W. L. Garrison to Secretary Paulding.1Boston, December 14, 1839.2 I have a brother, James H. Garrison, who is now attached as a seaman to the U. S. Ship Columbus at the Navy Yard in Charlestown. He has been in the naval service of his country for the long period of sixteen years. It is rather more than3 four months since his last enlistment. During nearly all this time he has been on the sick-list, wholly incapacitated to perform any labor. His disease is a difficult one to eradicate from the system, if it be not immedicable; and must, for an indefinite period, render him of little or no value to the Navy. . . . Through the kindness of Commodore Downes and Capt. Storer,4 I have been permitted to take him to my house for a few weeks5 past, in order to procure for him such medical treatment, and pay him such attention, as his case demands and a brother's affection could prompt. He is now in a somewhat better condition than when he was removed, but it is wholly uncertain how much he may yet be called to suffer under surgical operation, or how soon he will be able (if ever) to discharge the duties of a seaman in the U. S. service. Of course, under these circumstances, to have him remain under pay cannot be a very desirable object to the Government, the burdens of which should be lessened wherever and whenever it is practicable. My object, therefore, in writing this letter is respectfully and earnestly to solicit of you the immediate discharge of my brother from the Navy, upon the usual conditions. I cannot doubt your kindness in this matter, and shall gratefully appreciate its exercise. It may have additional weight with you to add, that, during the sixteen years in which he has done not only the state but the country some service, it has not been my privilege to enjoy his society more than a fortnight until his recent sickness. He6 is an only brother in whose welfare I feel a deep interest; and none the less because of the buffetings and perils through which he has been called to pass from boyhood. You will, I am sure, make the case your own, and act accordingly.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : re-formation and Reanimation.— 1841 .
Chapter 2 : the Irish address.— 1842 .
Chapter 3 : the covenant with death. — 1843 .
Chapter 4 : no union with slaveholders! — 1844 .
Chapter 5 : Texas .— 1845 .
Chapter 6 : third mission to England .— 1846 .
Chapter 7 : first Western tour.— 1847 .
Chapter 8 : the Anti-Sabbath Convention .— 1848 .
Chapter 9 : Father Mathew .— 1849 .
Chapter 10 : the Rynders Mob .— 1850 .
Chapter 11 : George Thompson , M. P.— 1851 .
Chapter 12 : Kossuth .— 1852 .
Chapter 13 : the Bible Convention.— 1853 .
Chapter 14 : the Nebraska Bill .— 1854 .
Chapter 15 : the Personal Liberty Law .— 1855 .
Chapter 16 : Fremont .— 1856 .
Chapter 17 : the disunion Convention.— 1857 .
Chapter 18 : the irrepressible Conflict.— 1858 .
Chapter 19 : John Brown .— 1859 .
 James Garrison's battered hulk drifted at last by a kind Providence into the port of Boston, where a brother's love was ready to be proved superior to all temptations to disownment.
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