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[26] send you a paper to call your attention to the notice of a company which is to be recruited in Maine; and you will see that it is more advantageous to enlist here than in Massachusetts. If you wish to obtain a situation in this company, you had better apply at once. Let the store go.

Please write very soon, if you do not come home, for I shall feel anxious to hear how you succeed in enlisting.



Boston, September 10, 1861.
My dear Mother: Your letter of the 7th inst. received this noon has filled my heart with joy. A thousand thanks for such words as these—words both of consent and blessing. I surely have no desire to bathe my hands in my brother's blood, but when he madly threatens to destroy, not only me, but also the entire family—having used every other means to dissuade him from his cruel purpose in vain—shall I fail or refuse to bring forward the last and most potent argument—the sword—in self—defence? God forbid. If I perish, let it be said that I died in the faithful discharge of my duty. Duty is my war-cry; but having unsheathed my sword, I shall throw away the scabbard; and when my duty is completely done, I will bury the sword. It does seem to me that it is my duty to offer my services to my country; and, God helping me, I will never disgrace my more than Spartan mother. My whole soul cries ‘go.’ You say ‘go.’ And does not the providence of God indicate that it is my duty to rally for the strife?

Oh, the terrible, the thrice terrible necessity! But it must be met.

Yours affectionately,


But there is a long gap between this period and the beginning of my history. In 1833 two notable events occurred. First, the Anti-Slavery Society was born. Then, according to the record—which I have been assured is absolutely correct—a boy was born in the town of Union, Me., Lincoln county (now Knox), adjoining

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