Frederick Douglass signed handwritten 1848 letter to Edward Davis referencing American Antislavery Society COA PSA/DNA

Frederick Douglass (c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement. A firm believer in the equality of all people, Douglass said, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."

The letter reads as follows: (Certain words were illegible)

Edward M Davis Esq / 31 North Fifth Street / Philadelphia Penn.

                                                                                    Milford N.H. May 29 1848

My dear friend:

            Your favor directed to me at Boston, reached me two days since.  I ..it with the wish you express that we could have had a few minutes during which to have considered the subject of your letter face to face. Not however because I find any difficulty in reading your writing – or understanding your ideas, but because it is a more satisfactory way of settling any matter of the kind we have in hand. I thing I understand fully the desire ableness of concentrating our energies and uniting our forces – to make the American Antislavery Society important, active, and efficient – and will be most happy to render any aid within my power to make it such, yet such are my managements at least for the present year.  I see no way consistently to comply with your wishes and the wishes of those you represent. I am pledged before the public of this country  - and that of Great Britain to keep the North Star shining at least for one year.  At the end of that time if it do not give reasonable assurance of supporting itself I shall be at liberty to make such a disposition of it subscription list.

Suited to the advancement of the cause we mutually have at heart I will be happy to converse freely with Mr. Phillip of the >>….. at my first opportunity. F.. fear. I shall have difficulty in doing so during the New England Convention. As I shall have but one day at that meeting. I think the standard ..i… fair to become a highly interesting and serviceable journal under its present conductors. And will be fully able to make its way with out any aid from me. Or any other persons whose names do not appear in connection with it. I am free to say however that for several months past there has been a conservable amount of dissatisfaction with it. It is has been cold loose and flat. Lacking in character and spirit. In saying this I …ure no man but state a simple fact. Observed by many of its best and most devoted friends and patrons.

There is also another feeling abroad – in which too I participate. And that is that the standard swallows up too  much of the funds of the National Bazaar. To the neglect of the lecturing field. This feeling may be just or unjust it is however proper that you should know that it exists.

With sincere love your family and yourself.

I am truly yours

Frederick Douglass

Dimensions of the letter is about 7" by 8.5" folded. As shown in the photos, the bottom 2" is separated from the top. Also, there is some sort of paper strip adhered to the top of the letter. Neither affects the signature or content of the letter.


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