404 DOUGLASS TO GERRIT SMITH, 19 JUNE 1863
father-in-law during the Jerry Rescue by disposing of incriminating evidence, and later defended
Smith when he was implicated in John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. During the Civil War, Miller
served as colonel of the 129th New York Infantry Regiment. In addition to backing the abolitionist
activities of Smith, Miller was also an avid supporter of his wife’s suffrage activities. Hamilton Liter-
ary Monthly, 30:219 (February 1896); Free Thought Magazine, 14:202 (February 1896); Cookinham,
History of Oneida County, New York, 1:361; Harlow, Gerrit Smith, 43, 408, 415–16, 483.
8. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts departed for service on 28 May 1863 after a grand review in
Boston with Governor John A. Andrew in attendance. The regiment arrived at Hilton Head, South
Carolina, on 3 June. Massachusetts Soldiers, 4:656–57.
FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO EDWIN M. STANTON1
Philadelphia[, Pa.] 13 July 1863.
Hon: E. M. STANTON. SECTY OF WAR.
I wish, very respectfully to commend to your consideration my friend,
mr George T. Downing, of New Port Rhode Island, as an applicant for
the office of Brigade Quarter master of Colored Troops. Mr Downing is
an experienced business man and in my judgment, he is a man everyway
qualified by Character and ability to fill the place he Seeks with entire
Satisfaction to your views of its requirement.
I moreover think the appointment of Mr Downing would have an ex-
cellent effect upon the Colored Citizens all over the north—and tend to
facilitate Colored enlistments here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. I am
one of those Colored men who Say office or no office, equal or unequal
pay,2 bounty or no bounty. the place for Colored men is in the army of the
United States: nevertheless I see that the appointment of Such a man as
Mr Downing would vastly strengthen the claims of the country upon this
class of its people.
With very great Respect Iam, Honored sir. Your Obedt. Servt.
ALS: Gilbert A. Tracey Papers, CtHIS.
1. Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814–69), a Democrat, was a prominent lawyer from Ohio. In
1862, President Lincoln appointed him secretary of war to replace the discredited Simon Cameron.
While in office, Stanton restored the War Department’s credibility and switched his allegiance to the
Republican party. He remained in office after Lincoln’s assassination, but differences with President
Andrew Johnson regarding Reconstruction led to a falling out with the new administration. Johnson
tried to dismiss Stanton from office, but Congress reinstated him and impeached Johnson for violat-
ing the Tenure of Office Act. Stanton resigned in 1868 when Congress failed to remove Johnson from
office. President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Stanton to the Supreme Court in 1869, but Stanton died
Y7271-Douglass_9780300218305.indb 404 1/26/18 9:41 AM
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