“A rank secessionist”

On October 2, 1862, a group of men sat down to write a letter.  The Civil War had been raging for over a year, and then men were writing to report the presence of a traitor.

The letter was addressed to Algernon Jenkins, Esquire, the director of the Springhouse and Sumneytown Turnpike.  Jenkins was also a member of Gwynedd Friends Meeting and the father of Howard M. Jenkins, author of Historical Collections Relating to Gwynedd.  You can click on the letter to make it larger.


While the anonymous letter writers do not name the traitor who works for the turnpike, they do not mince words, calling him a “rank secessionist” and a “black traitor.”

This letter comes from one of the more extensive collections at the Historical Society, the Charles F. Jenkins Collection.

1 Comment

  1. Strange to be sitting here, in the depths of Confederate Country, while reading this. And these people are still proud of their heritage. there are also some (at our church) who leak out their prejudice against African American peoples (surprising!). Yet young people here seem to have little or no problem interracially. I’d say even more than I remember from 3 years ago, when my husband and I left the Philadelphia area.
    … Just some interesting thoughts.

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