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A Letter From Anna Strong to Her Imprisoned Husband, Selah

Dear Selah,

I write this letter here in our home, uncertain of whether it will reach you. Yet I hold fast to the hope that it will somehow make it to the Jersey and into your hands. When you are able to read these words, I have the utmost faith that they will buoy you with the comfort that you have long been in my thoughts.

Ever since that terrible night and the fight at the tavern, I think about what could have been done to prevent your arrest. There is a part of me that cannot help but feel some guilt that your protection of me played a large part in your current circumstance; and it saddens me that I could not do more to help you.

Every week I go to see Major Hewlett in order to plead your case, hoping that he will see the error of his decision and grant your parole. Every week, under the prying eyes of those here in town who are unsympathetic to our plight, I stand before the Major and Judge Woodhull and ask for your release, even though the Major’s disdain for me is plain for all to see. There are many here who take a fair amount of pleasure in the notion that a branded traitor has been removed from their midst. Yet I am undaunted. I stand in the church on your behalf, because I know it is what you would do for me.

There is a great deal to be said for someone being there for another. There’s something to be said for presence. It is the absence of your presence that I miss most of all. Walking into this house and finding you here, or into the tavern and seeing you there conversing with patrons like you once did, is no longer a part of my day. We are a fine tandem, you and I. Your being there brought me a sort of comfort that I was not truly aware of until it was gone.

Together, you and I have been through so much, and it is the strength of your character and convictions that invigorates me now. You have always been willing to stand up, and alone, if necessary, to support and defend all that you believe in. I will take a cue from you and do the same. You have always been there for me, Selah, and I will not abandon you in this troublesome time.

In the darkness of the Jersey, I hope this letter will bring light. Take care and comfort in the knowledge that I will not stop until you are free once again.

— Anna

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