text link to home page
  African American woman in early 19th century clothing sits at a desk writing a letter.

Study Areas



Free Persons of Color

Underground Railroad

The Violent Decade

US Colored Troops

Civil War

Year of Jubilee (1863)

20th Century


More 2002 Letters

From James C. Hoffman, November 6, 2002
I have to say that I am just shocked at all of the history that is being released about Harrisburg and the Negro members of that town. I was born and raised in Harrisburg and this is both surprising and very interesting to me. Some of the areas mentioned I am familiar with, and played in those locations as a child. I first lived on a street called Sarah St. between Boas and Foster, then moved to a place called Hillside Village which was off of Cameron and Kelker Street.  I recall an area very close where poor whites lived and they referred to the place as "Piss Ant Hill" (never could find out why). I recall such areas as Sugar Hill, Wickersham School, Downey Elementary School and I also recall the Veterans homes that were built off of Cameron and Monroe Streets. Again I am enjoying this history lesson. I am also trying to get information on Lincoln Cemetery as I have relatives buried on those grounds.

From Calobe Jackson, Jr., November 20, 2002
Just trivia, no need to reply. The office of Dr. Richard Brown, class of 1923 Steelton, was torn down today. The house stood at 1606 N. Sixth Street. I happened to notice the demolition process and called Ken Frew.  Frew had researched the house in 1982 for Dr. Brown. It appears that the marble facade was from one of the old Capitol Buildings that were torn down circa 1901. Dr. Brown bought the house in 1944. He was probably the first African American to live above Reily Street on 6th. Ken and I took pictures of the house today.

From Tim Conrad, December 17, 2002
I have one more thing that might be interesting for your web site. It's not about slavery though. It's an old book (one of many old family books that came into my possession):

The Complete Letter Writer
Containing A Great Variety of Letters

New York, Leavitt & Company (no year shown)

On inside of front cover, in cursive:
"Gabriel Enty
__[hard to read - guessing from context it's 'bought'] not this book
for fear of shame _
for her[e] you see the
owners name
Gabriel Enty"

On back cover:
"Gabriel Enty
Bought this Book in
Pottsville Pa in
July 5 AD 1866"

"Gabriel Enty from
Mathintongo [hard to read, should be 'Mahantongo'] Townhsip
Pennsylvania. Bought
this book in Pottsvill
Price 40 cents"

In Schuylkill County PA Archives, Volume III (by Phillip A. Rice and Jean A. Dellock), pg 20:  Eighth US (Colored) Infantry (Civil War)
Gabriel Enty (Private).

(Gabriel, probably born about 1844 to Josiah Enty of Lower Mahantongo, one of the few black families in the farming parts of Schuylkill County).

Anyways, I had thought it was an interesting item. There were only a few black families in these parts.  I can picture Gabriel, after the Civil War, buying this book to become a better "letter writer". The Enty family has ties to the Simmy family of Schuylkill County (a black family with several tracts of land in both Northumberland and Schuylkill County - I've stumbled across the records in the Orphans Court and estate records of both counties).


Editor's Note: See the following articles on
The Enty Family of the Lykens Valley in the Civil War
Additional information on the Enty Family

2002 Letters Page 1
2003 Letters | 2004 Letters | 2005 Letters


Contact AP | Mission Statement
The url address of this page is: https://www.afrolumens.com/letters.htm