In response to some comments regarding my last post concerning Jourdon Anderson’s letter to his former master, I would like to give some more information about that document. I misspoke when I said that I knew the letter was true. It would have been more appropriate for me to say that it appears that this letter has some validity. All of the individuals mentioned in this letter did exist, and fit the descriptions portrayed. When researching Jourdon Anderson, we found accurate information from census sources that support Jourdon and Mandy living In Ohio at the time of the letter, as well as a Patrick Henry Anderson, a slave holder in Tennessee.
What I can say with some certainty is that the letter was printed in the newspaper in 1865, with a note that it was “dictated”. As far as saying this proves Jourdon wrote the letter, that I would never be able to prove. If you would like to see more census information, you can visit kottke.org