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Frederick Douglass to Maria Weston Chapman, October 27, 1844



Boston, [Mass.] 27 Oct[ober 1844].


I send you the enclosed1The enclosures were presumably Douglass’s essay, “The Folly of Our Opponents,” which appeared in the 1845 edition of the Liberty Bell. Elizabeth Pease, Frederika Bremer, Charles Lenox Remond, and Abby Kelley Foster contributed to the same issue. Another Douglass essay, “Bibles for Slaves,” appeared in the 1848 edition of the Liberty Bell, which also contained a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Frederick Douglass, “The Folly of Our Opponents,” Liberty Bell (Boston, 1845), 166–72; idem, “Bibles for Slaves,” Liberty Bell (Boston, 1848), 121–27. written in great haste, you will confer a favor on me by correcting any mistakes which may occur in it.

I take it kindly of you, to give me a place in the Liberty Bell,2From 1839 to 1857, Maria Weston Chapman and the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society published the Liberty Bell, a gift book, which they sold at their annual fair. This book contained letters, essays, poems, and stories by such prominent figures as John Quincy Adams, Margaret Fuller, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Martineau, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, along with comributions by various antislavery activists. The main purpose of the Liberty Bell and similar gift books was to raise funds for the abolitionist movement, but its publishers and purchasers also hoped that the literary appeal of the volume would attract converts to their cause. Lee Chambers-Schiller, “‘A Good Work among the People’: The Political Culture of the Boston Antislavery Fair,” in The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women's Political Culture in Antebellum America, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin and John C. Van Horne (Ithaca, N.Y., 1994), 258–59, 265–66; Ralph Thompson, “The Liberty Bell and Other Anti-Slavery Gift-Books,” NEQ, 7:154–67 (March 1934); Quarles, “Sources of Abolitionist Income,” 72–74. and hope ever to be worthy of such a place.

Yours truly


ALS: Anti-Slavery Collection, MB.


October 27, 1844


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