Letter from Louisa Alexander to Archer Alexander (November 16, 1863)


In this letter, written by Louisa Alexander to her husband Archer Alexander on November 16, 1863, Louisa explains that her enslaver James Naylor, also known as Jim, refused her request to sell her to Archer. Louisa and Archer were separated when their enslavers James and Nancy Alexander died, and they were rented out for the benefit of the Alexander orphans. After Archer was emancipated on September 24, 1864, he worked to be reunited with his wife. After Naylor rejected Archer’s offer to purchase Louisa, Archer paid a farmer $20 to smuggle Louisa and their youngest two children in a wagon to St. Louis, where they lived safely until Missouri abolished slavery on January 11, 1865.


Taylors store Nov 16. 1863

My dr. [dear] Husband

I recd. yr. [received your] letter yesterday and lost no time in asking Jim if he would sell me and what he could take for me he flew and me and said I would never get free only at the point of the Bayonet. and there is no use in my ever speaking to him any more about it I don’t see how I can ever get away except you send soldiers to take me from the house as he is watching me night and day Lucinda Louis & miles beyond this side of Troy. I have her little boy Jimmy with me. I heard from M. Anne about 2 weeks ago she is Washington both well and doing well she has all her Children with her but the oldest one and he is expecting to go to her every day If I can get away I will but the people here are all afraid to take me away he is always abusing Lincoln and Calls him an old Rascall he is the greatest rebel under heavan it is a sin to have him loose he says if he had hold of Lincoln he would chop him up into Mincemeat

I had good courage all along until now but now I am almost heartbroken. Dr. [Dear] Archy I have said all that is nessessary now only give my Love to Aunt Mimy[?] and Judy, and I send yourself my best Love

I am your afft. [affectionate] Wife

Louisa Alexander

Answer this letter as soon as possible

Sam told me that you were Doctor Buckners last Saturday night. they are always telling some lies about you.

[written in left margin]

Archer Alexander Nov. 20. 63.

  • “A Suggestion.” (April 19, 1876)
  • “Oration by Frederick Douglass, delivered on the occasion of the unveiling of the Freedman’s monument in memory of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C., April 14, 1876.” (April 14, 1876)
APA Citation:
Alexander, Louisa. Letter from Louisa Alexander to Archer Alexander (November 16, 1863). (2022, April 26). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Alexander, Louisa. "Letter from Louisa Alexander to Archer Alexander (November 16, 1863)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (26 Apr. 2022). Web. 24 May. 2024
Last updated: 2022, April 26
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