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Again [Uriah Boston] to Frederick Douglass, June 25, 1853



NEW YORK, June 25, 1853.

MR. EDITOR:—I hear, not the clank of
hammers fast'ning rivets up, but the pen of
Ethiop, and Observer and Communipaw,
driving away like old Scratch, sharpening up
their thunder for the GREAT CONVENTION.—Well, plain folks must stand aside when great
men blare away.

In your notice of the TRAINER case, there
is a serious omission. There is no mention
of the doings of one man, who was the
point on which the whole drama turned. It
is in evidence that he scarcely slept, ate or
drank, during the whole thrity-four days the
case was pending. He not only watched the
case in Court, but, also, day and night watch-
ed the parties when outside of Court. He
knew thieving so well, that as soon as Rose
Porter's residence was ascertained, he kept
watch there lest the child should be secretly
sent off.

When faint-hearted Judge Duer, (how
changed from him who bearded Bishop Un-
derdenk in St Pauls!) on the 18th, washed
his hands, and blackened his soul by yield-
ing the child (virtually) to Rynder's and
prostitution—and when the triumphant Rose
Porter drive off which her prize, a dark hand
lay in the foot-board of the coach, and its
owner followed it through streets and side-
streets, doubtings and turnings. Luckily the
driver was a colored man, and our friend
caught his eye, and "telegraphed" him. So
the driver went slowly. But the impatient
Rose Porter sent out her paramour to take
the reins: he drive furiously. Our exhaust-
ed friend called another coach and followed,
but at length lost sight of them.

By evening, he found they had returned—that his signal to the driver had been been suc-
cessful—for the latter not only refused all
bribes to take them Jersey city, but would
not let them change coaches until he landed
them at 101 Mercer Street, whence they had
started for Court. Here our friend renewed
his watch, assisted occasionally by one or two,
who relieved him, that he might snatch an
hour's rest, or run down and consult with
Meyers, Culver and Tappan. And I have
good reason for saying that his counsel, ulti-
mately followed, was the way in which the
child was restored to liberty. Throughout
the case, in season and out of season, by day
and by night, he "remembered them that
are in bonds as bound with them."

Need I add that this friend once tested the
bitterness of slavery; that he was a gradu-
ate of the greatest American Institution?—He is also a graduate of a great German
University, which has not untaught the hu-
manity which slavery taught him. He is the
moderator of the third Presbytery of New
York city, Dr. JAMES W. C. PENNINGTON.


And now, a word to Hon. HORACE GREELEY;
he asserts with Mr. Carey, that in all suc-
cessful attempts to civilization, men must be-
gin on the higher lands, where timber is
sparse, and the land poor; that then, as the
community grows stronger, and have horses,
and machinery, and labor, they may safely
descend to the fat lands and river bottoms
where the timber is heavy; because they
will have acquired labor and capital to cul-
tivate fat lands. He brings this argument to
bear with great force against Lieut. Maury's
Memphis letter on the Amazon; calling a
windy phantasy to attempt to people the
Valley of the Amazon, as it contradicts the
order of civilized progression.

So far, good. And there is no force in
logic, if the same argument does not apply
to the colony of Liberia. The lands about
there are along the St. Paul's river, low fat
lands, just like the Valley of the Amazon.—Why, therefore, will Mr. Greeley insist, in
contradiction to his own political economy to
urge free blacks to go to Africa?

The only loophole of escape, is, that they
are constitutionally acclimated. But most
of the colonists have gone from the South-
ern States; say six-sevenths of them, that is,
six thousand. How far they were acclimat-
ed is proven in this way: Of the whole num-
ber sent to Liberia during the last thirty
years, there has been no increase; some 7000
sent, and the present population only 7000.
Now, had there remained in the slave States
in America, their increase would have been
25 per cent., as per census. Hence they
have lost 25 per cent. by emigration; pretty
hard acclimation that. In the meantime,
the colony has received, in cash from this
country, an average of $40,000; in all, $1,
200,000. Suppose the same sum had been
devoted to the improvement of some 7000
colored persons here in the land of their
brith, giving them instruction as mechanics,
artisans, men of business, and as profession-
al men, would they not have advanced far-
ther, and been better able to advance civili-
zation than the 7000 in Liberia? It is not
too late for us to begin the experiment: here
is work for our Convention. In the mean-
time, call upon Mr. Greeley to explain his
paradox, and tell how the Amazon can't be
improved by the great Anglo-Saxon race,
while the St. Paul's can be improved by the
historically, phrenologically, socially, and all
the other a lies inferior negroes.

Yours, (well, now, Ethiop, guess.)



Again (Uriah Boston)




Again [Uriah Boston] to Frederick Douglass. PLSr: Frederick DouglassP, 1 July 1853. Criticizes Horace Greeley’s idea that the Amazon could not be improved by whites, despite his assertion that Liberia could be improved by blacks.


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


Frederick Douglass' Paper



Publication Status



Frederick Douglass' Paper