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Communipaw (James McCune Smith) to Frederick Douglass, November 26, 1852


Mr. Editor:—Are you an orator, or not? The papers say a good deal of people dying suddenly from heart disease. Webster's oratory lay in his liver; Clay's and Calhoun's in their lungs.

What is the matter; have you all gone on a spree upon the election to Congress of the MAN of Peterboro?

Well, we have some local cause of rejoicing too. New York, apart from the misinterpretations of the constitution, is a FREE STATE; and eight humn beings, by treading our soil have been transformed from slaves to freemen!

Our friend Horace Greeley, having rubbed Whiggery and Baltimore cobwebs from his eyes, can see this morning that the compact or constitution did not recognize nor regulate slavery at its formation? Don't let him in to the "Free Democracy" too soon; make him undergo a pilgrimage first.

The Five Points in our city are the scene of a pious fight between two branches of Methodists; they lay it on each other very much after the fashion of the place, if for "damn" you read "bless." The fun of the thing is that these religionists are a peg below the old bruisers, for they introduce caste or prejudice against color, which is a new thing in the "Points." Humanity, reduced here to its lowest forms, recognized human brotherhood on this spot. Religion—I mean the American religion–comes in and organizes Sunday and day schools for white reprobates, leading them in the path to heaven - while this same religion leaves the black reprobates to the fate which Thaddeus Phelps prescribed for the Whigs; for which, see McKenzie's pamphlet.

Now, is not this a mean, dirty, paltry pitiful, infamous, lying religion, which is actually below the grade of Five Points humanity?

Quite a number of our colored citizens voted the Scott ticket at the late election, including several members of the Committee of Thirteen. They have received, what the Whigs never gave before, a generous reward for their action: they have permanent appointments as target bearers to the City Guards, and were promoted to lead the horses of Webster's funeral car.

Many more of our colored citizens voted the Democratic ticket; and not a few for Hale and Julian. The weather is delightful about.



Smith, James McCune (1813–1865)




Communipaw (James McCune Smith) to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick Douglass' Paper, 26 November 1852. Comments on recent political events.


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