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MRS. L. MARIA CHILD.
MY DEAR FRIEND, such you prove to be, though a stranger, Your most kind letter has reached me, with the kind offer to come here and take care of me. Allow me to express my gratitude for your great sympathy, and at the same time to propose to you a different course, together with my reasons for wishing it. I should certainly be greatly pleased to become personally acquainted with one so gifted and so kind ; but I cannot avoid seeing some objections to it under present circumstances. First, I am in charge of a most humane gentleman, who with his family have rendered me every possible attention I have desired or that could be of the least advantage ; and I am so far recovered from my wounds as no longer to re quire nursing. Then, again, it would subject you to great personal inconvenience and heavy expense, without doing me any good. Al low me to name to you another channel through which you may reach me with your sympathies much more effectually. I have at home a wife and three young daughters, the youngest but little over five years old, the oldest nearly sixteen. I have also two daughters- in-law, whose husbands have both fallen near me here. There is also another widow, Mrs. Thompson, whose husband fell here. Whether she is a mother or not I cannot say. All these, my wife included, live at North Elba,, Essex County, N. Y. I have a middle- aged son, who has been in some degree a cripple from his childhood, who would have as much as he could well do to earn a living. He was a most dreadful sufferer in Kansas, and lost all he had laid up. He has not enough to clothe himself for the winter comfortably. I have no living son or son-in-law who did not suffer terribly in Kansas.
Now, dear friend, would you not as soon contribute fifty cents now, and a like sum yearly, for the relief of those very poor and deeply afflicted persons, to enable them to supply themselves and their children with bread and very plain clothing, and to enable the children to receive a common English education? Will you also devote your own energies to induce others to join you in giving a like amount, to constitute a little fund for the purpose named?
I cannot see how your coming here can do me the least good ; and I am quite certain you can do me immense good where you are. I am quite cheerful under all my afflicting circumstances and prospects; having, as I humbly trust, " the peace of God, which passeth all understanding," to rule in my heart. You may make such use of this as you see fit. God Almighty bless and reward you a thousand fold! Yours in sincerity and truth,
- Life and Letters of John Brown; Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia, 1885, F. B. Sanborn.