Joseph Watson to Duncan S. and R. J. Walker, January 26, 1828

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 26 Jan 1828 [unknown]
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamap
Surname/tag: Watson
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January 26, 1828 letter from Joseph Watson to Duncan S. Walker and R. J. Walker regarding the case of the kidnapped African American children and noting that one child returned by Philip Hickey died days after his arrival in Philadelphia.

Joseph Watson Correspondence, Mss. 1872, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

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Philadelphia Mayor’s office
Jan 26 1828


By return of High Constable Garrigues I received a letter from you, and on the 18th inst [18 Jan 1828] the letter of your Mr R. J. Walker dated at Monticello December 15th. For these favors I thank you, but have deeply to regret the precious time I have lost in not receiving answer to the many letters I have addressed to you in relation to the kidnapped boys, precious I say as to their chance of reclamation from bondage. A year’s additional residence in their situation and under their circumstances may greatly alter the chance of restoration. Mr Garrigues arrived safe with Ephraim Lawrence. A boy given up to him by Col. Hickey of Baton Rouge reached home also, but died with debility eight days after his arrival. He was one of those unfortunately stolen away by Pickard. Another boy bought by Col. Hickey of the wife of Pickard at the same time and under the same circumstances is still retained by him. — The half blind woman, Sarah Nicholson that was in the possession of Mr Kendricks near Baton Rouge, I find her since been transferred to G. W. Morgan of New Orleans. I think I shall be able to establish her identity by the evidence of white persons and procure her return. — I have very particularly to thank you and Mr. Quitman (and I pray you to convey my respects to him) for your attention to Mr Garrigues and for joining with

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him in the Bond to Ross. I hold myself personally bound to exonerate you if any responsibility shall be laid on the parties thereto. I note well the conditions of the Bond and God willing, shall make them good. I shall immediately commence preparation for the journey of the white witnesses to your country to testify before your courts as to the identity of these people. — I trust the Bill you speak of may be enacted into a law, — it will be a righteous provision. —

Fearful of accidents, I will ask you in reply to state at what time the witnesses should reach Natchez to attend the trial in Pike County in October. The boys there I understand to be William Miller, John Jacobs, James Bayard, and Peter Hook.— and whether in this case or in the cases of any others if white witnesses reach the respective counties before the regular period of the Courts, their evidence could be taken by consent of parties and the object thus effected without detaining the witnesses at great expenses to us and risk of health to them? Can you suggest anything in this matter that will aid our views and upon the expenses I anticipate. — The Black man Kirr, the kidnapper against whom Ephraim Lawrence was to testify died in Prison before the boys return. Two of the kidnappers have thus died in Prison before trial. I informed you that another of them had been convicted for 42 years. I occasionally hear of Joe Johnson — I hold him in personal remembrance. If he should ever make his appearance in your country, I pray you to use every action to cause his arrest. I am bound to pay $500 on his conviction

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which would be absolutely certain if I could but lay my finger on him. — this reward perhaps in the view of your constables or officers may keep the matter alive. — I have reason to believe that he has within the last two years been in the States of Alabama, North Carolina, and Mississippi. — Your obed. serv.
Joseph Watson,

Mr’s Duncan S. and R. J. Walker, Natchez.

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