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A Philo to Frederick Douglass, October 25, 1853


MR.EDITOR:—I laughed heartily in read-
ing the communication from your corres-
pondent, Sister Charlotte K—; the name
as much as the matter was the cause of the
amusement. Do I know her ladyship? I
should. She is posted, and must have re-
sided near the "drug-shop in the Fifth
Ward," spoken of by her; not only so, but
she has, in all probability, like Jafet, been
thro' the "rudiments." This impression gains
strength from the following fact: She was
an early advocate of Bloomerism; of this I
am certain, for there was no one present at
the debate alluded to by her, when she was
present, but those who were pantaloons;
hence she may have been through the "rud-
iments;" for "woman's curiosity" sometimes
leads them into strange society.

I should think from her speech that she
had her origin in the "Jarseys," near Com-

Communipaw, Ethiop, and Philo, have, in
our turns, been through the rudiments.—Oh! you should have seen Communipaw, as
he was coming through. How pale he look-
ed; if it were possible, even more so, than
he did a few days ago, when he grappled in
with a huge snapping turtle, while on a
speculating expedition to Fort Hamilton.

Philo still entertains a regard for Odd-Fel-
lowship, as an institution whose principles
and legitmate tendencies are to unite, im-
prove and benefit out people. It is true
that it has been much abused; that events
have been attributed to it; but are they a
necessary sequence? No. Those Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
Saturday and Sunday engagements were
only the pleasure, the voluntary acts of par-
ties, aside and independent of any obligation
to Odd-Fellowship. Those who were guilty
of the charge proferred by Sister Charlotte,
were soley responsible. Odd-Fellowship
should not be blamed.

The rule of the order was for each lodge
of the order to meet "once a fortnight." It
is true that Sister Charlotte's husband's
lodge broke through the rule, and met four
times a month, because they found it a pleas-
ant school for order and oratory, independ-
ent of the grand ends of the Society, viz: to
aid the brotherhood, to succor the sick and
dying, to see to the widows and orphans; but
the rule of the order was for each lodge to
meet twice a month, and to close at half-past
ten o'clock.

I must not be charged with a lack of char-
ity. If I intimate that Sister Charlotte must
have been a jealous dame, and a selfish one
at last, if she would not cheerfully consent
to her husband's absenting himself from
home two nights a month for charitable pur-
poses; and further, to his being subjected to
a semi-occasional call to administer at the
sick side of some one who might need the
sympathy or assistance of "a brother."

I think that there was some mistake about
Sister Charlotte's husband's Thursday night
engagements, for he was not a member of the
although he may be a member of the
newly organized National Council, which had
its origin in the late Rochester Convention.
I appreciate the remark of my Sister about

Did the reason of 710 execute the "en-
graving" upon Sister Charlotte's memory?—Can Deacon White, of Swamp Regions, tell?
Was it Bris (k) toe (s) that run off with the
dispensation? A PHILO.


N.B.— If you put this in your paper, I
will send further facts with perhaps a full
description of Communipaw returning from [missing text]







A Philo to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick DouglassP, 4 November 1853. Responds to Charlotte K—’s letter of 1 October; defends Odd Fellowship; criticizes Charlotte K—.


This document was calendared in the published volume and has not been published in full before.


Frederick Douglass' Paper



Publication Status



Frederick Douglass' Paper