Frederick Douglass: The Reasons for Our Troubles


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Ladies and Gentlemen:—

My purpose to-night is not to win applause. I have no high-sounding professions of patriotism to make. He is the best friend of this country, who, at this tremendous crisis, dares tell his countrymen the truth, however disagreeable that truth may be; and such a friend I will aim to be to-night. Many things have been said against the free colored people of the North, and a strong current is turned against them; but I believe that up to this time, no man, however malignant, has been able to cast the shadow of a doubt upon the loyalty and patriotism of the free colored people in this the hour of the nation’s trial and danger. Without exulting, but with thankfulness, I may say it, while treason and rebellion have counted upon aid and comfort all over the North, among those who have every reason to be true and faithful to the State, no rebel or traitor has dared look at the free colored men of the North, but as an enemy. There are English rebels,...

Source: Douglass’ Monthly (February 1862).

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Frederick Douglass (University of Texas Libraries)

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