Tribune, Washington,. D.C., 2 March 1880. 2 pages, 8vo, closely written, integral blank. In fine condition." /> DOUGLASS, Frederick (1817-1895). Autograph letter signed ("Fredk. Douglass") to Charles T. Congdon of the New York <I>Tribune</I>, Washington,. D.C., 2 March 1880. <I>2 pages, 8vo, closely written, integral blank.</I> In fine condition. | Christie's
  • Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1922

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 122

    DOUGLASS, Frederick (1817-1895). Autograph letter signed ("Fredk. Douglass") to Charles T. Congdon of the New York Tribune, Washington,. D.C., 2 March 1880. 2 pages, 8vo, closely written, integral blank. In fine condition.

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    DOUGLASS, Frederick (1817-1895). Autograph letter signed ("Fredk. Douglass") to Charles T. Congdon of the New York Tribune, Washington,. D.C., 2 March 1880. 2 pages, 8vo, closely written, integral blank. In fine condition.

    DOUGLASS RECALLS CHARLES SUMNER, "THE SEED TIME OF A GREAT HARVEST" AND "MY EARLY EFFORTS IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM"

    Congdon (1821-1891) was a poet and essayist with the New York Tribune from 1857 until his retirement in 1880; he also contributed to Knickerbocker Magazine, the North American Review and other periodicals. Regarded as Horace Greeley's "right-hand man" at the Tribune, Congdon actively supported the abolitionist movement. At the date of this letter, Congdon had just published his Reminiscences containing portraits of contemporaries, some of whom Douglass recalls.

    "...Your reminiscences have brought to life a phase of the 'dead past' of which I never think without emotion. It was not merely the seed time of a great harvest, but the hard time when old and manly oak were to be hewed down as cumbered of the ground, their roots and branches removed and the land prepared for growths of more value. I shall never cease to be glad that I had a small share in this rough and plenty work, though I never expected to see such generous recognition as that shown in your graphic reminiscences."

    "I am touched by your reference to poor Henry Clapp. I can never think of that brilliant little man but with deep sadness. I knew him long and well in his best days and when his best qualities guided him as afterwards I knew him to deplore and pity him." Douglass adds, "you have, with a few light touches given a perfect portrait of Charles Sumner. Those who knew him best will best understand the truth of your picture of that splendid man. He was raw, but his vanity was that of a sweet minded child pleased with a pocket in his trousers or a pair of new boots....Mentally and morally he was a giant. But I merely meant to thank you for the appreciative mention you have made of my early efforts in the cause of freedom."


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