Skip to main content

Frederick Douglass to James Standfield, August 2, 1846



Newcastle-upon-Tyne, [Eng.] 2 August 1846.

James Standfield Esq



Yours accompanying the retractation of the Revd. retailer of Slander Dr. Smyth1Thomas Smyth. has reached me. It is not so full as I could have wished—yet as I am advised to accept it by my legal advisers I suppose tis best to do so.—I hope you will take the necessary measures for its publication. Mr. Smeal2William Smeal. at Glasgow requested me to let him have it published before it was published in Belfast. But I declined to do so on the ground that as the slander was first uttered there, the retractation should first appear there[.] I shall trust to your fedelity in arrangeing and publishing the whole correspondence. Whatever may be the cost I shall try to pay it.

You have already laid me under deep and lastings obligations to you for your readyness to advise, counsel and direct me when surrounded and beset by difficulties. The only conpensation I can make shall be yours. It is by leading such a life of uprightness—and devotion to the cause of human freedom, justice and humanity as shall prove me worthy of your kind and almost parental attention.

I am to lecture here tomorrow night. The prospect is fair for a good meeting—In North Shields on tuesday night and from thence I shall probably go to London,3Douglass spoke in North Shields on 4 August and then moved on to London, where he delivered “The American Temperance Movement, Slavery and Prejudice” on 7 August 1846. Newcastle Guardian, 8 August 1846; Lib., 27 November 1846; Douglass Papers, ser. 1, 1:316–41. Where I hope to meet Mr. Garrison, &c. &c. I will write Davidson & Torrance Esq. tomrrow with the pound[.] I will send it to you[.] [P]lease remember me kindly all the members of your family, and especially to my amable little friend Jane4Jane Standfield may have been the wife or daughter of James Standfield.

Very sincerely & gratefully Yours


ALS: General Correspondence File, reel 1, frame 629, FD Papers, DLC.


August 2, 1846


Publication Status