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Resource Date: 1841

Number: 10

Record Office: St John's College Library, Cambridge

Record Office Location Number: Folder 6 Doc 174


Letter from Catherine Clarkson, Playford Hall to Wm Wilson in Lower Canada, Nth America, 14 Feb 1841.

Notes: The letter shows the role that Catherine Clarkson played in her husband's campaigns and work, her knowledge of Haiti and the main players in the abolition movement.

Letter from Catherine Clarkson (to William Wilson, Canada)

My dear Sir! I read your letter with a mixture of pleasure & pain. I was pleased to find that you had not forgotten me & that you did me the justice to believe that I should be glad to render you any service in my power. But I was very sorry to learn that you had experienced so much disappointment & had been tried with sickness & sorrow. I lost no time in doing what I could to forward your views & I backed my application by stating that Mr Clarkson would be highly gratified if an appointment could be obtained for you. I received a most kind & prompt answer from a member of the Government to whom I wrote whom I am persuaded sent as strong a recommendation to L. Sydenham as he could with propriety do - At the same time he begged of me not to encourage much hope for he doubted not that Ld. S_____ would have hundreds of applicants for every appointment he might have to make. I wish most earnestly that the application may succeed for I shall be scarcely less disappointed than yourself if it do not. It is not long since Mrs Biddell & I were talking of you & wishing that we could hear something about you. I expressed a fear that you had not been so fortunate as your quondam [vocab: of an earlier time; former] companion Mr Clarke or else I thought that you would have written to some of us --- I heard the other day of poor Madme. Christophe & I grieve to say that she is now left quite alone -- . Ametipe died some years ago but I had not heard of Athinaires till an english family who had known the Christophes in England called upon Madme C. in Italy & found her in pretty good health & living in great retirement & apparently living on her English Recollections. I dare not trust myself with touching on our private History - We have been heavily afflicted but through God's Mercy my dear Husband's life has been preserved nearly to the end of his 81st Year. The happy termination of Slavery in our Islands has given him a spring which though his bodily frame has become feeble has invigorated his mental faculties & he has been working with all the energy of youth in the hope of aiding the Efforts of those who in various ways are endeavouring to put down Slavery & the Slave Trade. I shall hope to hear from you soon - I have been longer in writing this letter than I ought to have been - but I did not lose a day in making your request known - Sr T.F. Buxton [Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton] is not in good health & has the weight of a new Society formed for the purpose of putting down the Slave trade & introducing legitimate commerce into Africa upon him. Mr C. thought that I had better not write to him but go at once to a member of the Government. I had the good fortune by writing a letter to forward Mr Clarkes views when he was desirous of getting ordination & he is well established in Dominica being a great favourite with the Bishop of Barbados - If I should be as fortunate in your case I shall indeed sing In Triomphe. I have written to a friend to enquire after private friends of Ld. Sydenham to see whether by any means I can get at them. Of course you are taking all fitting steps on your side the Water. I hope that your next letter will bring a better of yourself & family Believe me dear Sir Very sincerely your friend Cath: Clarkson Playford Hall Feby 14th 1841. Envelope addressed to William Wilson Esq Chablq Lower Canada N America
Source Files:
By Permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College Cambridge
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Manuscript letter p1
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Manuscript letter p2
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