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Frederick Douglass Martin R. Delany, January 19, 1848



Rochester, [N.Y.] 19 Jan[uary] 1848.


Yours of 10 Jan.1Delany’s 10 January 1848 letter to Douglass has not been located. enclosing 20 Dollars came safely to hand. It afforded both myself and Mr. Nell2William C. Nell. great pleasure to hear from you, and we mutually regret to learn the illniss of of your Dear Child,3Apparently one of Delany’s children was quite ill. In a letter dated 28 January 1848, Delany apologized for his tardiness in corresponding with Douglass and blamed it on “indisposition in my family.” The letter noted, “I am little prepared for writing, especially when fatigued, at the bedside of a tender and interesting child.” NS, 11 February 1848. and hope that ere this its healt has been restored. How strangely your old friends are behaving toward you. What can it mean? We shall publish in this weeks paper your


Validictory to the readers of the Mystery.4Delany’s final editorial as editor of the Mystery appeared in Douglass’s newspaper. NS, 21 January 1848. I have been very busy this week in lecturing and trying to obtain subscribers but have not done much. The work is uphill just now—but I hope there is a good time coming.5Composers such as Henry Russell and Stephen C. Foster adapted a poem by Charles Mackay titled “The Good Time Coming” to song in various arrangements. Popular in antislavery circles, the song was a standard in performances by the Hutchinson family. Charles Mackay, The Poetical Works of Charles Mackay (London, 1876), 209–10; William W. Austin, “Susanna,” “Jeanie, ” and “The Old Folks at Home”: The Songs of Stephen C. Foster from His Time to Ours (New York, 1975), 18–19, 34–35. I am now boarding with Mr. Joiner,6Charles Joiner was a black clothes cleaner who lived at 48 Atwater Street in Rochester, New York. Daily American Directory for the City of Rochester [for 1847–48] (Rochester, 1847), 229; Daily American Directory for the City of Rochester [for 1849–50] (Rochester, 1849), 255. whose family is well and disire love to you. Mr. Nell will finish this letter. I shall leave here thursday for Pen Yan,7Douglass traveled to Pen Yan, New York, where he spoke on 22 and 23 January 1848. NS, 21 January 1848; Yates County Whig, 1 February 1848. where, I hope to get some subscribers. Every thing will depend upon our getting subscribers. I am out on the Mexican war this week.8In a 21 January 1848 editorial, Douglass attacked U.S. involvement in the Mexican-American War. He remarked, “Mexico seems a doomed victim to Anglo Saxon cupidity and love of domination,” characterized the war as a “slaveholding crusade,” and condemned politicians of both parties for being afraid to voice opposition to the war. NS, 21 January 1848. My best love to your family.

Yours always.


ALS: General Correspondence File, reel 1, frame 648, FD Papers, DLC.


Douglass, Frederick (1818–1895)




Yale University Press 2009


Library of Congress, Frederick Douglass Papers



Publication Status



Library of Congress, Frederick Douglass Papers