|Phineas P Whitehouse to Miss Stevenson Milton Society
From Muirkirk Md
Nov. 8, 1867
November 8, 1867
My dear Miss Stevenson - This section of the state has been one of the darkest portions of the South, and even now,
when slavery is wiped away and the colored man begins to hold up his head, many of the bitterest enemies to liberty
and progress are looked up to as leaders in social and political circles throughout the State. But the great work of
reform is slowly, but steadily and surely advancing. The liberal donation of your worthy townsmen. Mr. Coffin had done
much to aid the good cause in this immediate vicinity. It was a grand idea, it seems to me, to give it for the benefit of all
classes, white and black, rich and poor. From what I have seen, the experiment is working admirably. The white people
having the privilege to send their own children, become interested in the teacher, and assist by their sympathies in
carrying on the work. His task is rendered easier as he finds himself and his work countenanced by even a small
portion of our Southern friends. The colored pupils feel more like children of men and women as they find themselves
enjoying the same privileges granted to their white neighbors and they are thus encouraged to press forward and left
themselves for the depths of ignorance in which they have been confined.
The colored children learn as rapidly as one could expect books at first are altogether new things to them, but they
soon get accustomed to the printed page, and learn as easily as ordinary white children.
Among my white pupils are four bright, interesting girls, who come two miles every morning for 1/2 a day. They are
children of a sound Union man, who formerly lived in Alabama, who was obliged to come further north on account of
his outspoken loyalty , and who has recently been removed from a gov. office in Washington because he is too much
of a man to support "my policy."I fear Md cannot boast of many such men as he, or she would not have gone so
precipitately over to the so-called "conservatives" in the recent election.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Phineas P. Whitehouse
Phineas P. Whitehouse was from Southampton New Hampshire. He had been a corporal in the 6th New Hampshire,
Company C when he was wounded and his right arm amputated. He taught himself to write again using his left hand.