The Letters       indicates the letters with the richest content

Letter #14 SEPTEMBER 9,
1850

BUSINESS WASHED
AWAY FOR SECOND TIME

Thomas Jackson is encountering huge challenges learning to live in America.

Letter #14 JUNE 3,
1856

BUSINESS GOOD :
FAMILY MIXED

Engraving of new ropewalk and report of Reading's rapid growth. Updates on TJ's American family and expressions of disappointments that English members of the family are not diligent to replying letters from America!

Letter #14 JANUARY 4,
1856

SEEKING MORE
REPLIES

Concern about Aunt Reiley and persuading his cousins to help support her

JANUARY 13,
1857

DEATH OF THOMAS H. JACKSON'S FATHER

A single page from Thomas H. Jackson on the death of his father. No references to slavery or civil war.

JANUARY 10,
1859

WILLIAM SLATER WORKING WITH TJ

Thomas Jackson sent most of this collection of letters to Caleb Slater, his older cousin who still lived in England and also ran a rope works. Here we find that Caleb's son, William had moved to Reading PA and was working with TJ.

Letter #14 MARCH 21,
1859

MONEY FOR AUNT
REILEY

Aunt Reiley was poor and TJ wanted her American relatives to help her

JANUARY 8,
1860

MAKING PEACE WITH RELATIVES

Thomas Jackson seemingly had fallen out with Caleb and William Slater and was trying to repair relationships. William was no longer in USA

OCTOBER 21,
1860

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE STATES

A transitional letter including family matters, nostalgia for England, mechanization of rope making and, finally, his introduction to the very lively politics in USA.

Letter #14 JUNE 21,
1862

WHITES NOT CONCERNED ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE

TJ regrets continual denial of freedom for back folk and foresees slavery will be abolished but that the motive will not be the white man's concern for the rights of the black but for "military necessity"

AUGUST 12,
1862

APPALLED BY SLAVE MARKET

TJ's intense emotions on witnessing a slave market. Letter first sent to Caleb Slater with the request that he get it published in the local English paper.

Letter #14 AUGUST 13,
1862

WRITING OTHER ABOLITION ARTICLES

Thomas Jackson reveals he had written several other articles about the war and had already got them published in America. His "slave market letter" that was published in the English newspapers.

OCTOBER 12,
1862

PREPARATIONS
FOR WAR

The confederates had achieved victories against the North and were within 100 miles of Thomas Jackson who sends descriptions of how his fellow town folk in Reading responded.

MAY 23,
1863

WAR CONTINUES:
FAMILY UPDATE

The war is continuing now some distance from Reading but TJ still expresses determination not to allow the South to dissolve the union. Also reports on family members.

AUGUST 20,
1863

THE WAR
IN GREAT DETAIL

This long letter includes much detail about many aspects of the war and is highly recommended for all visitors to this site.

AUGUST 25,
1863

REFLECTIONS ON WAR & LIFE

Ruminating on family, war and life. TJ has no doubt he wants to leave America a better place for his children yet questions "What is there in all this strife and turmoil and struggling for

APRIL 18,
1864

THE CURSE OF
SLAVERY

Mainly documenting first hand experiences of slaves and slavery, the treatment of prisoners and bounties for men who sign up for war. Also accounts of state of business in the North.

SEPTEMBER 1864

ENGLAND IS
DISHONEST

TJ accuses England of not staying neutral but was clearly supporting the Confederacy. "The British are immoral and devious."

SEPTEMBER 28,
1864

STATE ELECTIONS ABOLITION ISSUES

Still very angry at all those who challenge Lincoln and his administration. "The copperhead, proslavery party has lied more outragously than I have ever heard them before

OCTOBER 2,
1864

EXCITEMENT & PARADES FOR UPCOMING ELECTION

Sharp criticisms of proslavery copperheads and their search for substitutes for the draft. Finally TJ verbalizes his worst fears namely that England will declare its support for the Confederates.

