Contents and Arrangement

Hannah Jennings Letter to Her Son Regarding Slavery and the Fight for Freedom, circa 1861-1865

1 folder
Restrictions may apply. See Access Note.

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of a two-page letter from Hannah Jennings, an African American mother to her son, who is unnamed in the letter but appears to have been a soldier in the American Civil War on the side of the Union. In her letter, Jennings responds to her son's report of poor health and encourages him to have courage and faith; she writes, " wrote in your last letter to me that you are a slave now but my dear son let me ask if it is hard to be a slave for three years what it would be to be a slave during life and your children after you to future generations - but it is not the negro you are to fight for but the principal of freedom and liberty and right and justice…"


Arranged alphabetically by the name of the creator, with unattributed materials at the end.

Collection History


Purchased from Hindman Auctions in 2022 (AM 2023-007).


The collection is open and will continue to grow.


No material was separated during processing.

Processing Information

Item processed and described by Kelly Bolding in July 2022, incorporating some description provided by the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Hannah Jennings Letter to Her Son Regarding Slavery and the Fight for Freedom; General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection, C0140, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001856

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

Parts of this collection are available on microfilm, cataloged separately as RCPXM-7497696.

Subject Terms:
Mothers and sons -- United States -- Correspondence
Genre Terms:
Correspondence -- 19th century
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- African Americans
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Participation, African American -- Sources