Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) [Douglass quotation on each citizen's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness]

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also request a pdf of the image from us here.

Log in
or
subscribe to see this thumbnail image

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01116 Author/Creator: Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph quotation signed Date: 22 August 1879 Pagination: 1 p. ; 14.5 x 12.4 cm.

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN or SUBSCRIBE

Summary of Content: Reads "A government that cannot, or does not protect the humblest Citizen in his right to life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, should be reformed or overthrown without delay."

Background Information:

Full Transcript: Washington D.C.
August 22d. 1879
A government that cannot or does not protect the humblest Citizen in his right to life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, should be reformed ...or overthrown without delay.
Fredk. Douglass.
See More

People: Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Subjects: African American HistorySlaveryCivil RightsFreedom and IndependenceGovernment and Civics

Sub Era: The Gilded Age

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources