Skip to main content

Frederick Douglass Gerrit Smith, August 23, 1854

1

FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO GERRIT SMITH

Rochester, [N.Y.] 23 August 1854.
HON. GERRIT SMITH:
My DEAR SIR:—
Now that you have laid down the burden of Congressional duties, and are among your native Peterborough hills,1Today the Gerrit Smith Estate is registered as a National Historic Landmark and 1s located at 4543 Peterboro Road in Peterboro, New York. Gerrit Smith inherited the estate and its thirty acres upon the death of his father, Peter Smith, a wealthy land speculator, in 1837. Begun in 1799, the main residence was updated in 1855, but burned down in 1936. While the Smith home had an impressive exterior, the interior was described as austere, since it contained no mirrors, heavy draperies, or expensive carpets and furniture. There were approximately thirty ancillary buildings, which either housed or employed men to maintain the estate. Frothingham, Gerrit Smith, 137-38. allow me to solicit (what, if given, I am sure, will be of service to the Anti Slavery cause) your views,
Ist. Of the present posture of the Anti-Slavery question generally.
2dly. What hope, if any, may be predicated of the present Congress.
3dly. The nature, character, and extent of influence exerted in Congress, by the Anti-Slavery members of the House.
4thly. Who are the most effective supporters of Slavery there, and the means of their efficiency.
5thly. Your impressions concerning the character, learning, ability, of members generally, and anything touching the House of Representatives, which may serve to give the public an insight into the proceedings of that body
A compliance with the above, will be gratefully appreciated, by
Your faithful friend,

FREDERICK DOUGLASS.

PLSr: FDP, 25 August 1854.

2

Creator

Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895

Date

1854-08-23

Publisher

Yale University Press 2018

Type

Letters

Publication Status

Published