About the Digital Collection
Collection comprises two letters written to Andrews' mother, Mary, who was a Quaker residing in Salem (Salem Co.), New Jersey. A comparison of the handwriting indicates that the letters may have been written by two Andrews brothers, but the letter dated 1829 is from Thomas. This letter is unusual in that it discusses his recent interracial marriage, to Lavinia (Gilbert) of Rochester, N.Y. After outlining their travel plans for an upcoming visit to Salem, Thomas adds, "I hope the[e] will say nothing about our comeing, I wish it not to be Known.-- Lavinia wishes me to tell the[e] that She is black, or nearly so[,] that the[e] may not be disappointed, when the[e] Sees her. but I can tel[l] the[e] that She is fairer than the Liley, and as Small as the fairy, and gayer than the Rainbow. but She Says She is a Quaker, and I suppose that will be enough for the[e]-- at any rate the[e] will soon have an opportunity of Seeing her, and Judging for thyself." However, it is not clear whether the couple completed the trip, for the 1830 letter explains delays in their travel. It describes the couple's setting up of housekeeping, the composition of their household, as well as their hopes for their trip to Salem, with plans to return with Mary Andrews or "Clarry" for an extended visit in Rochester.