Maryland Former Slave to the Secretary of War

Boston  July 26th 1864

Dear Sir   I am Glad that I have the Honour to Write you afew line   I have been in troble for about four yars   my Dear wife was taken from me Nov 19th 1859 and left me with three Children and I being a Slave At the time Could Not do Anny thing for the poor little Children for my master it was took me Carry me some forty mile from them So I Could Not do for them and the man that they live with half feed them and half Cloth them & beat them like dogs & when I was admited to go to see them it use to brake my heart & Now I say agian I am Glad to have the honour to write to you to see if you Can Do Anny thing for me or for my poor little Children   I was keap in Slavy untell last Novr 1863.  then the Good lord sent the Cornel borne [Birney?] Down their in Marland in worsester Co   So as I have been recently freed I have but letle to live on but I am Striveing Dear Sir   but what I went too know of you Sir is is it possible for me to go & take my Children from those men that keep them in Savery   if it is possible will you pleas give me a permit from your hand then I think they would let them go   I Do Not know what better to Do but I am sure that you know what is best for me to Do

my two son I left with Mr Josep Ennese & my litle daughter I left with Mr Iven Spence in worsister Co [. . .] of Snow hill

Hon sir will you please excuse my Miserable writeing & answer me as soon as you can   I want get the little Children out of Slavery,  I being Criple would like to know of you also if I Cant be permited to rase a Shool Down there & on what turm I Could be admited to Do so   No more At present Dear Hon Sir

John Q A Dennis

Hon Sir will you please direct your letter to No 4 1/2 Milton St Boston mass

John Q. A. Dennis to Hon. Stan, 26 July 1864, D-1049 1864, Letters Received, Office of the Secretary of War, Record Group 107, National Archives. No response has been found among the letters sent by the War Department.

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, p. 386, in Free at Last, pp. 120–21, and in Families and Freedom, pp. 45–46.