Letters to Kentucky from Liberia

Lucy Russell Briant to Robert Wickliffe, March 7, 1857

This letter was written after she saw the letter dated 28 April 1855 from Robert Wickliffe of Lexington, Kentucky, to her cousin the Reverend Alfred F. Russell. She had evidently learned to write in Africa, since her previous attempt to communicate with the Wickliffe family 20 years before was only through the help of a white missionary, G.W. McElroy.

Republic of Liberia
Mes.County St. Prives
Lower Calwell
March 7, 1857

My Dear Mr. Wickliff

I have embraced this opportunity of writing to you these few lines to inform you & the family & friends that I thank God that I am yet alive & in the enjoyment of a good degree of health at present, both my self & remaing family and I hope that these few lines may find your self & the remaing part of family all in the enjoyment of good health. I am happy to inform you that I have the plesure of having your last letter before me, that you wrote to the revrend A.F.Russell, and am much pleased to learne that you were still liveing & I am glad to see that you still think of me, & have not forgoten me, thoue I am in a distent land. & you wish to know wheather I had received the money sent to me from Mrs. Wickliff, that you say that she sent not to me by Mr. Mackelroy, or not. & I shall answer your question I have not received not one cent, nether did I heard of her sending me any money, before I saw it in your last letter to Revd A.F.Russell. & I am very sory indeed that I did not get the money, for I still stand in great need of it. but I hop that you will sympathize with me, for I am an just as needy as ever, & would be glad, if you would be please to send something as I did not get this money that Mr Wickliff sent me, by Mr Mackelroy. I wish you would tell your daughters [Margaret Wickliffe Preston and Sally Wickliffe Woolley] to send me the likeness of the two little girls, Mary Owings [Margaret's oldest child was Mary Owen, named after her step-mother, Mary Owen Todd Russell Wickliffe] & Margreat Woolly [Sally's third child, named after her sister] I want them to look at, & also I wish them to send me something of Mrs. Poully's [Mary Owen Todd Russell Wickliffe], I wants to look at and as I wish to have something of hers, please to send me something of hers, even if it is nothing but one her garments that I may see it. My sons George and Henry send their kind regard to you and all the family & bouth Henry & George are labouring men, they are sawers & farmers, & my son Henry is now married to his third wife, & she is of the Brackinreghes family. Henry have two children by his second wife a son & daughter namly Isaac & Lucy & my son George is marrid & have foure children, & the oldy one is name Mary Jane Owen Mr A.F.Russell & his family are all well at present, but himself is now down to Cape Palmers. My son Henry has gest return from was with the troopes from Cape Palmos & not any one them is shot or hurted.. this makes the eighth time that Henry have been to war & return home saft & now I wish you would please to inquier after my Brother Peter. and find out whear is he. or what has become of him, and please to let me know about him. please to write to me as often as poseble. and now I must come to a close by saying may the Lord Bless you all, I never espects to see you all in this world but I hopes to meet you all in heaven. Nothing more at present I still remain as usually Repectfully & Truly

Yours truly, Lucy Briant

P.S. forget me not

(Box 8, Wickliffe-Preston Family Papers, University of Kentucky Special Collections and Archives)

Other Letters from Liberia

Introduction & Milly Crawford, 1833
Lucy Russell, 1835
Alfred Russell, 1855

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Posted 12/28/97
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