Milton M. Fisher, Esq.

Dear Sir,

Some months since, I
addressed you a brief note, in relation
to certain items of a communication
you made to the public, over the signature
of "Norfolk."

It was as far from my wish
or intention to do you any wrong, as it
was from my wish to suffer wrong at your
hands. I have no copy of the letter, and
can only read its general purport.

[hand symbol] I was under the impression that
you was the author of certain items
of "advise" to Dr [Jacob] Ide & others, by which my
happiness had been seriously affected.
I think, one part of my note refers to
this Mrs [Mary Ide] Torrey some time ago, said this was not the case. Dr [Jacob] Ide assured me, today, that
I was mistaken in that impression.
I can only ask you to forgive, in
that respect, an undeserved censure.

In regard to the other items of your
"Norfolk" article, for which I censured
you, especially, in regard to the in-
sinuations towards its close, I am
still convinced that justice requires
a retraction & apology, in the paper
where your article just appeared.
The explanation of your motives, which
my wife has given me, does not
change my view of the path of justice.
A single inquiry addressed to any

of my friends in Albany, or Boston, or
to my wife, in regard to my occupations,
from the time I left Albany, would
have shown you the error of your
statements, and would have prevented
your writing an article that,
at the time, did me more injury
than all the malice of my enemies
could have done. It came from a
professed friend; one in habits of inti-
macy with my family; appeared in
a paper I once edited, and to which
I was a frequent contributor; with
whose conductors I was constantly
associated; and in which my appeals
to the Public for aid appeared also.
The injury done me was great; none
the less for your kind notices, or your
wish to relieve abolitionists from re-
sponsibility for my supposed errors.
I say "supposed", for, while I hold it
to be a duty to help the poor escape from
bondage, and to make diligent efforts to
do so; I have not, myself, fulfilled that
duty, except occasionally, as incidental
to other duties and employments, as
chance offered the occasion; just as I
have given money to beggars, without
seeking them out. Acting on the maxim
of "doing good as we have the opportunity", I suppose
I have freed about 400 who, otherwise, would
have lived, and, most of them died, in slavery
It has been my happiness to secure freedom
to about 15, since I was in prison: 10 of
whom were in one company: all of
whom were rescued from the clutches
of slave traders. But to return.

Mrs Torrey speaks in warm terms of
your kindness to my family since my im-
prisonment. My heartfelt gratitude to
you would leadlead me to forgive much greater
injuries than I supposed you had done
me, God bless you for it!

Mrs Torrey says there was some remarks
in my letter that you supposed was intended
to express contempt of yourself. I do not
recal it to mind. Your talents, your general
good common sense (not a very common quality
among men) and your interest in the
cause of liberty, as well of other benevolent
objects, have always led me to respect you
highly. That I have always expressed, publicly
and privately. I do not remember ever speaking
to any human being one word which was
not to your credit, prior to my imprison-
ment. The little personal intercourse
we ever had, I submit to you, had always
been kind & agreeable. That I did not,
however, love you, as a friend, is true. It
may be my own fault. I regret that I
allowed myself to express my feelings to
you; as I never, before, had done, even
to my wife. Your kindness to her certainly
has changed my feelings much towards
[hand sign pointing to second word] yourself. I am told also, that you was
kind enough to rebuke the silly stories
with which some of my virulent ene-

mies, here, filled the ears of that good,
but not very discriminating man, Mr
[Dean] Walker. For this, too, I thank you,
not so much on my own account, as
for my wife & children’s sake. My good name
is their honor, as my shame would be to their
injury. That my vile slave trading
prosecutors assailed me thus, was a trial to be
expected, not a matter to be feared. One of
the chief ends of my appeal "To the Pub-
lic", in the Baltimore papers, was, if
possible, to force them to publish their
slanders; or, at least, to have some repu-
table name given as endorser for them.
So long as such miscreants as the
sub-jailors (two of them), Hope H. Slatter,
and slave-catching police men, only, gave
them circulation, I could not notice
them, definitely, without degrading
myself to their level. My article had
the effect, in the end, of suppressing
the stories, here, and elsewhere. For, as
soon as inquiry was made, no reputable
man was found to endorse them; or, in
a void, any man, whose bad motives
were not perfectly evident. To have a [low-
jailor, and a dozen more of similar
stamp daily tell people I "was a d—d
scoundrel," did me no harm. Because
every one drew the inference, "if he
was so vile, these men would never take
the trouble to abuse him so much.
They are angry, because they cannot
bring him down to their own level."
Attacks made on me, in the North,
[Numbered "2" in top left corner] I felt much more deeply. Your own
article was the first, in the order of
time. Some of the evil it did, can
never be repaired, because many men
never give up their first impressions
And, it is, probably, too late, now, to do
any thing more than to "forgive and
forget", if you are disposed to do so.
If not, it must remain, with all the good
and evil we do, till the Great Day.

