Ellen Craft to Editor, Anti-Slavery Advocate 26 October 1852
Proslavery propagandists argued that the "peculiar institution" continued to exist in part because slaves were contented with their status. The propagandists further insinuated that emancipated blacks would be unable to endure freedom's responsibilities. Many black abolitionists in Britain rebutted both charges. As Ellen Craft awaited the birth of her first child in the summer of 1852, a rumor circulated in London (and in southern newspapers) that she was disillusioned with freedom and wanted to return to slavery in Georgia. Craft dismissed the false accusation with a note to the Anti-Slavery Advocate, which was widely reprinted. ASA, November 1852; Lib, 17 December 1852; John Bishop Estlin to William Lloyd Garrison, 7, 11 June 1852, Antislavery Collection, MB; SDS, 16 September 1852.
Ockham School near Ripley, Surrey, [ England] Oct[ober] 26, 1852
Dear Sir: 1
I feel very much obliged to you for informing me of the erroneous report which has been so extensively circulated in the American newspapers: "That I had placed myself in the hands of an American gentleman in London, on condition that he would take me back to the family who held me as a slave in Georgia." So I write these few lines merely to say that the statement is entirely unfounded, for I have never had the slightest inclination whatever of returning to bondage; and God forbid that I should ever be so false to liberty as to prefer slavery in its stead. In fact, since my escape from slavery, I have got on much better in every respect than I could have possibly anticipated. Though, had it been to the contrary, my feelings in regard to this would have been just the same, for I had much rather starve in England, a free woman, than be a slave for the best man that ever breathed upon the American continent. Yours very truly,
P.S. Mr. Craft joins me in kind regards to yourself and family.
Anti-Slavery Advocate ( London), December 1852.
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Publication information: Book title: The Black Abolitionist Papers. Volume: 1. Contributors: C. Peter Ripley - Editor. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC. Publication year: 1985. Page number: 330.