Laura Spicer was sold away from her husband while they both were slaves. After the war and emancipation, the two considered reconciling, but the husband had remarried. Here is a letter to Spicer from her first husband:
I would much rather you would get married to some good man, for every time I gits a
letter from you it tears me all to pieces. The reason why I have not written you before, in a long
time, is because your letters disturbed me so very much.
You know I love my children. I treats
them good as a Father can treat his children; and I do a good deal of it for you. I am sorry to
hear that Lewellyn, my poor little son, have had such bad health. I would come and see you but I
know you could not bear it.
I want to see and I don't want to see you. I love you just as well as I
did the last day I saw you, and it will not do for you and I to meet. I am married, and my wife
have two children, and if you and I meets it would make a very dissatisfied family.
Send me some of the children's hair in a separate paper with their names on the paper.
you please git married, as long as I am married. My dear, you know the Lord knows both of our
hearts. You know it never was our wishes to be separated from each other, and it never was our
fault. Oh, I can see you so plain, at any-time, I had rather anything to had happened to me most
than ever to have been parted from you and the children.
As I am, I do not know which I love
best, you or Anna. If I was to die, today or tomorrow, I do not think I would die satisfied till you
tell me you will try and marry some good, smart man that will take care of you and the children;
and do it because you love me; and not because I think more of the wife I have got then I do of
The woman is not born that feels as near to me as you do. You feel this day like myself. Tell
them they must remember they have a good father and one that cares for them and one that
thinks about them every day-My very heart did ache when reading your very kind and interesting
Laura I do not think I have change any at all since I saw you last.-I think of you and my
children every day of my life.
Laura I do love you the same. My love to you never have failed. Laura, truly, I have got
another wife, and I am very sorry, that I am. You feels and seems to me as much like my dear
loving wife, as you ever did Laura. You know my treatment to a wife and you know how I am
about my children. You know I am one man that do love my children....
From Herbert Guttman's incredible survey of the black family
. I don't know what else to say...