Boston's Crusade Against Slavery


John Oliver. Autograph letter, signed, to Wendell Phillips, 6 July 1866; displayed with:


Yannerson & Jones, photographers (Richmond, Virginia). Photograph of a mutilated young woman.

The barbarism of slavery did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation or Appomattox. In an 1866 letter to Wendell Phillips, the black soldier John Oliver described how Mrs. Henry Abrams of William County, Virginia, had poked out the eye of a freedwoman, and then burned her sixteen-year-old daughter's back. Oliver included a photograph with his letter, revealing burn marks on the young woman's back.

bMS Am 1953 (942) – Gift of Crawford Blagden, 1978.