From Edmonia Lewis to S.C. Armstrong, founding president of the Hampton Institute in Virginia, who was visiting the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia where Lewis's work was on exhibition.
1836 Lombard Street
Philadelphia Sept. 11th 1876
Gen. S. C. Armstrong, Principal
My dear Sir,
Having for a long time heard of your great School and of your work among my father's people I have thought that it might be a pleasure to you and also to your students to have a work of mine in your School. I have brought with me from Rome Italy many of my works to be Exhibited at the great Centennial and among them are the Busts in "Terra-Cotta" of dear old John Brown — Hon. Chs. Sumner, and the Poet Longfellow — which Sell here at the Exhibition for $8 a piece. I am poor but it will give me a great happiness to send to your school three of these busts if you can get the students interested in the matter to be willing to pay the costs (?) of bringing them from Rome Italy to this port — the freight and custom house [will] come to $10 . . . if you can get that amount from among them I will send at once to you the Busts.
I hope dear Sir that you are well and your family also —
I am My Dear Sir
Original in Hampton University Archives.