Primary Resource

Letter from Fielding Lewis to Rev. John Waring (September 14, 1765)

In a letter to the Reverend John Waring, dated September 14, 1765, Fielding Lewis reports on the 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

Sir

Your Favour with a Box of Books I received by Capt. Steel, and shall with pleasure do everything I can to promote the pious design of the Society. I had some difficulty in procuring a proper Person to undertake the School for the Education of Negroe Children the allowance being so small, that the greatest part of it will be paid for House rent & Fireing; Mr. [Robert Carter] Nicholas has furnish'd me with the Rules establish'd at the School in Williamsburg which are so well calculated for the well Government of it, that I have establish'd the same in Fredericksburg; The School was opened the [blank] of April and there are now Sixteen Children who constantly attend who have improv'd beyond my expectation. The Revd. Mr. James Marye [Sr.] the Minister of the Parish has given me all the assistance he could, and has promised to call frequently and examine the Children; As they begin allready to Read prittily there will be occasion for a few Testaments and Prayer Books, for I propose introducing them into Church as soon as they are capable of joyning in the Service; I shall in my next send you a Copy of the School Register werein is enter'd the Ages of the Children and the time of their admittance, and at the same time draw on you for the first Half Years Salary. I am with the greatest Respect, Sir Your most Obedient Humble Servant

Fielding Lewis

September the 14th. 1765