NOVEMBER 8,
1864

LINCOLN NOT
REELECTED?

The possibility that Lincoln may not get re-elected is obsessing TJ's mind. This leads him to review many aspects of the war, past, present and future.

NOVEMBER 16,
1864

JOY AT LINCOLN'S
RE-ELECTION

Unreserved delight at the result of the election. Yet still expressing hatred for his opposition. Also more on the treatment of prisoners and the suffering of slaves

DECEMBER ?,
1864

CONFIRMING THOMAS JACKSON'S MISSION

In these last two pages (all that remains of a much longer letter), we see TJ's expectations of slavery at last being abolished.

APRIL 10,
1865

THE FALL OF
RICHMOND

"We have had about two weeks of wild and extraordinary excitement" This detailed letter Includes vivid accounts of the celebrations in the north as various southern cities culminating with Richmond finally fall.

APRIL 18,
1865

DEATH & MOURNING OF LINCOLN

A detailed, contemporary account of what it was like to learn of Lincoln's assassination as well as sharing his anguish and grief that his beloved antislavery leader had been gunned down in the prime of his achievements.

MAY 1,
1865

ATROCITIES
OF WAR

Still incensed that Lincoln had been shot and that many northerners had been sympathetic to "putting Lincoln out of the way". Additionally provides an extensive list of alleged southern atrocities

Letter #14 JANUARY 2,
1866

THADDEUS STEVENS ON RECONSTRUCTION

A post war letter that Thomas Jackson sent to influential U.S. Senator Thaddeus Stevens

MAY 27,
1867

PERCEIVED POST-WAR PROBLEMS

Also updates on TJ's business and his close relatives in America

JANUARY 18,
1868

3 YEARS AFTER
LINCOLN

A wide ranging account of how the North had changed after the civil war. He claims that most white men in the North wished that blacks had not been given the vote! Also nostalgia for his old home in England

MARCH 13,
1868

ENVELOPE ONLY:
LETTER MISSING

The Ambassadors hope to come up with the letter associated with this envelope in the other collections of family letters that are still to be cataloged.

FEB 6,
1871

FAMILY REVIEW:
ANOTHER WAR

As well as family details, TJ starts to comment on the Franco Prussian war from the traditional English position of taking sides against the French. Explains how happy most citizens of Reading were because their ancestors were from Germany, and the Germans appeared to be outsmarting the French.

HALF BROTHER'S EXISTENCE EXPLAINED

Thomas Jackson reveals that his father had sired a son by a different woman to his mother. Also reveals his dislike of his father yet took him in during the last days of his life.

Letter #14 APRIL 6,
1871

Thomas Jackson Vs Horace Greeley

Greeley was a major figure in American journalism and politics but that in no way limited TJ's vigorous opposition to his views.

JANUARY 29,
1872

DISILLUSIONMENT & SADNESS

Unhappy with failing health. Disillusioned with politicians and the fact that ill educated people can vote. Notes that, "Americans tend to earn a lot but spend all they get."

UNKOWN DATE,
1872

THE ALABAMA
CLAIMS

This is a simple Post Script to another letter. TJ believed that America's Alabama Claims against England were primarily a piece of political theatre.

JULY 20,
1874

GRIEF AND
ARSON

Grieving the death of his first born son at only 41 years. To make matters worse, his rope making factory has been burned down to the ground with a total devastation of all his business.

DEC 29,
1874

DEATH IS
APPROACHING

Relatives now share information about Thomas Jackson's deteriorating health

FEBRUARY 14,
1875

THE DIALOG
CONTINUES

The bonds between the two cousins living on different continents endured until the end of their lives.

SEPTEMBER 14,
1875

LAST LETTER:
ENVELOPE ONLY

Here is our final record in Thomas Jackson's familiar handwriting. It is now very labored.

AUGUST 8th,
1878

THE PEN
SILENCED FOR EVER

Thomas Jackson passed away in Reading at the age of 72. Tributes to him can be seen within.