Document 11B: Lucy Woodcock to Harry E. Woodcock, 30 December 1862, Series 1, Subseries 2, Incoming 1859-1909, (transcription in Series IV, Box 5), Harry E. Woodcock Papers, Record Group 30/81, Oberlin College Archives.

Sea View, Jamaica Dec. 30th, 1862

Dear Brother,

        I shall have to write you a hurried letter this time if you get one at all. I am quite well and have been so since I last wrote you. I am enjoying my Christmas vacation by being shut up at home by the heavy rains and bad roads. I have not been up to Bro. Thompson's since the first Sabbath in Oct, when I was up to chapel. I have not seen him nor any one else of the Mission except Miss Veazie some time in Oct. She was down here. As for Mr. Thompson he never comes so I am left quite alone by myself. I am glad of it in some respects as he is always stirring up something with the people. He is not at rest a moment but always about something. He is the greatest man for changes I ever saw. Some new plan is on foot with him. When the Mission gets things fixed and settled for work he thinks perhaps a change in some things would be better.

        For the last year he has been pushing for the schools to be put in the hands of native teachers. I suppose he will succeed in the school at Eliot and Miss Veazie will have to go home in the spring.

        When she is gone then I am the only remaining one left that he thinks ought to be supported by the people. Perhaps this is why I am having a cut this long time. I would be better for the Mission if he would go home. Mrs. Thompson's health is poorly and I presume it will oblige them to leave and go home. He is to have a great Freedom meeting on New Years in view of the Emancipation[A] of a part of the slaves at home. I wish they were all to be set at liberty in the beginning of this New Year, why not all as well as a part. I have not too strong faith in Pres. Lincoln. He is a man of two faces, he wants to keep in with the South and still please the North. This civil war seems to be a political war in some respects and a monied war to the head officers and they like to have a good fat salary to continue. There is policy in the heads of the leading generals. These things will all be revealed in due time, in fact things are coming to light as fast as it is safe. Oh! What a corrupt nation the American Nation has become. As God has begun his work I hope it will be thoroughly purified of its sins and cross and that the remaining silver may come forth purified and cleansed for the Master to use. When I allow myself to think much upon the cruelties of slavery it rouses my very soul. For every object I behold is blighted by the sin of slavery. The very ground of this beautiful island seems to be cursed for its sake. The people of the land tell of its cruelty and will for generations.[B] I wish that the Christian people felt different towards the colored man than they do. How few will say freely from their hearts that he is my brother and has been redeemed by the same precious blood of the Savior.

        How hard it will be for the colored man at home to have his equal rights given to him by the white man. There is a work to be done and a great change has got to come over the mass of the people to let the oppressed go free in any respect. His body may be free but there is that great oppression of prejudices of color. God will work things out as he did in the days of Moses.

        I must not prolong this line of thought, but leave all things in the hands of God to dispose of them as He sees best. Do not be afraid to sound out loudly truth and righteousness to the people as you are one of God's Watchmen on the walls of Zion. How many have remained silent and the strong enemy has come in and will nigh possessed the beautiful land that God has given you to keep for him.

        I am getting along very well in short rations. I have not had any money from home since my return. I have just got two small hams and a small basket of onions that have been sent out instead of money. There is a heavy discount on exchange of monies sometimes 25 cents so the Society sends such provisions that we have to buy here that come from New York such as flour, butter, hams ec. I wish we could get a bbl[C] of beans. They would help out at odds and ends in a family of children as they are fond of soups. I wish some good friend or friends would make up a bbl of such things. They would be so exceptable at this time. Kind regards to all friends.

Your Sister
Lucy

 

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A. Lucy referred to President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, which only freed "slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion."
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B. Slaves in Jamaica were freed as part of British Emancipation on August 1, 1834.
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C. Bushel barrel
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