The second, was James Cannings Fuller’s
blast: in which he told the world that, no
doubt, the slaveholders would let me go, be-
cause I was so unsound, in a particular
antislavery doctrine that I have always,
for 10 years, made the test of tests of a man’s
sound abolitionism, in, the intrinsic sin-
fulness of holding slaves!!!

The third, probably has not reached Medway.
It was made by a Sanford, a brother of Milton
Sanford employed in Adams & Co’s Express office—a young man who—I never saw, or
had any intercourse with: & published in a penny
loco-foco paper in Philadelphia. His motives,
objects, or provocation, I cannot even guess.
I never, in my life, had an unpleasant word,
or feeling , to or with any one of that family con-
nection. Some of them, like your good Pastor, I
dearly love & esteem. Dr Ide, however, put
an effectual stopper on all Sanford’s stories,
which, indeed, were not more atrocious,
than absurd. They will not reach the North,
where I am so well known.

When I am free, it is not my habit to care for
the good or evil others think or say of me, very
much. Doing what I judge right, whether
I am praised or censured, it is enough
for me, to have that done which I perceive
ought to be done. In the progress of

the antislavery movement, it has
frequently happened that I have
voluntarily assumed the place of the
censured originator of a new, but
necessary movement, while others
built up the structure.

It was no part of my plans, when
I decided to remove to this State, to
engage in the business of helping
men out of slavery: though I should
no more dare refuse to do it, when
Providence called, than I should dare
refuse bread to a starving man.

Yet I did intend to take advantage of
any case that might arise, to compel
abolitionists to consider the great
principles which they forgot, when
they suffered those godly men, [Alanson ]Work,
[James E.]Burr & [George ]Thompson, to enter the
Missouri Penitentiary, [without?]
an effort, either to avert their doom, or
to inquire into the moral and legal
principles that were involved in it.

The thoughtless cry "They deserved it, for
they ought not to have meddled with slavery
in a Slave State", answered all questions,
then. I had long felt that we all
committed a great sin against God and
them. My own imprisonment has
brought up their case, as well as mine, on
its principles. Through my means, since
then, tens of thousands have been invoked
anew to pray for them. And, lest aboli-
tionists should suffer their case and mine
to be forgotten, God multiplies them. [Jonathan ]Walk-
er’s imprisonment follows, in Florida,
and now, the beloved and excellent

Mrs Gregg [Actually this was [Alice Bridge Webster]] (a women! Who will not feel
for her!) and Bro’ Fairbanks, are
cast into a Kentucky prison, for the
same acts of charity to God’s poor. Mrs
[Alice Bridge Webster] Gregg is a neice of Daniel Webster, and
The widow of Prof [Jarvis] Gregg, of Hudson College [Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio] ,
one of my dearest friends at Andover.
Fairbanks [Calvin Fairbank ], I think, is an Episcopalian.

Here, then, Missouri, Maryland, Vir-
ginia, Florida, & Kentucky are to be
agitated to the center, by moral & legal
questions that strike at the very existence
of slavery. The great question is,

"Is it a crime, or a christian duty to help
men out of bondage, in defiance of
wicked laws?" Or, to state it in other
forms, "Shall the Slave States be suffered
to make & enforce laws, that transform
acts of Christian charity & humanity into
crimes?"     Besides those named, there is
[John] Bush’s case, in Washington, involving the
same principles. I expect his acquittal, however.
There is an increasing number of our best
men and women, who are now ready for these
issues. Two years hence, we shall all wonder
that we ever doubted of them, just as we now
look back to our past pro-slavery delusions
in respect of right voting, & church action.

