THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY
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February 22, 1850
Charles Doe Wrote to His Family
This letter from Charles Doe (1830–1896), of New Hampshire, addressed to family members living in Boston, was written while Doe was visiting his brother Thomas Doe in Danville, Virginia. Doe's letter gives details of his brother's family, including the arrival of a new child. Doe described a slave auction, a slave funeral, and a church service. He wrote that slaves in the United States were better off than free Africans. He also noted that African Americans were better singers than whites and that the banjo was the instrument of choice for many Virginians.