Letter to Helen E. Garrison (October 20, 1847)

William Lloyd Garrison

Citation Information:  William Lloyd Garrison, October 20, 1847, Letter to Helen E. Garrison. Merrill, Walter (ed). The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison. Vol. III: No Union With Slave-Holders 1841-1846. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press, 1973, p. 531.

William Lloyd Garrison

To Helen E. Garrison

Cleveland, October 20, 1847.

My Dear Wife:

  • As on a previous occasion, I received a letter from you last evening, only an hour or two after I had mailed one for you. It came quite unexpectedly, and its contents were of a comforting character. To be assured that all is well at home, and that you lack for nothing, is a very great relief to my mind. O, the blessing of health! it is seldom appreciated until it is taken from us. I hope to prize it, hereafter, more highly than I have hitherto done.
  • The kind and unceasing attentions of our esteemed friends, Mr. and Mrs. [Robert F.] Wallcut, to which you gratefully allude, certainly demand of me the liveliest expressions of thankfulness. These you will proffer to them. Our indebtedness to them is very great, and ever increasing.
  • You also refer to the kind and efficient assistance rendered by Mrs. Garneaux. She is one of the ministering spirits of Love and Goodness in this world — too rare, alas! — and but for whom, the world would present a dreary aspect indeed. Give her my warmest remembrances.
  • I rather regret that you have weaned dear Lizzy at so early a period, but perhaps you have decided wisely. I was thinking that about the middle of December would be the most suitable time.
  • Tell dear little Fanny, that father is coming home soon, in accordance with her wishes. I am glad to hear, beyond measure, that all the boys are behaving so well, and going to school so regularly. Especially am I glad to hear that George has been promoted in school, and is attending to his studies with so much interest. May they all try to improve every day, to be always kind to each other and to all around them, and to make you happy.
  • The trip of dear H. C. Wright from this place to Buffalo, yesterday, must have been as short and pleasant, as the trip from Buffalo to Cleveland was long and disagreeable. May I be as fortunate!
  • This is the last letter you may expect to receive from me at this place. My next I hope will be a living epistle, in propria persona.
  • I am expecting S. S. Foster daily. As soon as he arrives, I shall be for leaving without any delay, unless the weather should be stormy. That may detain us here several days, but I hope not.
  • You represent the state of sister Sarah’s health to be far more feeble than did bro. George in his letter. Give her my sympathy and love.
  • I cannot specify the friends to whom I desire to be affectionately remembered. None of them are forgotten.
  • It is a most painful effort for me to write. This short letter has cost me the labor of hours.

 Ever yours, lovingly,

 Wm. Lloyd Garrison.

  • P. S. H. C. Wright will accompany me as far as Albany, and from thence go to Philadelphia. S. S. Foster will go with me as far as Worcester; and Saml. Brooke will go with me all the way through to Boston. You must have a bed ready for him.
  • Is it not strange that [Frederick] Douglass has not written a single line to me, or to any one, in this place, inquiring after my health, since he left me on a bed of illness? It will also greatly surprise our friends in Boston to hear, that, in regard to his project for establishing a paper here, to be called “The North Star,” he never opened to me his lips on the subject, nor asked my advice in any particular whatever. Such conduct grieves me to the heart. His conduct […] paper has been impulsive, inconsiderate, and highly inconsistent with his decision in Boston. What will his English friends say of such a strange somerset? I am sorry that friend [Edmund] Quincy did not express himself more strongly against this project in the Liberator. It is a delicate matter, I know, but it must be met with firmness. I am sorry to add, that our friend Saml. Brooke is at the bottom of all this, and has influenced Douglass to take this extraordinary step, as he thinks the Bugle might as well be discontinued, or merged in Douglass’s paper! Strange want of forecast and judgment! — But, no more now.