Quotation by Elizabeth Blair Lee

...I am an abolitionist for the sake of my own race—Contact with the African degenerates our white race—I find the association with them injurious to my child—keenly as I watch to prevent it & his faithful nurse to help me ... She is a good woman & so are many of them—Still the race is a degraded one ...
Elizabeth Blair Lee (1818–?), U.S. housewife. Wartime Washington, letter dated December 31, 1862 (1991).

Born in Kentucky, Lee later lived in Maryland and in Washington, D.C., with her husband and child. Her husband, Samuel Phillips Lee, was a Union naval commander in the Civil War, and she wrote this in a letter to him. The "faithful nurse," of course, was African American.
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