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Frederick Douglass Amy Post, October 31, 1850



Lawrence, Mass. 31 Oct[ober] 1850.


I have received your kind letter which you addressed me at Boston.1Amy Post’s letter to Douglass has not been located. Many Thanks for it. I wish I could send you a worthy response to that letter—but I must plead the haste and commotion in which I write as an apology for not doing so. I would now wait for a more convenient season—if I thought such a one would come—but I dispair of that—and take this as my first oportunity. I saw George Thompson yesterday.2George Thompson arrived in Boston for an American tour on 19 October 1850. He had last met Douglass on 30 March 1847 at a dinner held in honor of Douglass’s departure from London at the end of his British tour. NS, 25, 31 October 1850; Report of Proceedings at the Soiree Given to Frederick Douglass, London Tavern, March 30, 1847 (London, 1847), 2, 5–11. I shook his hearty hand—looked into his noble face—and heard his affectionate and manly voice. He


is the same that he was years ago—and as I left him when I left England. He told me that William W. Brown was doing well—he had got out his panarama3In 1850 William Wells Brown toured England with a panorama, consisting of twenty-four panels painted with scenes of slavery in the South. To accompany the exhibition, he wrote a forty-eight-page pamphlet in which he described the scenes of the panorama and their origins. The scenes ranged from a whipping post in use, to clever methods used by slaves to escape to the North. C. Peter Ripley, ed., Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1993), 74–78.—and was proceeding to New Castle to exibit it. Mr. Thompson Thinks that W. will succeed well. This tidings I am sure you will be glad to hear. I saw yesterday our Mutual Friend Wm. C. Nell. He is well—and wide a wake about the fugitive Slave business in Boston. He is on the vigilance committee4The Boston Vigilance Committee was an integrated organization formed in 1846 to aid fugitive slaves in gaining or maintaining their freedom. William C. Nell was an active member of the group and had been a participant in its antecedent, the all-black Freedom Association. Nell served as the publisher for the North Star in its first year and during the late 1840s intermittently stepped in as acting editor during Douglass’s long speaking tours. He eventually returned to his native Massachusetts from Rochester. Horton and Horton, Black Bostonians, 55–58; Ripley, Black Abolitionist Papers, 3:307–08n; ACAB, 4:489; DAB, 13:413. and is one of the most vigilent members. The excitment in Boston about the contemplated recapture of W. & Ellen Craft is beyond description, and every moment is liable to bring with it blood shed and carnage. Dear Amy, Will you accept this short word—written in the greatest haste from your ever sincere Friend—my best regards to Dear Isaac.5Isaac Post.


ALS: Post Family Papers, NRU.


Douglass, Frederick




Yale University Press 2009



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