This volume of The Frederick Douglass Papers represents the first of a four-volume series of the selected correspondence of the great American abolitionist and reformer. Douglass’s correspondence was richly varied, from relatively obscure slaveholders and fugitive slaves to poets and politicians, including Horace Greeley, William H. Seward, Susan B. Anthony, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
The letters acquaint us with Douglass’s many roles—politician, abolitionist, diplomat, runaway slave, women’s rights advocate, and family man—and include many previously unpublished letters between Douglass and members of his family. Douglass stood at the epicenter of the political, social, intellectual, and cultural issues of antebellum America. This collection of Douglass’s early correspondence illuminates not only his growth as an activist and writer, but the larger world of the times and the abolition movement as well.
John R. McKivigan is Mary O’Brien Gibson Professor of History at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.
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