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Frederick Douglass to Amos Gerry Beman, September 6, 1854



Rochester[, N.Y.] 6 Sept[ember] 1854.


Thank you. That will do exactly. We Stand five to six1Douglass refers to the division of opinion on the National Council of the Colored People
over support of the Manual Labor Institute at the group’s 19 July 1854 meeting at Cleveland. , 28 July 1854.
—and have the advantage
of Standing like six individual men—and not like “nine pins”2In ninepins, an early form of bowling, a player threw a heavy wooden ball (called a bowl) at nine pins set on the ground in an attempt to knock them down. If a player knocked down all the pins before his or her turn was up, the pins were reset up for an extra throw. After each player’s turn, the pins were set up for the next player. George Forrest, (New York, 1855), 32.
Set up only to be knocked down.

Day3William H. Day. and Nell.4William Cooper Nell (1816-74), a black Garrisonian abolitionist, was the original publisher of Douglass’s North Star. A graduate of Boston’s segregated Smith School, Nell studied law but never practiced. During the early 1840s, he worked for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society and the Liberator. From 1847 to 1851 he assisted Douglass on the North Star and served as acting editor when Douglass was absent on speaking tours. Nell remained a Garrisonian loyalist and severed his ties with the North Star when Douglass shifted his allegiances to the political abolitionist faction led by Gerrit Smith. At meetings of the Colored National Convention and its Council in the 1850s, Nell, an opponent of racially exclusive organizations, attacked Douglass’s plans for a black manual-labor college on the grounds that it would hinder, not help, the movement for racial equality. In addition to his abolitionist activities, Nell wrote important pioneer histories of American blacks. In 1858, Nell staged the first Crispus Attucks celebration. During Lincoln’s administration, Nell was appointed to be a clerk in the Boston post office. NS, 16 February 1849; , 12, 19 August, 9 December 1853, 28 February, 31 March 1854, 12 January 1856; San Francisco , 27 June 1874; Pease and Pease, , 86, 245, 254; Robert P. Smith, “William Cooper Nell: Crusading Black Abolitionist," , 55:182-99 (July 1970); , 14:306; , 4:489; , 13:413. head and tail
Booker and Wall— Halland5William H. Day and William C. Nell rallied most of their support on the National Council from Ohio African Americans. John Booker of Columbus had been active in state organizations of free blacks in Ohio since the late 1840s. O. S. B. Wall of Oberlin attended the Ohio black state convention in 1858. Justin Holland (1819-87), a black Cleveland musician, had written to the 1850 convention advocating efforts to enfranchise African American males. , 8 December 1848; , 28 July 1854; Foner and Walker, , 1:219, 242, 247, 250, 254, 258, 274-75, 318-19, 332-33, 337; Barbara Clemenson, “Justin Holland: Black Guitarist in the Western Reserve,” (Cleveland, 1989), 7. all.
Are now driven to the wall.

The paper has been Sent to the Rev. E. P. Rogers6Probably the Reverend Elymas Payson Rogers (1815-61). The son of a Connecticut free black farm family, Rogers was educated in Hartford. He taught in Peterboro and Rochester, New York, and then attended the Oneida Institute. In 1841, Rogers settled in Newark, New Jersey, where he again taught, and four years later he became a Presbyterian minister, presiding over the Plane Street Church for fourteen years. A supporter of Henry H. Garnet’s African Civilization Society, Rogers sailed to Africa as a missionary but died after less than two months there. , 531.—as you have directed
me—and that dollar came Safely to hand for which, the thanks of your


ALS: Amos Beman Manuscripts, CtNHAAHS.



Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895


September 6, 1854


Yale University Press 2018



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