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A. J. N. to Frederick Douglass, January 30, 1852


Peterboro, Jan. 30th, 1852.

Mr. Douglass:--Dear Sir:--Within a few months past, two noted "foreigners" have visited the United States. Both are notorious "agitators," both have for their object the liberation of the oppressed, and both claim our sympathies for the objects of their labors, on the ground that they are oppressed contrary to the laws of God.
But with what different receptions and treatment they meet. Thompson was met, upon his first attempt to address the people of Boston, by a mob; the press dealt out its calumniations with an unsparing hand. Kossuth was met at New York by the people en masse, and hailed with all the enthusiasm they were capable of exhibiting. The press lauded him to the skies, and indiscriminately praised all his acts; and the noble Magyar is met daily, almost hourly, by deputations, with addresses, containing high-flown expressions of their love of liberty, and sympathy for Hungary.
Now what is the cause of all this difference in reception and treatment of these two men? It is this: George Thompson was not sectional in his reproof of wrong; Kossuth is. Thompson told us plainly of our own sins; Kossuth tells us of Russia's sins.--Thompson reproved the despots of the United States; Kossuth reproves the despots of Europe. Thompson told of black men's wrongs; Kossuth tells of white men's wrongs. Thompson asked intervention against wrongs at our own doors; Kossuth asks intervention against wrongs on the other side of the globe.


Ah, how much easier for one's conscience to be told of other men's sins, than it is to have our own held up before us.
With such facts in view, shall we be long in deciding what is the key to the conduct of the American people? Does it require any great ability to trace cause from effect, to see where the "shoe pinches." Oh, shame on such men who are unwilling to be told of America's sins, yet greedily devour every word of the man who rehearses those of Europe. Shame on America, if a lone exile must crouch down at the feet of the dragon of America, the "peculiar institutions," to secure her co-operation in the work of restoring to him his fatherland. Let her arise and put away the great evil, and then, and not till then, with a show of consistency, she may help the weak and oppressed of other lands. Then may she aspire to the elevated and noble station of the guardian of liberty. Then will she recognize in such men as Thompson and Kossuth, the advocates of the great eternal principles of liberty.
A. J. N.


N., A. J.




A. J. N. to Frederick Douglass. PLIr: Frederick Douglass' Papers, 12 February 1852. Reprinted in Lib., 27 February 1852. Compares celebratory reception of Louis Kossuth with mobbing of George Thompson.


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


Frederick Douglass' Paper



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Frederick Douglass' Paper