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Carolina to Frederick Douglass, April 12, 1852


San Juan de Nicaragua, April 12, 1852.
Mr. Editor: Sir:—An article from this place, signed H. L. W., in the N. Y. Herald of March 20th, has created quite a sensation among the natives and colored people of this place.
That writer in assuming to speak the sentiments of the "citizens" of San Juan, unfortunately only speaks those of himself and some half dozen others from New Orleans, whom I understand are large slave owners in Louisiana.
This H. L. S. goes on to say, that "the sight of the flag of Mosquitia flying from the staff in the Plaza de Victoria of this town having become very obnoxious to the citizens, they, (the citizens,) acting with the advice of Commander Green of the United States sloop of war Decatur, now lying here, held a Convention for the purpose of discussing the propriety of substituting a flag more acceptable, &c."
Strange infatuation indeed. The citizens of San Juan applying to the American Commander for advice, when they already have in port, by their own solicitation, a British man of war for the express purpose of protecting them against such insults.
This certainly is news to at least nine-tenths of the inhabitants of San Juan.
There was a meeting held at the time stated by H. L. S., composed of thirteen persons, mostly New Orleans traders at this place, one of whom I understand stated in his remarks, "that as the approaching election is near at hand, it would be advisable to take steps to prevent the negroes from voting."


Yes, Sir, these persons, who only came here to remain for a month or two, for the purpose of swelling their pockets out of the earning of the "citizens" of this place, cannot make themselves easy (being so accustomed to slavery) without secretly devising means to strip the "citizens" of the freedom they now enjoy.
Such was the excitement caused by the receipt of the Herald, containing the wonderful writings of H. L. S., that the citizens called a public meeting on the following evening, and appointed a Committee to call on these 'Dons' and 'Senors' to ascertain something about the displacing of their flag, and the doings of this celebrated Granada delegation, as spoken of by H. L. S.
That delegation, if appointed at all, has not unto this day dared to embark for their destination, and if they ever do, they never will be able to accomplish anything.
The election which is to come off on the 15th inst., has (in consequence of the formation of this American party,) elicited a great deal of interest among the natives and colored people of this place.
This H. L. S. is a candidate for the superior Judgeship of this city, under the new Constitution, on the "cotton" American ticket.
And after the election we all will see how the opinions of the "citizens" coincide with those of his, in regard to the displacing of the flag, &c.
According to the following notice, a public meeting was held at the Del Norte House, on Tuesday the 6th, at seven o'clock in the evening.


A meeting of the natives and colored citizens of San Juan de Nicaragua, will be held at the Del Norte Hotel, this evening at seven o'clock, for the purpose of discussing the propriety of taking steps to maintain inviolable our rights as free men.
By request of many Citizens.
April 6th, 1852.
The meeting being called to order by W. Edmon[s], on motion, Dr. David J. Peck, was called to the chair. Mr. C. Campbell, Vice President, D. S. Murray and J. R. Starkey, Secretaries. On motion, a Committee of five was appointed to draft Resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. Which Committee, after retiring a short time, reported the following:
Whereas, we have learned with deep regret that a portion of the inhabitants of this town are using their strong exertions to deprive us of our rights as citizens, to strip us of the right of having a voice in choosing our own rulers, to subject us if possible to a system of slavery, equaled only by that of the Southern States of the United States of North America, Therefore
Resolved, That in the coming election we will support no man for office known to be


in any manner allied with the party designated as the "cotton American party."
Resolved, That we nominate our own candidates, and support no others.
A nominating Committee was then appointed to make a selection and report at the next meeting, to be held on the 8th.
Remarks were made by Dr. Peck, Jno. Jones, C. Campbell, J. R. Starkey, and D. Murray.
On motion, the meeting adjourned to meet again on Thursday evening the 8th.
At the meeting on the 8th, the Committee reported persons as candidates for the native and colored party, which were unanimously adopted:
There is every reason to believe that the ticket will be elected by a large majority.
Thursday 15th, 5 o'clock, P.M.
P.S.—As I have not had an opportunity to send my letters to the States before this, I open this to announce the pleasing intelligence that the natives and colored people have carried the election by a large majority, nearly two to one.






Carolina to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick Douglass' Papers, 6 May 1852. Corrects previous letter on political attitudes in Nicaragua.


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