Abstract

This article transcribes and offers historical introduction to a hitherto-unpublished collection of letters from Sallie Holley and Caroline Putnam, founders of the Holley School for the freed people of Lottsburgh on Virginia's Northern Neck, to renowned author Louisa May Alcott and her mother, Abigail May Alcott, who over many years solicited and sent contributions to the school. As good ambassadors for their project, Holley and Putnam sent letters of gratitude documenting the use of various donated items and offering a vivid picture of the daily life of the school. The letters also contain three versions of a transcribed slave narrative of one of the school's neighbors, Winnie Beale, who was sold South before the Civil War and worked her way back to Lottsburgh after emancipation.

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