Mansfield French to Rev Whipple over trip with Robert Small August 28, 1862
American Missionary Association No 15901
Washington Aug. 28, 1862
Dear Bro Whipple
Yours was rec yesterday. I am happy to inform you that I have accomplished all I came for, but sorry to tell you that I must return. Some very important dispatches to Gen Hunter, Saxton are to be sent and the Sec War urges me so hard to go with them, I do not like to decline. I have been myself favored with interviews with him, Sec Chase, and Sec Wells particularly with the two former. Providence permitting I expect to return in first steamer from Port Royal to New York. Robert Smalls is with me. Yesterday he entertained Sec. Chase nearly an hour with his story. It is a very instructive one and I intend it shall be heard in New York.
I made arrangements before leaving Hilton Head, for Smith's family to go to New York expecting we should be there to meet them. As we return first, it is possible the family may reach New York first. They were to go in care with McCrea and Mr Judd. If they reach New York first. I wish you would provide a home for them. Let them be no ? made over them. Keep all quiet till Small reaches there when I trust a large and profitable meeting can be held. Cyrus W. Field of NY has met Small here and he has tendered his services and pledging a "tremendous meeting". He is much interested Small can tell a thrilling story I trust Providence will use this man to his part, to great purpose.
I was sorry to find Mr. Melder so much embarrassed in his humane work. From all accounts there must be much wrong doing to the Negroes and much suffering on their part think that difficulties there, need to be strongly pressed on the conscience of the ruler, here. We must bear the burdens and sufferings of our oppressed brethren. Before the Government, as did Queen Esther then of her people, before Shamere and if us perish then, let us perish.
I regret silence is imposed on me relative to what I bear back. Your heart will be made glad in due time. Probably, I may be first to tell you.
I sent to Edgar Kitchum a letter published in Baltimore proper which I wish you would ask the reading of. Mr. K. through Mr. Judd may be first advised of the arrival of Small's family. It may be well for you to have an understand. I was happy to get the marriage certificates. We are using them.
Let me share largely in your prayers and in those of you true fellow laborers
With kindest regards and love
P. S. Expect to learn today
Rev M. S. French Washington Aug 28/62
Note; Important dispatches...two for August: Recall of Hunter and Saxton's authority to raise a black regiment. That information would make someone rearrange their trip from Washington DC to New York to Washington to Port Royal to New York.
Robert Smalls was the new hero of the north with his escape from Charleston with his family in the Planter. He would in Reconstruction South Carolina become a Congressmen from the Beaufort district.