Egypt to Frederick Douglass, September 15, 1854
CHICAGO, Ill., Sept 1854
FREDERICK DOUGLASS, ESQ: DEAR SIR:—I really begin to have hopes for the political regeneration of this benighted land; I think there is a better time coming, out here, in Egypt. The sovereign people begin to think and act for themselves, regardless of the fact that in doing so, they differ widely in sentiment from that arch apostate and political srickster [sic], Stephen A. Douglas. Evidences are constantly multiplying hereabouts, which warrent me in this conclusion.
Three years ago, and shortly after the passage of the Compromise Measures of '50, (better known as the Fugitive Slave Law,) our recreant Senator returned to his indignant constituents, and by his artful sophism, and seeming patriotism, succeeded (as you may recollect) in reconciling them so that iniquitous, slave-catching enactment, on the ground that the preservation of the Union depended on this compromise measure. He told us that the South would make no further demands on us, and the country would
hereafter repose in peace and quietness.
Although greatly incensed by this act of pandering to the South, (by Douglas,) his constituents generously forgave him for this act of treachery, feeling confident that their admonitions would serve to deter him from further aggressions on their rights; but his Nebraska perfidy has sadly deceived them. Being Chairman on the Committee on Territories, and having reported and advocated the Nebraska Bill, he again found it necessary to come home and vindicate his course on that subject.
He arrived in this city about a week since, in a manner so quiet and stealthy, that but few of our citizens knew for several days that he was here. No pealing of cannons, or shouts of the populace, announced his arrival home, after an absence of three years. How the mighty has fallen!
After a few days' consultation with the Government office-holders, a grand Vindication Meeting was determined on; and last evening, (Friday, 1st inst.,) it came off at North Market Hall. The main object of Douglas was to repeat the game of whipping the disaffected back into the traces.—The hour having arrived, the little Giant mounted the stand, (the process of appointing officers of the meeting being dispensed with,) and commenced a most insulting tirade, in the course of which he told the citizens of Chicago that they did not read the papers, and were ignorant of the nature and bearings of the Nebraska Bill, and graciously offered to inform them upon the subject. This was adding insult to injury, and our order-loving citizens gave him such a rebuke, in the way of groans and hisses, as I feel confident no U.S. Senator ever received from his constituents before. Indeed, so indignant were the people, that they would not allow him to finish his miserable harangue; and this great Vindication speech turned out a complete Nebraska fizzle.
Chicago has vindicated her fair name as a Freedom-loving city. She has spurned from her presence this man who has so basely betrayed her interest, and who has proved himself so unworthy of her respect and protection. She has repudiated this Northern man with a "Southern plantation well stocked with likely young negroes;" and before the term expires for which he was elected, he will find himself repudiated and despised throughout the State.
Iowa has taken the noble stand in favor
of Freedom; and we confidently expect to
see Illinois do likewise. Meantime, Douglas,
seeing and feeling the unerring certainty of
his political downfall, will either go to his
Southern plantation, and tyrannize over his
wretched slaves, or go to Nebraska and aid
in carrying out his idea of popular sovereignty, by assisting his Southern allies in
establishing a slaveholding government.—But wherever he goes, he will be loathed and
despised by all honorable men.
Yours, for God and Liberty,