Primary Resource

Letter from Fielding Lewis to Rev. John Waring (October 31, 1768)

In a letter to the Reverend John Waring, dated October 31, 1768, Fielding Lewis reports on the halting progress of a school in Fredericksburg for the children of enslaved African Americans. Waring was the secretary of the Associates of Dr. Bray, the English philanthropic group that funded the school.

Transcription from Original

Revd. Sir

I am greatly concern'd that the Negro School Establish'd at Fredericksburg has not answer'd the expectations of the Associates, for at this time there remains only Nine Young Negro's at School who constantly attend, and Four in the Summer season only. And I have the greatest reason to think that there will not soon be any greater Number, for I observe that several have left the School as soon as they could read tolerably to attend in the Houses of the Proprietors, or to take care of the Younger Negros in the Familys to which they belong. Yet I am in hopes the little time these have remaining may be of service as great care is taken by the Mistress to impress on their Minds the Dutys of our Holy Religion, and I shall continue to call frequently at the school to see that the Mistress does her Duty so long as the Associates think proper to continue it. I have regularly paid the Twenty Pounds Sterling per An. which please to repay Antho. Bacon Esqr. & Company for my Account and you'l Oblige Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Fielding Lewis

October the 31st. 1768.