Vicki found this document during her research into the Confederate Citizens and Business File in Footnote.com. This particular letter struck her as important and decided to pass it on to me, which I greatly appreciate. The letter was written by John D. Berry, Schuyler County, New York and sent to the governor of South Carolina, probably late 1860 or early 1861. Berry is listed as a (col) barber in Schuyler County.
Watkins, Schuyler Co. NY
To the Governor of South Carolina. Sir I hope you will excuse me for ben so forward in droping you a few lines. Sir I am no a Scoler. My dear parents Sent me to School & paid $3 per [ ] And There It would bee imposseble for me to Say more than one leson a day & Some times not that for Pregdise was So Strong in this Country Against the Colored rase that it was imposable for me to Get justice done me in School. Sir this was on the Acount of Slavery & the arguments that you Southern men are obliged to youse to kepe us back & to Corupt the whites of the norther States & this Sir you have done perty efeculy for Clay to Lead of with Compromise After Compromise & then all you have to do is to buy Dou fases & that you Did be guining with Webster[.] but Sir I respect Mr. Colhoun for we new where to find him & his corse wodent of Dun us as much harm as has ben dun us by Henry Clays Corse for if the South had declared Slavery to be the Eakual of Liberty then as now the blood which is to brake on you now wold of brok then in sted of now & the Crash would have been So great that it wold have cosed you and every other Slave holder to Shake with fear[.] your proclamation wodent Save you nor all the Governers in the Slave States. For we Abolitiones have got the North rite & Justice is to be Dun to all men kind north & South & like bfore quiet will come to this Government[.] this is so & you may as well begin one time as Another for the [ ] is rapidly at werk & your Proclomation is [ ] here at the north your bst [?] laff at it with the exception of Benet of the herald & we have Got him tite for he hasent Got eny Enfleuence[.] he is used up Sir & this is so[.] the Crises is upon you & you must Do my People Justice with the rest of mankind & this Sir will save you and your State will flourish & wax with wealth. I Dow respect Southern Gentlemen ten times ye one hundred times more than northern doufase for They Deceive Both north & South & you cant Depend on them[.] all they want is Ofise[.] Sir the South Dun rong when they Sanctioned the Outrage on Sumner it was Bad for you & it was bad for you when you Sanction the execution of J. Brown and his follower & Sustained Walker as the South and Administration did for you have made thousands of votes & people raise their voises & hart & hand Against you I mean your instituatain. But Sir the Day has come for the Deliverance of my people & now humane Agency Can prevent it[.] I thank God I am down on Slavery & in the words of Oconel when he first herd the idea of property in man it Sounded to him as if Some one was Stamping upon the Grave of his mother and so it Seams to me[.] I am for Liberty Every time & care not how it comes either with or with out blud shed[.] Yours for liberty