Black soldier's letter belongs in Madison
Monday, March 11, 2013 11:00 AM
Madison is a city with a fascinating history. Most of us know the stories of J.F.D. Lanier, Francis Costigan and Jeremiah Sullivan.
But until a few weeks ago, not many of us had ever heard the name Morgan W. Carter.
Carter was a black Civil War soldier from Madison. His father, John, was a well-known abolitionist who was active in the Underground Railroad movement and was a board member at Eleutherian College.
Recently, one of Morgan Carter's letters home surfaced and is being sold at auction in New York City on March 21.
That letter belongs in Madison.
There are few accounts from black soldiers. The letter to be auctioned was written in December 1864. Carter describes the Battle of the Crater during the Siege of Petersburg and gives an impassioned description of his willingness to fight and die for emancipation.
Since the letter was uncovered after spending 50 years in a private collection, a group of local historians has established a fund to bring the document back to Madison.
If you are able, contributions are needed so that a local group can bid on the letter which is expected to bring from $10,000 to $15,000.
Donations should be made by check to the Morgan Carter Letter Fund and sent to P. O. Box 404, Madison, IN 47250 or dropped off at the Jefferson County Historical Society office, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
If adequate funds can be raised to successfully purchase the document, plans call for it to be gifted to the permanent collection of the Jefferson County Historical Society.
Morgan Carter's letter is an important part of Madison's history. Let's bring it home.