Colored Refugees in Camps… letter from Harriet Jacobs

   Lydia M.Child submits a letter….. “from a very worthy, intelligent woman, who was herself a slave during twenty-five years, and who is now manifesting sympathy with her long-oppressed people by nursing them in the vicinity of our camps. To do this, she not only relinquishes good wages in a family for many years strongly attached to her, but also liberally imparts from her own earnings to the destitute around her.”…… the submitted letter is from Harriet Jacobs …..

        In the letter, Jacobs describes how the Government has erected barracks for the accomodation of five hundred, of the fifteen hundred she has on a list…..Many have found employment, and are supporting themselves and their families ….Some of them say to me, “The white men of the North have helped us thus far, and we want to help them….. we would like to fight for them, if they would only treat us like men.”…..I am proud and happy to know that the black man is to strike a blow for liberty.  I am rejoiced that Col. Shaw heads the Massachusetts regiment, for I know he has a noble heart …. (then, after some recounting of poor treatment by whites) she ends her letter:   “O, when will the white man learn to know the hearts of my abused and suffering people” 

                                                                                                                      (Liberator., April 10, 1863 pg 4)