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Boston's Crusade against Slavery

Photograph

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) Autograph letter, signed, to Charles Sumner, 24 April 1855.

Douglass spent seven years in the Boston area, where he wrote his bestselling 1845 slave narrative and became one of the nation's leading abolitionists. In this letter to Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, he criticized two aspects of the senator's "noble" speech on abolitionism: blacks, not Garrison, had founded the antislavery movement; and "American prejudice" prevented blacks from becoming social equals even in Massachusetts.

MS Am 1 (1902) – Gift of Edward L. Pierce, 1874.