Location: East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Surnames/tags: Hickey Watson
June 14, 1827 letter from Colonel Philip Hickey to Joseph Watson regarding his personal doubts of the kidnapping, the distrust of southern planters for northerners, and his distaste for emancipation efforts. Hickey states that he did acquire a boy named James Daily from Emilia Pickard, wife of Patrick Pickard, but that his description does not match that provided by Watson.
This letter is in reply to
Joseph Watson replied in
Joseph Watson Correspondence, Mss. 1872, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.
- East Baton Rouge, Lou. @ 14th June 1827.
Peculiar circumstances of absence and business have hitherto withdrawn my attention from your communication of the 20th April. — I was much surprised and concerned to learn that I had possibly been most unconsciously and ignorantly instrumental in depriving a
negro human being of his dearest and most sacred rights and [am] sincerely sympathetic with your indignation against the infamous kidnapper who it is stated has so audaciously & so cruelly tore them from their liberty and their friends to induce them to distant bondage. —
I did sir some time in the year 1825 purchase from “Emilia Pickard Wife of Patrick Pickard of Brook County Virginia” a yellow boy named Jim that since [has] been called on the Plantation by the name of James Dailey — this boy does not — exactly answer the description given in your letter of James Daily — he neither corresponds in color or age. The first suggestion I ever heard of this boy’s probably being free was contained in your letter — upon satisfactory proof being adduced that this boy is entitled to his freedom no obstacle shall be offered by me to his restoration to liberty — the other boy bought by me from Emelia Pickard wife of Patrick Pickard does not answer
Were I convinced that all the individuals who have communicated information to you on this subject were as enlightened upright and disinterested as I dum[?] you to be, I would require no further proof then that contained in your letter of the freeness of Daily — for from the circumstances stated in your letter I am inclined to believe he is the boy alluded to. — But sir where it is recollected that James Daily has never alluded to his freedom since I purchased him, taken in connexion with a fact which I have lately heard — to wit that some persons who lately stopped near my Plantation in a Steam Boat had promised him to obtain his freedom and no doubt made an arrangement with him to that effect — When it is considered too that these individuals on board the Steam Boat may have [??] of that description of free negros who have infested our state and invighted[?] away our slaves — when I say all these circumstances are considered can I be uproached with insensibility in supposing that all the facts which have been stated to you may possibly be
- I am
- With great respect
- your obed. serv.
Joseph Watson Esqr
- Mayor of