Letter from Amos Townsend Jr. to Lewis Tappan
A letter from Amos Townsend acknowledging Lewis Tappan's letter from January 14, stating, "I am sad at what you communicate of your fears." Townsend writes that Mr. [Colburn] has come out strongly against the captives, claiming his opinion may be due to articles in the Washington Globe. Townsend finds the thought "too dreadful" that the captives "should be given up to the slaughter, or even to wear out their earthly existence on the plantations of Cuba." He adds that if the Supreme Court should "truckle to the spirit of Slavery...then is our liberty but a name & the union of the States a union of thieves & robbers." He asks if there is any hope of interference by the British government. Then goes on to report that the captives have no caps or any head coverings, and that he wishes to provide them cheap, cloth caps. He extends his sympathies to Tappan's "domestic affliction." It is mentioned in the letter, that Simeon Jocelyn has inquired about a writ of habeas corpus. Townsend writes that he has received a letter from A.F. Williams of Farmington "who says the African must be put into a place of safety." Although such action may save lives, it would compromise the abolitionists' principles, asking for Tappan's views on the subject and that of the committee. He explains that he has heard that the Supreme Court case will be postponed until February due to Judge Joseph Story's illness. Townsend writes that Sherman Booth has "preserved a copy of Kale's letter" to which Tappan alludes, stating that there are no "turbulent manifestations of distress" among the Amistad Captives except that "Cinque is losing flesh from no other apparent cause than his mental disquiet."