February 5, 2008

Frederick Douglass (portrait: National Archives and Records Administration, newspaper: Newseum collection)

From the Newseum Collection: Frederick Douglass' Paper

Frederick Douglass' Paper, published in 1851 as a continuation of the famed publisher's North Star, was considered the country's most prestigious and authoritative anti-slavery newspaper. This May 25, 1860, four-page issue — recently acquired by the Newseum — contains an article on the Underground Railroad.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. — There is a man sitting in our office, while we write, who came in on the last train. He hails from Maryland, and is a preacher, and belongs to the Northern branch of the church. He had taken care of his master — a helpless invalid — night and day, for two years, and had been promised his freedom. But when the old man was dead, his heirs began to talk of selling his body servant, and our preacher took to his legs. We have advised him to keep clear of Buffalo, for some of the brethren of his own church, from his region, who are delegates to the General Conference might catch him. Indeed we felt a little cautious about letting it be known that he was in Rochester —not that we think that our city would disgrace itself by permitting a slave to be taken back in any ordinary case, but the Presbyterian General Assembly is in session here, and there is no telling what might happen in such a case. There are, no doubt, several reverend gentlemen in that Assembly who would not hesitate to practice upon the Southern interpretation of Paul's letter to Philemon.

Click here to see a clipping of the article.

To watch a video about Douglass' newspaper, click here.

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