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Abner H. Francis to Frederick Douglass, September 11, 1848


BUFFALO, Sept. 11th, 1848
EDITORS OF THE NORTH STAR.ーDear friends, permit me through the columns of your valuble paper, to call the attention of the public to the steamboat Saratoga, on board of which colorphobia was so virulent, that delegates from the Cleveland Convention of colored freemen were refused a cabin passage.ーThe reason assigned by the Clerk, who I think they call Merrell, (at all events he may be easily known by his diminutive, sallow sycophant expression of countenance, and much sooner I should judge by his language,) was, that colored persons could not be permitted in the cabin among whites. Such a pitiable specimen of humanity, and the officers who support him in thus treating their superiors, are certainly beings that every man should despise and abhor. I also found on board a heterogeneous mass of abomination, in the form of a black servant named Bowman, who gave countenance to their conduct by a public expression of his feelings. He resides in Cleveland. I simply mention these facts that ladies and gentlemen of color, as well as white[s] who sympathise with the oppressed, may, when travelling on our Western waters, use their means among a more worthy set. The company were compelled to lay over 24 hours for the steamer Oregon, on which a number of the delegates took passage and received all that was asked by them. The boat is of the first class in style and speedーCapt. Chatman, the Clerk Mr. Waldron, the Steward, and the balance of the crew, so far as came under our notice, are just about, to say the least, what they ought to be. My friends jointly with myself, feel safe in recommending the steamboat Oregon, officers and crew
to the travelling public.
Yours for the right,


Francis, Abner Hunt (1813-1872)




Abner H. Francis to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: NS, 15 September 1848. Complains of discrimination against blacks on Great Lakes steamships.


This document was calendared in the published volume and has not been published in full before.


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