Letter from Ambrose Crane about stolen slave, 1835

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Ambrose Crane of St. Marks, Florida, wrote this letter in November 1835 to "Deacon Dowle" (Ebeneezer Dole of Hallowell) accusing him of stealing his wife's property—a young Black girl:
On a visit to Hallowell, her servant, a Negro girl who she took with her to take care of her children was stolen— Since her return she states that in searching for the girl, you acknowledged to some of her friends, your participation in the theft—

Crane threatened Dole and demanded return of the girl or suffer degradation and financial ruin,
Now Sir I have only one word to say (at present) on the subject that is, to return my property to me without delay or expense, or I pledge you my word it shall cost you 3 times the value of the girl, besides I will advertise you & your compatriots in this nefarious transaction in every state in the union & offer such a reward as will probably give me the pleasure of seeing you here when I could get more for exhibiting you a month than you have made all your lifetime—

Dole was a founding member of the Maine Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, and a supporter of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Before the Underground Railroad, some who supported abolition worked to free enslaved people travelling in the North, by assisting their escape when in places like Maine.

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About This Item

  • Title: Letter from Ambrose Crane about stolen slave, 1835
  • Creator: Ambrose Crane
  • Creation Date: 1835-11-18
  • Subject Date: 1835
  • Locations:
    • Augusta, Kennebec County, ME
    • Hallowell, Kennebec County, ME
    • St. Marks, FL
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. S-1244, Misc. Box 59/9
  • Collection: Maine Anti-slavery Society correspondence
  • Object Type: Text

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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