Status: Needs Review


127, 141–45, 205–06; Jeffery Rossbach, Ambivalent Conspirators: John Brown, the Secret Six, and a
Theory of Slave Violence
(Philadelphia, 1982), 124, 139, 141–42, 199, 220, 241.

5. Many of the issues of Frederick Douglass’ Paper from the fall of 1857 have not survived, and
so no published account has been found of Douglass’s lecturing tours in Massachusetts or Canada.

6. Modern scholars concur with Douglass’s perception of growing antiblack sentiment in por-
tions of Ontario, where fugitive slaves and free black migrants from the United States had settled in
significant and gradually increasing numbers. Silverman, Unwelcome Guests, 72, 132, 157; Winks,
Blacks in Canada, 114–78.


Philadelphia, Penn. 25 Dec[ember] 1857.
Another Fugitive slave case2 has been called up and carried through our
beautiful courts. The Fugitive whom the reports make to appear as de-
ficient of brains as one could well be and yet lay claim to kinship with
the genus homo, was condemned on his own testimony, remanded to his
claimant,—without having been permitted the benefit of counsel, taken in
broad day-light over the sin-cursed streets of our boasted city of Brotherly
Love,3 and without a pitying voice or helping hand, thrust back into the
lash-resounding knell of American slavery. Such damnable outrages are
almost sufficient to drive one to atheism. How can an omnipotent Jehovah
permit man whom He created “little lower than the angels"4 to ravish his
fellow-men in so blackened and disgraceful a manner?

One beautiful and significant feature of this whole affair is that it all
took place under the very eaves of our annual Garrisonian Fair.5—Of
course we do not mean to say ought against the happy ones at the Fair. Far
be it from us to do so. But we must state the facts.


The Fair, that was all well enough, that is to say, it netted over a thou-
sand dollars (so a member told us); but the convention which ran through
three days we hardly know what to make of. We’ll give you the FACTS, and
let you think of them at your leisure. The time, as was justly remarked by
one of our city press, was taken up for the most part with an unprofitable
discussion of points, which finally sunk down to personal abuse; and the
convention barely escaped being broken up in a row. The low blackguard-
ism of a well known loud mouthed semi-saxon individual6 who monopo-
lized the biggest part of time, was really disgraceful to the society,—We
must certainly advise the society to pandor a little less to the inordinate

Y7271-Douglass_9780300218305.indb 217 1/26/18 9:41 AM

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