Digital Commonwealth

Letter from Edwin Belcher, Augusta, Ga, to William Lloyd Garrison, April 16th, 1878

Viewing image 1 of 4
  • image 1
  • image 2
  • image 3
  • image 4

Item Information

Holograph, signed.
In this letter, Edwin Belcher introduces himself to William Lloyd Garrison. He is a colored man, born a slave in 1845, and attended school in the North. Belcher writes: "When Mr. Lincoln made his first appeal for troops to preserve the republic in its integrity I ran away from school and volunteered as a soldier, my complexion precluding the possibility of a discovery of my race status, I served through the entire contest from May 1861 until July 1865 and at the age of nineteen had attained to the rank of Captain, being perhaps the only colored man except Crispus Attucks that ever commanded a company of white soldiers in actual battle in this country." Belcher believes that slavery was the cause of the war. He asks William Lloyd Garrison for help "in securing for me a transfer to some section of the country where I can by industry and manly exertion become something more than a 'mere nigger.'"
Call #:
Ms.A.1.2 v.40, p.23A