Slavery is all wrong; it confers no rights; its
laws have no legal validity, no moral force; we
sin to enforce or obey them; God requires us
to treat them as non-entities. How start-
ling such doctrines are, to most abolitionists,
now. But you will very soon embrace them
fully, as Gerrit Smith, myself & a few others
have done, for two or more years past. And this
will soon be standard abolitionism. Apply

the same doctrines to idolatry; and the
missionaries duty. We send [Peter ]Parker & [Karl ]Gutzlaff
$10,000 a year to give Bibles to the Chinese,
and to preach Jesus to them. The Chinese
law makes it death for any Chinese to
become a Christian; death to preach
Jesus to the Chinese. Is duty changed by
the wicked law of China? Or, are you not
aware how deeply Dr [Warren] Fay & his proslavery
associates have corrupted the Christianity
of our Missions?— But I did not
mean to argue the matter. Election
is over, and you all, who are out of prison
must debate it. The result will be,
just this [hand sign] We, whose imprisonment
has called up the issue, will still be reputed
"rash", "impudent" and what not. But all
Who hereafter suffer in the same way,
till slavery dies, will be called, wise men,
Martyrs to plain Christian duty.
And, by & bye, when another generation
"build the tombs of the prophets", the
names of [Alanson ]Work, [James E.]Burr, [George ]Thompson, [John ]Bush,
[Jonathan ]Walker, Mrs [Alice Webster ]Gregg, [Calvin Fairbank ]Fairbanks, and even
mine, will not want a monument!

Meantime , I am content to suffer,
and bear reproach, be "sick & in prison", and,
possibly, die there. I say "content"; not be-
cause I deem it my duty to suffer silently,
or without effort to avoid evil. But, because,
be the result what it may, Christ [makes?]
my prison cell, and, I trust, my heart,
also, one of the places where He dwells.
While that is so, I will not fear what Man
can do unto me—And I feel sure He
will, in the end, bring to shame all

[Numbered "3" in top left corner] those that rise up against me.
He will do it "for His own name sake, and
for the Throne of his glory", and
not for my personal worthiness of
His favor.

When I began, I thought only
of writing, in a few words, what my
conversation with my wife & Dr [Jacob] Ide
showed me was due to you. But,
in spite of an aching body, I have
wandered on, till I have written
a long, & it may be, tedious letter.
I will only add, that I have now very
strong hopes of acquittal in the
Maryland Courts, from the confession
a young man has made of a
plot in which my prosecutors
and others are engaged in bringing
forward a large number of perjured
and wicked witnesses. They have made
several blunders in arranging their
perjuries, which, together with the
confession, I am strongly in hopes
will release me from that charge, en-
tirely. But God will order it all right.
Two items, on the first sheet, marked with "[hand sign]", I should have written you some
weeks ago, but illness has hindered all writing
that I could possibly avoid—

[In a different hand]

The last two lines of the authors letter with the date &
subscription of the Author was sent to the
Baazar of the Universal Brotherhood which
was held in London in the Summer of 1851
at the time of the World’s fair
The letter closed as follows
"Farewell! Never forget the Slave one day, till
all are free—

I am
yours respectfully,
Charles T. Torrey"
[the following three lines bracketed]

Baltimore Jail
Nov 16 1844
10 o'cl. PM. Cell No 3"

[Enclosed with envelope that reads]

From Rev. C T Torrey
Nov 16th 1844
Milton M. Fisher, Esq.
Favored by
Rev. Dr. [Jacob ]Ide.

[Overwritten on the address]

His Work and the
cause of his trial & Imprisonment
His justification of his
course in a Slave State—

This was sealed in a Baltimore Prison by
Rev C. T. Torrey Aug [27?] , 1844

No. 10
Letter from
Rev Charles T. Torrey
Agent of the
Rail road who
had delivered
400 slaves
and died in a
Baltimore Prison
who married Miss
Mary Ide—
Of Medway