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The Bright Papers – Theodore Tilton to Bright, sheet 1

The Bright Papers – Theodore Tilton to Bright, sheet 1

Medium: Ink on paper

Shelfmark: add_ms_43391_f135r

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Letter

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This image, along with the following three, shows a letter to Bright written by Theodore Tilton, an American newspaper editor and abolitionist. The letter praises Bright for advocating the anti–slavery and Union causes in Britain, thanking him ‘for the words which you have spoke to England concerning America’.

Tilton states that the Civil War ‘is nothing less than slavery against freedom and freedom against slavery’ and rejoices in President Lincoln acknowledging slave abolition as a fundamental part of the conflict. Written at the end of January 1863, not long after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Tilton states that ‘the breaking of Four Million Fetters [slave shackles] is a cause worthy of blood’.

The letter ends with a reference to ‘the noble souls of Lancashire’, the mill workers struggling as the Union’s embargo restricted the cotton trade that provided their livelihood.

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