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Albro S. Brown to Frederick Douglass, June 30, 1852


ALBRO S. BROWN1Albro S. Brown wrote a series of ten letters to Frederick Douglass’ Paper from October 1851 to March 1855. He also attended the National Liberty Party Convention in Buffalo on 17 and 18 September 1851. Most of Brown’s correspondence advocated antislavery politics, and, like Douglass, he supported the Free Democratic party ticket in 1852. FDP, 25 September, 23 October 1851, 12 February, 15 April, 10 September, 26 November, 3 December 1852, 9 February, 30 March 1855. TO FREDERICK DOUGLASS

Ellington, [N.Y.] 30 June 1852.

It is a matter of deep regret that amongst the numerous and intelligent classes of abolitionists in the Northern States, true anti-slavery papers, should be suffered to decline for the want of support. There are of the town in which I reside,2The town of Ellington lies in Chautauqua County in southwestern New York, east of Erie, Pennsylvania, and south of Buffalo. Thomas and Baldwin, Lippincott’s Gazetteer, 1:627. from thirty to forty abolitionists; but three of whom are subscribers to Frederick Douglass’ Paper. They generally like the paper; can endorse its sentiments, and acquiesce in its aims and objects; but because the New York Tribune, the Albany Evening Journal,3The Albany Evening Journal was founded in 1830 by Thurlow Weed, who remained its editor and guiding force until his retirement in 1861. Originally using its pages to support the Anti-Mason party, Weed later shifted its editorial support to the Whig party and, specifically, to William Seward. The editorials in its pages opposed the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and the newspaper became known for its antislavery position. Hudson, Journalism in the United States, 397-400, 577. and other papers of a like stamp, can be obtained for a less sum per year, by clubs, some of them think it a reasonable excuse for not subscribing for papers which are more true, and more efficient in the anti-slavery cause than either of those which I have mentioned.

In this respect, Whigs and Democrats are more consistent, for they almost invariably subscribe for papers which are true exponents of their own


particular views and principles. Hence their organs are well sustained because of a large list of paying subscribers, and can be afforded for a smaller sum per year than those having but a small list of subscribers. I see no reason why true anti-slavery papers may not be equally well sustained if those, whose views they represent, would do what they ought to.—It seems to me that every friend to the slave, and every lover of humanity, should support in preference to all others, such publications as have for their object the establishment of Righteous Civil Government.

When asked to subscribe for such a journal, they should not stop to inquire as to whether it will pay, or whether they will receive an equivalent in dollars and cents.—But it may be proper to inquire, as to whether the paper is based on the broad principles of philanthropy and has for its object the elevation of the human race; such an one I regard Frederick Douglass’ Paper; and think for the following reasons that every true abolitionist should become a permanent paying subscribe[r].

1. It should be sustained because it is a faithful, and uncompromising exponent of anti-slavery principles; and seeks to overthrow American slavery with all its enormities, together with class legislation, land monopoly and despotism.

2. It should be patronized particularly by the colored people of the free States because it is owned, edited and conducted by one of their own number, whose editorials, writings, and speeches, will compare favorably with those of the most renowned editors and speakers of our land; and thereby rebutting the unjust and hypocritical saying, that the colored man can never rise to any position in society higher than that of a boot-black or chimney-sweep.

3. And lastly, it should be sustained because its object is to have Civil Government founded and administered on the principles of righteousness. Its motto is, all rights for all; and if the principles which it disseminates, in accord[a]nce with said motto, could be carried out, the time would soon come when the cry of the down-trodden and oppressed of our land would no longer be heard. The three millions of bondsmen would be freed from the galling chains of slavery, and all classes of mankind, irrespective of color or condition, would be protected in their rights to life, liberty, and the p[u]rsuit of happiness.

Yours for humanity.

PLSr: FDP, 16 July 1852.



Brown, Albro S.




Yale University Press 2009


Frederick Douglass' Paper



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Frederick Douglass' Paper