Former Slave Sent This Letter to His Old Master
In August of 1865, Jourdon Anderson received a letter from his former owner.
In it, Colonel P.H. Anderson asked Jourdon Anderson to come back to the Tennessee farm from which he had been liberated the previous year. Turns out, it was much harder to keep a business running when you had to pay your workers.
Unsurprisingly, Anderson decided to pass up the offer and wrote an open letter explaining why he preferred his life as a free man in Ohio. Anderson also took the opportunity to ask for the wages he and his family were owed after 32 years of unpaid labor. The total, he had tallied, amounted to $11,680, plus interest.
He casually concludes the letter with a message to an old friend: “Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.”
Anderson, who had 11 children, continued living in Ohio until his death in 1907 at the age of 81.
Here is the full transcript: