Manuscripts

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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.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was a Quaker abolitionist and poet of international renown. He was affiliated with the National Era, one of the most important abolitionist newspapers in America. This collection consists of miscellaneous correspondence, manuscripts, and other material by and about Whittier. Included is the orignal draft for “Moloch in State Street,” about the arrest of fugitive slave Thomas Sims, with significant alterations and revisions.

Fourteen autograph letters, signed, by members of the extended Junken family, primarily to Noble and Maria Junken. Margaret Junken and Richard Conkling both write on the subject of African Americans: Margaret describes what she sees as the happy lives of Louisiana slaves and Richard describes a hired African American girl’s attempted murder of her child in 1837.

The collection consists of 37 manuscript legal documents from Adair County, Kentucky, regarding slaves and freedpersons. The papers include affidavits, summonses to court, and deeds of emancipation; most are docketed on the verso. Several of the documents deal with the apprenticeship of children, and one concerns the marriage of two former slaves.

Correspondence, diaries, writings and other papers of John Pitkin Norton, professor of agricultural chemistry at Yale from 1846-1852. Norton’s diaries contain observations on slavery and abolition, the Amistad case, the Liberty Party, religion, and temperance, among other topics. Professor Norton was also closely associated with the early days of the Sheffield Scientific School and was a pioneer in the application of scientific principles and methods to agriculture.

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