Alexander Dorsey to Frederick Douglass, June 3, 1855
For Frederick Douglass' Paper.
Yankee Hill, California, June 3, 1855.
Frederick Douglas: Dear Sir:—Although a stranger to you personally, I have occasionally met with your newspaper, and think it is doing much good. I am myself one of the class prescribed on account of my color, and when a child lived in the city of Washington. I afterwards became a subject of the British Empire, and under that so-called oppressive power enjoyed a freedom which the boasted land of liberty denied me. Having been prospered in business as a trader among the islands of the Pacific, I finally came to California, and, having met with reverses of fortune, I at last wandered to the mines. Here, however, there is no real freedom for any but a white man. I have had a rich claim, but efforts have been made systematically to render my situation uncomfortable, so as to compel me to sell out for a trifle. Rather than live in constant trouble, and vexation, I have now sold out, and go again to the Islands. The enclosed amount of $50 is forwarded to you to be devoted to the cause of liberty. You will please to give one-half of it to the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, and apply the remainder in such manner as you may think will most subserve the good cause.
Having travelled much as a seafaring man, and seen the results of emigration to Africa, as compared with that to the Islands of the Pacific, let me suggest to you the propriety of urging all colored persons who are disposed to leave the United States, to make their homes on these Islands. They will there enjoy perfect liberty, and with one or two hundred dollars they can make themselves independent as either farmers or traders. I will write you more on this subject, after I reach the Islands.
Hoping that you will prosper in your efforts to redeem the slaves of your land, I am yours, very respectfully,
P.S.—I have several copies of your paper, and shall show them to the colored people on the Islands, and endeavor to obtain a list of subscribers.