New Orleans (LA) Picayune, "Frederick Douglass's Letter," November 9, 1859

    Source citation
    "Frederidck Douglass's Letter," New Orleans (LA) Picayune, November 9, 1859, p. 2: 1.
    Original source
    Rochester (NY) Democrat
    Newspaper: Publication
    New Orleans Daily Picayune
    Newspaper: Headline
    Frederick Douglass's Letter
    Newspaper: Page(s)
    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Zak Rosenberg, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    Frederick Douglass's Letter.-A letter, dated Canada West, October 31, from Frederick Douglass, of Rochester, the fugitive slave, appears in the Rochester Democrat. it is in the main a denial of the reputed aspersion of Cook, that he (Douglass) promised to be at the Harper's Ferry raid, but failed from cowardice. Douglass says, "of whatever other imprudence and indiscretion I may have been guilty, I have never made a promise so rash and wild as this. The taking of Harper's Ferry was a measure never encouraged by my word or by my vote, at any time or place; my wisdom or my cowardice, has not only kept me from Harper's Ferry, but has equally kept me from making any promise to go there-I desire to be quite emphatic here-for of all guilty men, he is the guiltiest who lures his fellow men to an undertaking of this sort, under promise of resistance, which he afterwards fails to render. I therefore declare that there is no man living, and no man dead, who, if living, could truthfully say that I ever promised him or anybody else, either conditionally or otherwise, that I would be present in person at the Harper's Ferry insurrection."

    Douglass concludes his letter thus:

    I have no apology for keeping out of the way of those gentlemanly United States Marshals, who are said to have paid Rochester a somewhat protracted visit lately, with a view to an interview with me. A government recognizing the validity of the Dred Scott decision, at such a time as this, is not likely to have any very charitable feelings towards me, and if I am to merit its representatives, I prefer to do so, at least, upon equal terms. If I have committed any offences against society, I have done so on the soil of the state to be arraigned before an impartial jury; but I have quite inseparable objections to be caught by the hands of Mr. Buchanan, and "bagged" by Gov. Wise. * *

    Some inflections may be made upon my leaving on a tour to England, just at this time. I have only to say that my going to that country has been rather delayed than bestowed by the insurrection at Harper's Ferry. All knew that I had intended to leave here in the first week of November.

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