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Calvin Fairbank to Frederick Douglass, February 4, 1852


Letter from Calvin Fairbank.
Dear Douglass:—
I am still in health, and though, as it appears, I am forgotten by the friends of the Anti-Slavery cause, in the North and East. I have the utmost confidence in the principles they teach. I do not intend to complain for being neglected; for I know the many outlets for their money, and the calls upon their time. I have felt much discouragement; three months in jail, and rolling the ball alone. but I am not without friends. I hope, after all, to be protected against the "Despotism of America," by the friends from Cincinnati, Ohio. Court will sit on the 23d inst. Mr. Lovell H. Rosseau, my attorney, informed me yesterday that Dr. Brisbane of Cincinnati would see that bail is secured before Court. In such case, I shall be compelled to go into trial in May or June, unless the money should be made up again. I do not think there is much danger in coming to trial, after an opportunity to arrange my testimony.
I hope for the best. "Duty must be done, though the heart break." I have no inclination to put off the cause of my imprisonment unto any one, nor to acknowledge myself deceived with regard to the ground upon which I fight.


I think I can speak the truth, and say, "Though all men forsake thee, yet will I not forsake thee." I know of but one rule - "but one lamp, by which my feet are guided"—that
is not "the lamp of experience," but truth as it appears irresistible in the volume of nature. I am not afraid to die. It does not take long. " Any one can die:"—that's nothing. Let me die, but I do not wish to be ruled over by a master. Let me be neglected, I shall not complain. If the friends do not feel like helping me, like caring for me, truth is no less precious though its standard-bearers should desert me. However, I am not worth troubling any one's mind with—I feel the last of all the disciples. I hope to see you again. Whether I do or not—for the present. "Good bye."
I remain yours for the slave,
Louisville Jail, Feb. 4th, 1852.


Fairbank, Calvin




Calvin Fairbank to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick Douglass' Papers, 26 February 1852. Reprinted in Lib., 5 March 1852. Describes situation from jail in Louisville, Kentucky.


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