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Albro S. Brown to Frederick Douglass, November 22, 1852


Free Democratic Vote of Chautauque County.

Mr. Editor: Sir:—A good work for freedom has been accomplished in Chautauque county during the campaign. Although but a feeble effort was made by the Free Democracy: yet we gave HALE and JULIAN some 1200 votes, which, in comparison to the small number of abolition votes polled in said county, on previous elections, is very gratifying, and may be regarded as something of a triumph. If I mistake not, the anti-slavery vote in the county has usually been from two to three hundred; our present vote shows an increase of about 900, and yet a large number of the towns in said county are without any efficient organization for disseminating the principles of freedom.

If as much effort had been made by the Free Democracy as was made by the Whigs, the vote for freedom would have been nearly a third larger. In about one-fourth of the towns a proper effort was made, which has resulted in doubling the Free Soil vote in said towns. The anti-slavery vote in the town of Ellington has usually been from 25 to 30; but we gave Hale and Julian 86, which shows a gain since 1851, of about 60; so it would have been in many of the other towns if they had found efficient organizations for spreading light and intelligence upon the subject. The documents should be circulated, and speeches made in every school district, notwithstanding the campaign has just ended; let another be commenced at once, for there are yet thousands who know comparatively nothing about the principles of the Free Democracy, who, if they could be induced to compare the Pittsburgh platform with the recent Baltimore platforms, would embrace the one and despise the others.—


Hence there should be organizations formed in every town, whose business it should be to procure subscribers to Free Soil papers, circulate documents, get up meetings in every school district, to discuss the principles of the Free Democratic party, and do everything in their power to diffuse light and intelligence throughout our entire land, upon the principles of freedom. The dark and blighting system of slavery in our country needs only to be known to be despised and execrated.—So the principles and measures by which slavery is to be expelled from our land have only to be fairly known and understood, to be loved, cherished, and carried out. Hence the importance of keeping up organizations in every town; and they should not be formed simply for a day, or a year, but for a campaign lasting as long as the clanking of the chain, and sighing of the oppressed is heard in our land.

True, the principles of freedom are spreading, and there are many cheering signs of progress; yet we should remember that there are to day three millions of our fellow-countrymen in bondage, one hour of which, said Thomas Jefferson, is worse than ages of that under which our revolutionary fathers existed. We should not cease our efforts, or suffer our energies to flag for a moment, until every shackle is stricken from the limbs of our oppressed countrymen, and they protected in the enjoyment of their inalienable rights, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


The Free Democratic party is the only one that can be relied upon to check and stay the waves of that pestilential curse that is sweeping like a tornado over our land, destroying and contaminating everything that is fair and lovely in one half of the States in our Union. According to present indications, it is the only hope of the slave for freedom, and the only terror to slaveholders; from the fact that it is the only political party of any note, that is pledged against the extension of slavery, or that proposes to use all reasonable means for the ext[er]mination of American slavery.

The Whigs and Democrats met at their recent National Convention - passed resolutions expressive of their sentiments - made their nominations, and returned home, without giving to the world so much as an ECHO of their former declamations in behalf of freedom, and against oppression. With what propriety can either of those parties broach the subject of slavery in Congress, when they are pledged to resist and put down all agitation upon the subject? With what propriety can they move or petition for the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law, when they are pledged to a faithful execution of the same?

Indeed they have padlocked their own mouths, muzzled their printing press, and surrendered the right of petition at the suggestions of a few thousand slaveholders.—Thus they have locked up these inestimable treasures, and delivered to the slave power the keys thereof; so that if they ever wish to agitate and promote anti-slavery sentiments and principles through any of those mediums, they must ASK PERMISSION of those to whom they have basely surrendered their rights. Thus they are bound hand and foot in the meshes of slavery, and they must not even GROWL without the consent of those who sprang the net; for upon their silence depends the "nationality of their parties, and the integrity of the Union." The election of GERRIT SMITH to Congress is received in this section with almost unbounded applause: and [unclear] Whigs and Democrats who are opposed to [what] they term his "ultra views" rejoice at his election, because he is a brave, fearless advocate of whatever is just and right. The friends of freedom can well afford, under the lead of such men as Hale, Julian, Smith, Sumner, Mann, Giddings, "to fight on, and fight ever, until a triumphant victory shall reward their exertions."

Yours for equal rights,

Albro S. Brown

Ellington, Nov. 22, 1852.


Brown, Albro S.




Albro S. Brown to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick Douglass' Paper, 3 December 1852. Reports large vote for Free Democrats in Chautauqua County, New York.


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