Letter from John Boston, a runaway slave, to his wife, Elizabeth, January 12, 1862

Fleeing slavery in Maryland, John Boston found refuge with a New York regiment in Upton Hill, Virginia, where he wrote this letter to his wife who remained in Owensville, Maryland. At the moment of celebrating his freedom, his highest hope and aspiration was to be reunited with his family.

There is no evidence that Elizabeth Boston ever received this letter. It was intercepted and eventually forwarded to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

National Archives, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s–1917