Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 1865

To my Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdan, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Col. Martin's to kill
 the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot
 at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am
 glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home
 again and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give
 my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if
 not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the
 Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me Henry intended to shoot me
 if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am
 doing tolerably well here; I get $25 a month, with victuals and clothing; have a
 comfortable home for Mandy (the folks here call her Mrs. Anderson), and the
 children, Milly Jane and Grundy, go to school and are learning well; the teacher
 says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday-School, and Mandy and me
 attend church regularly. We are kindly treated; sometimes we overhear others
 saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel
 hurt when they hear such remarks, but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee
 to belong to Col. Anderson. Many darkies would have been proud, as I used to was,
 to call you master. Now, if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I
 will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that
 score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost- Marshal- General of the
 Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some
 proof that you are sincerely disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have
 concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time
 we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your
 justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two
 years and Mandy twenty years. At $25 a month for me, and $2 a week for Mandy, our
 earnings would amount to $11,680. Add to this the interest for the time our wages has been kept back and deduct what you paid for our clothing and three doctor's
 visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we
 are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams Express, in care of V.
 Winters, esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the
 past we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good
 Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to
 me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense.
 Here I draw my wages every Saturday night, but in Tennessee there was never any
 pay-day for the Negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will
 be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter please state if there would be any safety for my Milly
 and Jane, who are now grown up and both good-looking girls. You know how it was
 with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve, and die if
 it comes to that, than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and
 wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been
 any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood, the great
 desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form
 virtuous habits.

P.S.—Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when
 you were shooting at me.

From your old servant, Jourdan Anderson