Streetsboro, Dec 22nd , 1861
Dear Aunt –
I rec’d your very political letter of Dec 6th 1861. It surprised me to some extent to have you so strongly vindicate the cause of this unjust, unholy war, I hoped on this you had discovered and discarded the indignity of a people whose sole office is ambition of name, which they hope to obtain by promotion of office, and depositing in their pockets the hard earnings of our working class of society. Our republican neighbors here are beginning to allow the ___ drop from their eyes, and a great light is shining around about them. They are hearing a voice like unto that which speaks unto Souls, “Why persecuteth-thou me,” and they are beginning to enquire, “What shall I do?” As in your place, so in ours many have gone, and still continue to go, foolishly flattering themselves with the hope that they may get clothed, and fed through the winter, have a good time, come home in the spring, without being called into action and with jackets all filled, as excuse for such low meanness. They cloak it under the gaze of patriotism and cry “our union, our constitution, and its rights, our glorious stars and stripes.” Some of the better informed and more honest-hearted of the party are declaring them worse than rebels and their curses are not only loud but dupe.
The society to which you belong is in this place called “mite society.” They were at first fully attended, but many are beginning to fall from grace, saying they have been swindled long enough. At school the other noon it was proposed to scrape lint. They even imposed upon me enough to ask my assistance. They finally concluded to give me over to hardness of heart when I told them “narry a thread would I scratch.” If the soldiers want comforts they must not allow themselves to become the tools of a few designing men, who are affected with the love of that which is the root of all evil. I do not wish any of them killed, but I do hope they will have the pleasure of bearing home with them a few “honorable scars” for surely they cannot afford to ruin and rob without some recompense and they deserve a token which will remind them of it through this life at least. The republicans are quite unwilling to have it said. This is an abolition war, and their brave martyr (John Brown) who for a while they worshiped with more zeal than they did their God, and declared they asked for no better passport thro the “pearly gates” than to be in his shoes, now denounce him as a crazy fanatic, and declare in their poetic lectures that they solemnly believe him nearer heaven when swinging on the _____ than he was before an ever will be again, “No this not an abolition war, it is to preserve the union, yet it may result in the freedom of the slaves.” At the same time avowing their detestation of a nigger, owning, that when left to themselves they are a worthless, dishonest race. Slavery in itself may be an evil, but two wrongs never made one right, and of two evils we will show wisdom in choosing the least. It looks line love of union when the people assemble together to celebrate the day in which was proclaimed freedom to have swinging over their heads a banner bearing only 16 stars and a hangmans rope.
Your section of country is truly favored if you still enjoy “free soil, free press & free speech” Not so with us, our very soil is groaning under it burden of taxes, free speech is no longer tolerated, and all presses aspiring to speak the truth and present things in their true light were suppressed by the arbitrary power of the dominant party.
I think your estimate of southern power rather limited, but should it be as you think there is for ______ every prospect of British help, and they will hardly need this assistance of southern democrats, then Mr. Baldwin like other men can buy and sell at pleasure and not be intercepted by the useless last drones who hang upon society gaining their living by partly offices and the avails of property made contraband of war, by proof of men as low in the scale of honesty and truth as themselves. Were they set at work at some honest calling their condition would be far better and the moral state of society much improved. Mr. Baldwin in his adventure south lost nothing, but rather gained the good will of every honest man and lover of justice, who was knowing to the assalt (assault) made upon his property and character. Yes if I believed Mr. Baldwin was possessed with a low unmanly and groveling principles as some of his accusers I should think he ought to be expelled from all respectable and decent society, since the first attempt he had made several successful ones unmolested.
Not withstanding, he is a man possessed of such principles and the fear of the enefficacy of his prayers he is a valued member of the Methodist society, he is incessantly called upon to lead the prayers and class meeting in absence of the minister.
If life is not desirable it is somewhat interesting at the present time for the political commotion __________________ in every ________, and each one wished to know the discussion before he takes his final leave. Our friends have continued steadfast. Each day that the iron hand of tyranny grinds upon their heads establishes firmness and firmness in their present affirmed and although their ________ hopes of better times at present, yet we trust that men will at last come to their senses and if our country must be ruined, a few souls at least may be saved.