S. Ind. historians hope to buy letter from Civil War soldier


by WHAS11


Posted on March 12, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 13 at 6:44 PM

MADISON, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A letter written by a slave from Madison, Ind. is taking center stage at a prestigious New York City auctions. Historians in Madison are working around the clock to raise enough money to buy and bring it home to their museum.

The three page handwritten letter by 19-year-old Morgan Carter, an African American soldier, may be in the national spotlight, but historians in Madison have banded together to bring it back home.

"So people can see it and read it from this state and this community," John Nyberg, Executive Director Jefferson County Historical Society, said.

Carter wrote it during the Civil War from City Point Virginia in 1864.

"It's well written and you can tell he knows what is going on around him and he also brings in Madison where he grew up and says hi to his friends," Nyberg said.

The Madison teen gives an impassioned description of his willingness to fight for emancipation.

The letter was brought to the attention of the Jefferson County Historical Society and they immediately knew of its importance.

"The excitement to all of us, not just Madison but to the nation,"  Sue Livers, Director Kings Daughters Health, said. 

One of the biggest reasons they want to bring the letter back to Madison is that it was the hub of the Underground railroad and the Carter family was the wealthiest family in the area. The family gave so much back to the community.

"This family was very active, they went to Broadway Christian Church where I was a member, they were active in the school system, active with the underground railroad. So they did so many things that they are very important," Livers said.

The group is hopeful the community can band together and help them raise enough money to buy it and bring it back to Jefferson County in Madison where it will finally be home.

The estimated auction price is $10,000 to 15,000. Donations can be made to the Morgan Carter letter fund and sent to PO Box 404 Madison Indiana  47250 by March 15.