Frederick Douglass Gerrit Smith, June 4, 1851
FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO GERRIT SMITH
Rochester, [N.Y.] 4 June 1851.
Gerrit Smith Esq:
MY DEAR SIR:
Mr. Thomas1John Thomas. has almost signified his consent to the “union”. He is only inﬂexible on one point—to wit place of publication. I have sent him—a letter, giving reasons for establishing the New paper here, and expect soon to
have an answer favorably to that proposition. The “union” I now consider a fixed fact. I have no word from Brother Ward,2Samuel Ringgold Ward. since I wrote to you last. He will, I am sure, come out on the right side—and form a strong force in the new team.
The paper must appear as early as the first of July.3Douglass published the first issue of Frederick Douglass’ Paper on 26 June 1851. It should come forth with all the marks of strength—which can be given it. Your own highly valued name must not be wanting on this first Sheet. Thomas and Ward and I, myself, must come forth in our best cloths—and look as trim as any three officers in the french army. There must be nothing clumsy—hasty or awkward in our Debut.
The paper must be clean, white and strong. The Ink pure, black and glossy. The matter must be arranged with taste, skill and order, and our columns must be free from all typographical, grammatical orthographical—and rhetorical errors and blunders.
The matter shall be such as shall secure the approval of your descrimenating judgement.
To the necessary preliminary work. The new type should be bought at once. The new paper engaged at once. I ask for two hundred dollars from you to begin with4Douglass thanks Smith for a contribution of this amount in a letter dated 10 June 1852, a letter that appears in this volume.—the rest I will raise myself.
Most truly and gratefully yours,
ALS: Gerrit Smith Papers, NSyU.