Frederick Douglass Gerrit Smith, March 12, 1852
FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO GERRIT SMITH
Rochester, [N.Y.] 12 March 1852.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Your favor of yesterday1Gerrit Smith’s letter to Douglass from approximately 11 March 1852 has not been located. reached me to day. I am taken by the announcement in it, like a ship at sea, by a head wind—all aback! Right bravely have we dashed through the waves of opposition until now;—but your giving up the idea of being present at our Festival has deranged our whole ship’s deck—and cast over us a cloud.2Smith attended the festival sponsored by the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. FDP, 25 March 1852.
The New York Tribune, National Era, Boston Commonwealth, American Baptist, the Rochester papers, and many others have pointed to this occasion,3On 18 March 1852, Frederick Douglass’ Paper reprinted the editorial by the Syracuse American Baptist, while the annual report of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society acknowledged the editorials in other newspapers. FDP, 1 April 1852. in a manner which makes it important. I have and so have the other members relied mainly upon your coming, for the success of the occasion,—and now although you have from the first told me that it was quite uncertain whether you should be with us,—and now further, given my organ of hope a pretty decided blow—yet I can not consent “to give it up so.”
You are doing great good where you are—thats certain, and I dare not say leave it—to come to Rochester—but this let me say—should you be leaving Albany4Smith was in Albany to provide legal counsel in the Jerry Rescue trial. on Wednesday—or even Thursday of next week, Do my dear Sir, keep you comfortably in the Rail Road carriage, on your way west,
till you hear the brief authoritative command—“Change cars for Buffalo”. Then get you out—and you have such a welcome as Kossuth5Louis Kossuth. never got.
Most truly yours
ALS: Gerrit Smith Papers, NSyU.