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Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) to unknown

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC08992 Author/Creator: Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 November 1887 Pagination: 3 p. ; 18 x 11.5 cm.

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Summary of Content: Discusses equality of treatment for blacks in the South. Pleased that black lawyers are now allowed to practice, and says it "implies a wonderful revolution in the public sentiment of the Southern States." However, worries because some teachers of black students are paid less and seem disinterested. In some states laws state education must be equal, but the written law is not his only concern. States "Our wrongs are not so much now written in laws which all may see - but the hidden practices of a people who have not yet, abandoned the idea of Mastery and dominion over their fellow man." Letter is written in answer to an enquiry about the equality of the races in the South. Written at Cedar Hill, Douglass' residence.

Full Transcript: My dear sir: Pardon delay - answer to your letter made careful enquiry necessary. From all I can learn colored Lawyers are admitted to practice in Southern Courts, and I ...am very glad to admit the fact - for it implies a wonderful revolution in the public sentiment of the Southern States. I have not yet learned what are the inequalities between the races as to school privileges at the south - In some of the states the time allotted to colored schools is less than that allowed to whites. And I have heard and believe that in none of the states are the teachers of colored Schools as well paid as the teachers of White Schools. My own observation has been that white teachers of Colored schools in the southern states, show but little interest in their pupils. This is not strange, since they [2] have been selected as teachers more because of their necessities, than from any interests they have shown in the progress and elevation of the colored race. [struck: bu] I say this not of all, but of those in Virginia for instance who have come under my observation.
In Kentucky I believe so far as the law is concerned equal advantages are extended to colored children for Education, and the Same may be true of other states. I think the Bureau of Education will give you all the information you may require on this branch [3] of the subject of yoru enquiries, our wrongs are not so much now in written laws which al may see - but the hidden practices of a people who have not yet abandoned the idea of Mastery and dominion over their fellow man.
With great Respect
Yours truly
Fredk Douglass
Cedar Hill Anacostia D.C.
Nov: 23. 1887
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People: Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895

Historical Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1877-1900

Subjects: Education ReformReconstructionAfrican American AuthorAfrican American HistoryLawEducationJim Crow

Sub Era: The Gilded Age

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