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Frederick Douglass Richard D. Webb, April 26, 1846



[Glasgow, Scot.] 26 April 1846.1Although Douglass clearly dated the letter as 26 April 1846, he seems to have written the letter on an earlier date. The letter bears a postmark of Glasgow, 25 April, and Douglass indicates within the letter that he will be traveling to Paisley that evening. Douglass spoke in Glasgow on 23 April and in Paisley on 25 April, so he likely wrote to Webb on 24 April. Renfrewshire (Scot.) Advertiser, 2 May 1846; Glasgow Saturday Post, 2 May 1846; Edinburgh Scottish Herald, 9 May 1846.


I have just received your kind note2Webb’s letter to Douglass has not been located. containing a detailed account of my indebtedness to you, and I hasten to transmit the sum necessary to its payment. My object in asking who you had left books with, was to enable me to collect payment for them, in such Places as it might be conveinent for me to do so. I did not expect you to tell me—nor did I want to know to whom you had sold books for which you had received the money. It seems you have on hand just 506 bound copies. These I hope you will keep unless you can get the cash for them. For I think from what Friend Thompson3George Thompson. told me, that I may easily dispose of them—when I get into England. The FIGHTING armour—is by no means the most favorable one for a Book Seller. I have had this armour on ever sence I I came into Scotland.

This has been a proud week for our cause In Glasgow. We have had one Antislavery meeting,4On 21 April 1846, the Glasgow Emancipation Society held an antislavery meeting as the culmination of a three-day campaign against the acceptance of slaveholders’ donations to the Free Church. Speakers included city councillor James Turner, Henry C. Wright, James N. Buffum, George Thompson, and Douglass. Glasgow Constitutional, 25 April 1846; Edinburgh Evening Post, 25 April 1846; Glasgow Saturday Post and Paisley and Renfrewshire Reformer, 25 April 1846; Lib., 15 May 1846; Temperley, British Antislavery, 210–13. one Antiwar, and two—Lectures By Mr. Thompson on India.5On 24 April 1846, Henry C. Wright, George Thompson, and Douglass attended a meeting in Glasgow, where Thompson spoke on Indian emancipation from British rule. Lib., 29 May 1846. We go to night to Paisley[.]6On 25 April 1846, Douglass delivered speeches at the Secession Church and the Relief Church in Paisley, Scotland. Renfrewshire (Scot.) Advertiser, 2 May 1846; Glasgow Saturday Post, 2 May 1846; Edinburgh Scottish Herald, 9 May 1846. [A] tremendious gathering is expected. Send back the money is still our watch word. I would write you a long letter but my sight fails me[.] I have had a difficulty with my right eye which has troubled me very much

A speedy return of health to Dear Ricky7“Ricky” was Richard Webb, Jr., the son of Richard and Hannah Waring Webb, who was eleven years old at this time. Richard Davis Webb Collection, Special Collections, University Library, KWiU.—in haste Yours truly


P[.]S. I find sence writing this that I can’t get a Draft before monday[.] I will try then.

I[n], haste yours


ALS: Anti-Slavery Collection, MB.



Douglass, Frederick (1818–1895)




Yale University Press 2009



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