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William A. White letter

 Collection — Folder: S1395
Identifier: S1395

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a typewritten transcription of a September 22, 1843 letter written by William A. White at Newcastle, Indiana and published in the October 13, 1843 edition of The Liberator, a Boston abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison. The letter is addressed to "Dear Friend" and relates what happened when a mob assaulted White, Frederick Douglass, George Bradburn, and others at an anti-slavery meeting in Pendleton, Indiana. The collection also has typewritten transcriptions of a letter written by J.H. Hicks of Upland, Indiana regarding his eyewitness account of the 1843 mob assault that was printed in the January 16, 1911 Muncie Morning Star and a December 17, 1910 letter sent by Oswald Garrison Villard, William Lloyd Garrison’s grandson, to G.W.H. Kemper concerning the same event.


  • 1843-1911


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

William Abijah White was born on September 2, 1818 in Watertown, Massachusetts to Abijah and Anne Maria White. He studied law at Harvard and completed his training in the Boston law office of Charles P. and Benjamin R. Curtis. He became involved in the anti-slavery and temperance movements and devoted much of his time to lecturing on these subjects. In 1843, he spent several months traveling with Frederick Douglass and George Bradburn through Ohio and Indiana conducting anti-slavery meetings. Upon his return to New England, he farmed in Watertown for a few years, then engaged in manufacturing and edited a temperance newspaper in Boston. In 1853, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin. In 1846, he married Harriet T. Sturgis of Boston and they had a son and daughter. Following Harriet's death in 1850, he married Ada A. Butterfield of Chicago in 1855 and they had one son who died in infancy. He went missing on a trip to Milwaukee in October 1856 and his body was found in May 1857 near the lake shore, above North Point, in Milwaukee. His cause of death was unknown, but was generally believed to have been suicide.


Palmer, Joseph. Necrology of Alumni of Harvard College, 1851-52 to 1862-63. Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1864. Accessed May 21, 2019.

"The Late William A. White." Richland County Observer (WI), May 12, 1857. Accessed May 21, 2019.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Dr. G.W.H. Kemper on 1919/05/24.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2019/05/21 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2019/05/21 by Laura Eliason.
William A. White letter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.