H[enry]O. W[agoner] to Frederick Douglass, February 18, 1855

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H[enry]O. W[agoner] to Frederick Douglass. PLIr: Frederick DouglassP, 2 March 1855. Defends himself against James D. Bonner's claim that black correspondents from Illinois were not speaking out against the political policies of the state legislature.

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[info running vertically on the left-hand side of the page identifies this as coming from the March 2, 1855 issue of F.D.P]

[col 1:] pulse, hinted the matter to certain politicians, and a story gained publicity, that in the spring a company of Virginians would move into Minnesota and establish themselves on the west side of the Mississippi River, bringing with them their slaves, and other cattle. It was a sort of bug-bear story, to fighten the timid and little children.

I really think, from observation, that by this time they know the minds of the people on the subject; but for one, they have my hearty encouragement. The distance of travel to Canada would be somewhat lessened, as he would be helped this far by his master. Let them bring on ther passengers for the Underground Railroad. It frightened some, I suppose; and some of the knowing ones that pretended were not, in fact, really frightened. For instance, certain Editors who would advocate the cause of slavery, were it only profitable. It is a very strange fact, (and to too great extent in Minnesota,) that money will sometimes change men's minds. It is not really principles they advocate, but any measure for money. To give you an idea of how such things are managed out West—of the influence and power of the immortal dollar—I will give you, in a few days, an account of the great Minnesota and North-Western Railroad farce, composed and written by

[col. 2:] him for the little, the very little "services" which it has been in his power to render to the cause. Nor does "H. O. W." like to be censured, eitehr publicly, or privately, when he feels conscious of having done his duty.

"H. O. W." can, with equal, if not greater propriety ask, what has become of "J. D. B.?" Has he ceased to be "interested in so good a cause?"

Now, I am willing to give all due credit to "J. D. B." I am not ashamed, publicly and frankly to acknowledge, that in my humble judgment, "J. D. B." is the ablest colored correspondent in the State of Illinois. I have often said this privately, and I now say it publicly. And this is what I mean by saying there is a greater reason in asking what has become of "J. D. B."

He concludes by ironically saying that he "wishes to say a few words to these luminaries, who have so often adorned your columns, and interested your readers."

The great point, and "juncture of affairs," to which he wishes especially to draw attention, is the present Session of our State Legislature. Now in reference to the doings of this Legislature, let facts show who has been "silent" in Illinois. "H. O. W.," or "J. D. B." The following facts will explain,* and show to the public how has been "silent."

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[col 1:] Robert Schuyler and G. W. Billings, in which general cash figures largely. Respectfully yours, MINNESOTA

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For Frederick Douglass' Paper. WILLIAM JAMES WATKINS.

Who is he? What is he? He is Wm. J. Watkins—born in Baltimore, Md., of free parents—hence, never a slave, and probably never will be. He is of medium size; his organization good, and well developed. He is twenty-nine years old —one fourth African and three-fourths Anglo Saxon blood.— That's who he is. What is he? He is a man—and no ordinary man. Of this, in his own person, he exhibits irrefragable proofs. Just here I would state, for his convenience, and for the satisfaction of those whom it may concern, that he is a good man—hence entitled to the confidence, respect and fellowship of all Christians where his lot may be cast.

Wm. J. Watkins is now an Associate Editor with the far-famed, world-renowned Frederick Douglass, of Rochester, N.Y., in publishing the Frederick Douglass' Paper by the way, the only anti-slavery paper now published in the United States by a colored person. Watkins is a ready writer, a cogent and logical reasoner, refined in language, grand in style, and is admirably calculated to enlighten, interest and carry his auditory

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show to the public who has been "silent," and also who has ventured to hold up to public scorn the abuses of a certain dignitary in the late Session of our Legislature[.]

H.O.W.

*See article in another column.

[new article]: For Frederick Douglass' Paper. Auburn, Feb 20th, 1855.

FRIEND DOUGLASS: —There were certain principles taught me in early life, not the least important was the one that assumed the position, that truth was truth; that it did not depend upon the circumstance whether you or I believed thus and so. The principles of sound philosophy were based on a foundation that neither time nor sophistry could change. Such was our confidence in this presumption, that we were often led to doubt the facts as stated of miracles having been performed—not having been an eye witness ourselves, and not having to record in our experience any circumstance to which we could apply that cognomen—yet never distrusting the power of Omnipotence, we are willing to accept the record of the past without questioning its authority, as the result would be a belief or disbelief, with no evidence at hand but the record itself, its weight being in the ratio of the confidence we might have in its truthfulness. Philosophy teaches us to calculate results from causes. If a theory laid down as such overlooks the operating power, and draws con-

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on any point be listeth. That's what he is. I had the pleasure, on the 15th inst., of listening to two lectures given by him in my place, (Castile, Wyoming Co., N.Y.,) to a large, attentive and admiring audience. The impression made was good, and has given a fresh impetus to the cause of Anti Slavery in this place. I bespeak for Mr. Watkins a warm reception wherever he may lecture.— May God warm his heart, and nerve his hand to perform faithfully the good work in which be in engaged!

Yours, in hope of seeing speedily suffering humanity redeemed, SAMUEL SALSBURY CASTILE, N.Y., Feb. 16, 1855.

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For Frederick Douglass' Paper. CHICAGO, Feb. 18th, 1855.

