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Your letter to sister was received a few days ago. I gather from
it that you are desirous of returning to your native place, among
your friends and relatives. We were all gratified with the
contents of your letter; and let me assure you that if any
members of the family have had any feeling of resentment towards
you, they feel it no longer. We all sympathize with you in your
unfortunate condition, and are ready to do all in our power to
make you contented and happy. It is difficult for you to return
home as a free person. If you were purchased by your grandmother,
it is doubtful whether you would be permitted to remain, although
it would be lawful for you to do so. If a servant should be
allowed to purchase herself, after absenting herself so long from
her owners, and return free, it would have an injurious effect.
From your letter, I think your situation must be hard and
uncomfortable. Come home. You have it in your power to be
reinstated in our affections. We would receive you with open arms
and tears of joy. You need not apprehend any unkind treatment, as
we have not put ourselves to any trouble or expense to get you.
Had we done so, perhaps we should feel otherwise. You know my
sister was always attached to you, and that you were never
treated as a slave. You were never put to hard work, nor exposed
to field labor. On the contrary, you were taken into the house,
and treated as one of us, and almost as free; and we, at least,
felt that you were above disgracing yourself by running away.
Believing you may be induced to come home voluntarily has induced
me to write for my sister. The family will be rejoiced to see
you; and your poor old grandmother expressed a great desire to
have you come, when she heard your letter read. In her old age
she needs the consolation of having her children round her.
Doubtless you have heard of the death of your aunt. She was a
faithful servant, and a faithful member of the Episcopal church.
In her Christian life she taught us how to live--and, O, too high
the price of knowledge, she taught us how to die! Could you have
seen us round her death bed, with her mother, all mingling our
tears in one common stream, you would have thought the same
heartfelt tie existed between a master and his servant, as
between a mother and her child. But this subject is too painful
to dwell upon. I must bring my letter to a close. If you are
contented to stay away from your old grandmother, your child, and
the friends who love you, stay where you are. We shall never
trouble ourselves to apprehend you. But should you prefer to come
home, we will do all that we can to make you happy. If you do not
wish to remain in the family, I know that father, by our
persuasion, will be induced to let you be purchased by any person
you may choose in our community. You will please answer this as
soon as possible, and let us know your decision. Sister sends
much love to you. In the mean time believe me your sincere friend
and well wisher.