Slave Conspiracy in Camden

Camden July 25th 1816

My Dear Cousin,

If the sincere sympathy of a near friend will at all give comfort to a distreped [distressed ?] mind it is mine that is offered to you when labouring under the greatest earthly affliction.  The information contained in your last [letter] was both distreped [sic] and unexpected and nothing short of its being the Will or Our Maker who order all for the best and the Blessed hope of meeting in the realms of Blip could reconcile us to our hope.  The trial which my dear cousin will meet with in leaving the Old Mansion House will be great indeed and I have no doubt but it will be a long time before you will feel settled but you are blessed over many is having a large and affectionate family to add to your comfort in this life.

We are much more composed than when I wrote you last in respect to the Negroes there were a great many tied before a respectable court and I believed had every indulgence allowed them that could be under existing circumstances six of the ring leader were hung and some other punished two or three confessed the fact and died like heroes, they said they were in a good cause and one of them who was a professor [prophesier?] of religion said he had only one sin to answer for and that was he had set down to the communion Table with the White people when he knew he was  going to cut their throats as soon as convenient, it has been a most unfortunate event for their survivors, they will be treated with more severity than ever, it is the opinion of many that we shall have trouble with them although it is not apprehended at present.  The Doctor and myself have determined upon going to the North to live if we are preserved until next spring.  We have taken such disgust to Slavery that we cannot feel satisfied here although we are sensible it will be much against our interest to remove.

My dear husband has gone upwards of twenty miles to visit a patient, I do not expect him back to night the distance must appear great  you [unclear script] we are quite used to it.  The sickly season is now commencing [summer] and we have fears as the fall.  We have had uncommonly] hot weather, the thermometer is 95 at 9 O'clock at night we are suffering much for rain.

Cousin Betsey Lewis has been truly unfortunate in losing two such near ties in so short a time.  I wish you would give my best love to her.  Remember me affectionately to Cousin Mary and Rachel also their husband.  Sister Sally desires her love to you.

I remain your sincere friend and cousin.

R. Blanding


Source:            The South Carolinian Library, University of South Carolina