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[388] read and write as well or better than myself, and speaks the Dutch and French languages almost to perfection. When the girl attained the age of eighteen, Shinoski died, and she was again sold, and fell into a trader's hands, by the name of John Valentine, a native of your State. Valentine brought her up to ———, where I purchased her in 1844, for the sum of $1,150. Catharine is considered the best seamstress and cook in this county, and I could to-morrow sell her for $1,600, but I prefer letting her go for $1,000, so that she may obtain her freedom. She has had opportunities to get to a free State, and obtain her freedom; but she says that she will never run away to do it. Her father, she says, promised to free her, and so did Shinoski. If I was able, I would free her without any compensation, but losing $15,000 on the last presidential election has taken very near my all.

Mr. Geo. D. Prentice, editor of the Louisville (Ky.) Journal, knows me very well by character, to whom (if you wish to make any inquiries regarding this matter) you are at liberty to refer.

If you should make any publication in your paper in relation to this matter, you will please not mention my name in connection with it, nor the place whence this letter was written. Catharine is honest; and, for the ten years that I have owned her, I never struck her a lick, about her work or anything else.

If it was not that I intend to emigrate to California, money could not buy her.

I have given you a complete and accurate statement concerning this girl, and am willing that she shall be examined, here, or in Louisville, Ky., before the bargain is closed.

Very respectfully.

[Name in full.]


Mr.——–, I have carried your letter of the 28th ult. in my hat for several days, awaiting an opportunity to answer it. I now seize the first opportune moment, and, as yours is one of a class with which I am frequently favored, I will send you my reply through the Tribune, wishing it regarded as a general answer to all such applications.

Let me begin by frankly stating that I am not engaged in the slave trade, and do not now contemplate embarking in that business; but no man can say confidently what he may or may not become; and, if I ever should engage in the traffic you suggest, it will be but fair to remember you as among my prompters to undertake it. Yet even then I must decline any such examination as you proffer of the property you wish to dispose of. Your biography is so full and precise, so frank and straight-forward, that I prefer to rest satisfied with your assurance in the premises.

You will see that I have disregarded your request that your name and residence should be suppressed by me. That request seems to me inspired by

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