This letter from Bernard Kinsey’s second cousin Carrie demonstrates the Kinsey family traits of persistence, intelligence and the search for mobility and justice, but also the brutal culture that existed after the Civil War and Reconstruction ended, particularly in the South. Although she is largely illiterate, she understands that the President of the United States is her only redress.
Mr. President I have a brother about 14 years old a colord man came hear a hird him from me and sad that he would take good care of him an pay me five dollars a month for him an I heard of him no more he went an sold him to Macree an tha tha [they] has bin working him in prison for 12 month and I has tried to get thim to sind him to me an tha wont let/him go he has no mother and has no father they are both dead an I am his only friend an tha wont let me have him he hase not don nothing for thim to have him in chanes so I rite to yoo for yoo to help me get my poor brother – his name is James Robinson and the man that carried him of his name Darr Cal he sold him to McCra at Valdosta, Ga please let me hear from yoo at once. Carrie Kinsey
Letter to President Roosevelt from Carrie Kinsey