MR. EDITOR: - It appears from an article in the Liberator of June 25, that the project to establish an anti-slavery journal for Frederick Douglass is to be abandoned. Now, Sir, I can see no good reason for such an unexpected movement. On the contrary, much might be offered to show the necessity of carrying out the proposed arrangement. It is the opinion of very many of the 'friends of Mr. Douglass' that he would be as successful an editor, as he has been a lecturer; and they are sustained in their opinion by the evidence of his writings, in many instances.
Those who fear that Mr. Douglass's editorial duties would withdraw him from the field as a lecturer, would do well to remember, that the editor of the Liberator devotes much time to lecturing in different parts of the country, and his editorials are none the less prompt, spirited, and plentiful. The same might be said of mostly all of the anti-slavery editors in the country. I do not see how a reasonable doubt can be entertained as to the support of Mr. Douglass's paper. For him to intimate the possibility of its failure for want of patronage, would be the signal for European friends to sent him such a subscription list as would nearly, of itself, support the paper.
Many, very many individuals in this country, who do not at present subscribe to an abolition paper, would be willing to satisfy themselves of the ability of a colored man to sustain the duties of an editor in the proper manner, by taking his paper. And many who have never had, and perhaps never will have, an opportunity to hear Douglass, would be gratified in possessing the products of his pen. And there are hundreds - I might say thousands - of colored friends, who would joyfully give him their support, in preference to any other individual, because he is better known to them than any other. Indeed, they expect the paper, and the suppression of it will be to them a severe disappointment; and it is already looked upon, by some, as an act proceeding from motives of selfishness, and one in which Mr. Douglass's inclinations have been less consulted than those of some of the leading abolitionists.
It is hoped that the friends of Mr. Douglass will not be hasty in deciding this matter, and that they will duly consider the step they are taking.
Yours for the right,
We are sorry to see that this talented man has been persuaded to relinquish his plan of publishing a paper. The argument used with him we presume to be, that it would injure the circulation of two anti-slavery papers conducted by white men. If so, this cannot be set down to prove the inferiority of the colored race. It is pretended that three papers, edited by colored men, have sprung up since Mr. Douglass conceived his plan. So much the more need that he should enter the field, for none of these papers is conducted with distinguished ability, and no paper that is not, can confer any benefit upon the colored race by the fact that it is edited by one of them. Douglass has the ability to put himself in the front rank of the editorial corps, and that, by all odds, is the best fulcrum for his powers. The loss of his eloquence before popular assemblies, is nothing to the gain of power he would experience by having at his own command, controlled by no party, sect, or society, a printing press. We are surprised at the narrowness of mind that counseled him otherwise. The only doubt about the qualification of Mr. Douglass for an editor would be on the score of his independence, but taking the whole course of his education into consideration, we think he has a good share of that quality, and an editorial position would increase it. - Chronotype
From the Boston Daily Whig.
MR. EDITOR: -
SIR, - In the 'Boston Whig' of Saturday 26th inst, I find the following: -
'The Liberator states that Frederick Douglass has given up the project of publishing a paper in this country, and explains as a reason of the subscriptions being obtained in England for that purpose, the impression prevailing that no paper of the kind was published by a colored man. The Liberator enumerates four papers of the kind. It might be properly asked, how came the English people to get such an impression?'
I now beg to give you the information indirectly asked for in the last sentence of the above paragraph. A few months previously to my leaving England for the United States, I was informed that it was the intention of my friends to make me a present of a sum of money, which would yield an annual income sufficient for my support. The object of my friends was to place me in circumstances which would enable me to devote myself unreservedly to the cause of my outraged and enslaved fellow-countrymen. Fully appreciating the motives of my benevolent friends, the proposition, nevertheless, struck me unfavorably, and I objected at once to the adoption of any measures for carrying out their kind intentions. My objections were as follows: - 1st. ' It would make me so independent of my friends in the United States, as to disturb the sympathy which has resulted from mutual hardships in a common cause, and which is so necessary to successful co-operation. 2nd. It would be prejudicial to my influence at home, to be entirely supported abroad. 3d. It would place me in a more superannuated position, than I, being a young man, felt willing to assume, And 4thly, because of the great and increasing demands upon British sympathy and philanthropy, resulting from the awful famine with which a sister island was then and is still smitten.
I however informed my friends, (and this will answer your query,) what was then the fact; that there was not a single printing press in the United States, under the control and management of colored persons; and that several attempts had been made to establish such a press, and that they had severely failed; and that I believed that the time had arrived when such a press could be established, and be a powerful means of changing the moral sentiment of the nation on the subject of slavery; and if tolerably well conducted, would be a telling fact against the American doctrine of natural inferiority, and the inveterate prejudice which so universally prevails in this country against the colored race. This being my opinion. I suggested that a printing press would be a useful and an acceptable testimonial, and one which would have this advantage over the former one; it would be a gift to my race, as well as a testimony of their confidence in me as their advocate. The idea pleased my friends, and the impression which it made upon their minds, they produced upon others. This sir, is an explanation of the whole case, as my friends abroad will bare me witness.
Since my return home, three 'Newspapers' under the management of colored persons have sprung into existence, and believing that these will be sufficient to accomplish the good which I sought, I have with some reluctance given up my intention of publishing a paper for the present.
I am, Sir, with sincere respect, faithfully yours,