Frederick Douglass to Gerrit Smith, April 16, 1857
FREDERICK DOUGLASS TO GERRIT SMITH
Rochester[, N.Y.] 16 April 1857[.]
HON: GERRIT SMITH.
My DEAR SIR:
I have yet only seen the concluding part of your speech delivered on the occasion of the “Dred scott” meeting in Albany.1Gerrit Smith’s speech was delivered in Albany on 11 April 1857 to a large gathering of citizens opposed to the recent Dred Scott decision. Published in Frederick Douglass’ Paper, Smith’s speech addressed the constitutionality of slavery and criticized a proposed personal liberty bill in New York, which, according to Smith, recognized the lawfulness of slavery. Lib., 17 April 1857; FDP, 24 April 1857. You will do me a kindness by sending me a Corrected copy of it for publication. From what I have seen of it, and from what I have heard of it, I am led to think it one
of the most effective speeches you have yet given to the cause of human freedom. Your exposure of the recently proposed “act to secure freedom to all persons within this state.” is bold and startling. Compared with this magnificent thunder, my humble words are but as the rattling of a small carriage. Please Send me the speech, and accept my thanks in behalf my self & people for having made it. I am now suffering from my old complaint of the throat. The sudden changes, and dampness of the climate here, makes sad inroads upon my health. Rosetta, my daughter, who is now in the Office with me sends love to Ms Smith and family.
Yours most Truly and affectionately
ALS: Gerrit Smith Papers, NSyU.