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Letter from W.G. Brownlow to Robert Love

Knoxville, February 26th, 1861.

Robert Love, Esqr.,

I desire to purchase a young Negro woman, and to pay down in par funds. Diley would suite me, and I think she would be willing to live with me. I buy, not for speculation, or to trade, but to keep her. What will you take, cash in hand, for Diley? Set your lowest figures. If you will not sell, will you hire her, and at what rates? I am going you for her hire, and will pay it when you visit our place. If you will sell Diley, and I can go the price, I will go up after her.

If you will not sell, perhaps, Col. N.G. Taylor, may have one that will suit. She must be a number one girl of good qualities, or I would not give any thing for her. See him, if you will not sell, or any one else willing to sell a valuable girl or woman, not old, and suited to house work, and write me by return mail thereafter.

Very truly, etc.

W.G. Brownlow,


The above party was one of the strongest abolitionists ever in the United States, and was a very strong Union man during the Civil War. He has written two or three books, one of which is “Parson Brownlow’s Book”, and denounces the South and the Southern men, who fought so bravely for what they and their countrymen considered right, and what was right from their standpoint. No factor in the South, except, Andrew Johnson, was so great in producing discord. William G. Brownlow, better known among his people as Parson Brownlow. He was in the United States Senate from Tennessee for several years, and was also Governor of that State. He got name of “Parson” from the fact of his having been a Methodist Preacher before the War of 1861. FDL.

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