FRIEND DOUGLASS: MY DEAR SIR:—I am averse to public personal controversies, and therefore, would gladly be relieved from entering into, in any degree, that which is so uncongenial to my feelings. But, justice to myself, and even to the cause, demands that I should speak; for, after all, some degree of justice is due to one's self as well as to others. And being placed in a false position before the public, (I trust not designedly,) by the correspondent from Chicago, found in your paper of the 9th inst., and which signs himself "J. D. B.," it becomes necessary that I should

[col 2:] clusions independent thereof, such a theory, to say the least, has need of being revised. I find the Daily Standard of Jan. 30th, 1855, printed at Syracuse, a letter on Colonization, signed by Henry Baldwin, in which he seems to feel an assurance that a plan he there suggests would be to "dispose at once and forever of this most troublesome question, (slavery,) wipe away the national stain," &c. It is not necessary to follow him through all his sophistry; we will only quote one paragraph. After devoting the avails of public lands to the purchase of slaves to send to Liberia, (with their consent,) he says, "That three commissioners be appointed in each of the slave-breeding States, whose duty it shall be to appraise the value of such slaves as their owners may which to manumit." Now, as the motive power that holds these persons in bondage is self-interest, what would be the quality of those they would wish to manumit? Would it be the young, the strong, the healthy, the worthy? You may safely answer, no! It would be the old and infirm, the worthless—and not even these, if they were to have their choice to stay where they were brought up, or leave for a foreign land. He says these are outlines of his plan, the details will be supplied as the work progresses. I do entreat Mr. Baldwin to examine the motive power more closely, and be will find that though it may serve as a theory to tickle the fancy of the

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[col 1:] publicly set myselft right in the matter in which he arraigns me. But, before I proceed with the case in hand, permit me, incidentally to remark, that in my humble opinion, the present is not the time for colored men to waste their precious moments in frivolous controversies with each other, notwithstanding it is right and proper that they should always be found ready and willing to expose errors and derelictions of duty, whenever, and wherever discovered,—still, I repeat, we have no time to lose in frivolous controversies. We have more important, aye, nobler work to perform; and to do it wisely and well, we must become united. The present state of our cause, in this country, calls loudly for a union of sentiment and concert of action on our part.

But to return from this digression. "J. D. B." asks you "what has become of your correspondents from Illinois?" "Where?" says he, "is H. O. W., J. J. and B. P."

I answer for "H. O. W." The other gentlemen are, I presume, fully able for themselves. My answer is, that "H. O. W." is here in Chicago, ready and willing, whenever a proper occasion may require of him, to expose abuses, or to defend, in his feeble manner, the cause of an oppressed people in the State.

Again, he asks you: "Have these worthy correspondents of yours ceased to be interested in holding up to public scorn the abuses

[col 2:] friends of Colonization, its operation would be to rid the South of a burthen, and secure to them unlimited security in the enjoyment of that despotic power that grinds humanity to the dust. It does seem to me something that I cannot comprehend to be consistent, that the Orthodox world are so solicitous to establish implicit belief in the written word, so severely censorous upon those who occupy a greater liberality in their sentiments; and yet the most strenuous advocates seem to forget or entirely overlook the soundest principle of justice therein laid down, viz: "Do unto others as thou would they should do unto thee." Acting on this would save much time, much equivocation, and save Mr. Baldwin the labor of extending his works any further.

A FRIEND TO HUMANITY

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REJECTION OF E.G. LORING.—When we yesterday morning stated anew some of the reasons why Mr. E. G. Loring should not be honored with the appointment of Professor in the Law School attached to Harvard College, we had not a suspicion that the question had already been settled, and that we were performing a work of supererogation. So it proves, however. On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Loring was rejected by the Board of Overseers—not, we trust, like the notorious Bowen to creep in again, at some future aperture, but definitely and decidedly. This is a wholesome and encouraging event. It expresses, in a way not to be misunderstood, the opinion of Massachusetss on the business of negro-catching, and declares that hence-

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[col 1:] of unassuming citizens, high dignitaries, or politicians of the land?" "Or," says he, "have they become despondent, and from this cause relaxed their energies in so good a cause?" "In either case," says he, "it is much to be regretted; for," said he, "heretofore they have done good service, and their silence, at the present juncture, is deeply felt."

To the above, I boldly, though respectfully assert that "H. O. W." has not ceased to be "interested" in the cause of our outraged rights. I trust he continues to be as deeply interested in the cause, as does "J. D. B." Nor has "H. O. W." become "despondent," nor yet has he "relaxed his energies in so good a cause." And if "H. O. W." has been one among "those who have done good service heretofore," by the help of God, he is ready and willing to do it again, to the best of his poor abilities. "H. O. W." puts in no claim, further than to ask that justice be done

[col 2:] forth no individual engaging in the nefarious work, no matter under what pretenses or amid what circumstances, shall receive any public trust, on which her people can put a vein. We rejoice at such a declaration of public sentiment. It does not come a day too soon, and we trust it will have its due influence in other States. The slave-catcher and the Slave Commissioner must be made to feel that they lie under the ban of general loathing, something like that which, in the middle ages, rested on the professional hangman and torturer. It is urged, as an apology, that the law requires such creatures, but it cannot require anybody to respect them.— Ministers, not of justice, but of inhumanity —tools of the basest cupidity, that which seeks to steal the liberty and labor of men— they voluntarily perform a function the most revolting that can be conceived.— They should be regarded as social outcasts —persons inflicted with a moral contagion— degraded beyond fitness for the association of decent people. We congratulate the citizens of Massachusetts that something of this sentiment had found manifestation in the rejection of Loring[.]—N.Y. Tribune

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