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A. R. Dempster to Frederick Douglass, December 18, 1852


Mr. Editor:--Justice to myself seems to require that I should notice the charge of falsehood made against me by Joseph Barker in a recent number of your paper.

Your paper from some cause, seldom comes to this office, and consequently I do not often see it. The last one received is the one containing Mr. Barker's article in reference to my report of his speech in Leesville. Not wishing to occupy unnecessary space in your columns, I will be as concise as possible. It appears very singular, and equally strange, that the champion of infidelity--the man who proclaims his peculiar mission to be the overthrow of the influence of the Bible-- that he should be ashamed of his own offspring; yet such is the case. I very much doubt whether Mr. Barker can find one (out of all) his friends who were present, and heard him deliver the speech reported by me through your paper, who will endorse his charge of falsehood against me, however much they be disposed to accommodate and sustain him. The truth is, the cool, haughty manner, in which he makes the charges, is somewhat astonishing, coming even from Joseph Barker. I did not expect it, accustomed as I have been to notice the unscrupulous course pursued by infidels generally, and by those of his class in particular. Any of the readers of your paper, who may feel sufficient interest in the subject under controversy, to refer to a report of the same speech by Rev. A. Crooks, published in the True Wesleyan shortly after my report of it came out in your paper, will find the same sentiments, and the same style running through both reports, so much so, that if Mr. Barker did not make the speech as reported, neither Mr. Crooks, Mr. Barker's friends, (for even they have read my report and found no fault with it.) nor myself understood him correctly. I leave the subject in the hands of the readers of your paper perfectly satisfied that they are competent to decide between us.


Leesville, O., Dec. 18, 1852.


Dempster, A. R.




A. R. Dempster to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick Douglass' Papers, 14 January 1853. Defends himself against criticism from Joseph Barker..


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Frederick Douglass' Paper



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Frederick Douglass' Paper