne Salomon, and I. Dufrene.

Although not focused primarily on slavery and abolition, this collection is a key resource for understanding the history of race in America. In addition to Johnson’s papers, there are significant manuscript materials from W. E. B. DuBois, Walter White, Poppy Cannon White, Dorothy Peterson, Chester Himes, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Jean Toomer, Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Wallace Thurman.

Four manuscript letters, dated between 1855 and 1856, provide information on the conflict between antislavery and proslavery settlers in Kansas Territory. Narratives by Frederick and Jason Brown, sons of the militant abolitionist John Brown, describe the family’s encounters with proslavery forces in various locations.

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