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Frederick Douglass to Ruth Cox, 31 January 1847



Leamington, [Eng.] 31 Jan[uary] 1847.

MY DEAR HARRIET1Ruth Cox used the name of Douglass’s sister, Harriet Bailey, as an alias.

I am now almost persuaded that I have done you serious injustice[.] If so—I am very sorry for it—and hope to be forgiven for it—and that at once. You know too well and too long to imagine that I could take pleasure in harshly hurting you—in whom I have so long trusted, and have loved as a true friend, and even as a sister. It was with no little pain—that I spoke as I did to you—in the letter asking you to leave my house.2Douglass’s letter to Cox in which he asked her to leave his house has not been located. I suffered as much in sending that letter as you could possibly do in receiving it[.] If you have not absolutely resolved to leave, I now wish you to stay in my family. But do not stay on my account, if you think you can be happier out of my family than in. it. Why consult your own happiness—I would be glad to have you stay—but not my will—persue your own course. You are your own woman—seek your own happiness. I shall always wish you well—and stand ready to render you any assistance I possess the power to do—and this shall be the case no matter what course you take. My regard for you has never been a selfish regard—but always—a regard for your own welfare—and such it shall ever be.

There use many things I should like to write about—but I am not in a state of mind to write. I am miserable—unhappy—and it seems I must so live and Die. I wish to mercy I could see you and talk with. I could soon


relieve my mind—but I am too far a way—and writing seems only to make matters worse. It is absolutely too had that I should be so harrassed in my feelings

Fare well Harriet—and receive my heartfelt good Wishes. Write to me soon

Yours sincerely


ALS: Correspondence File, Additions II, FD Papers, DLC.


January 31, 1847


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