Archive for May 11th, 2012

Frederick Douglass tells T. Thomas Fortune Afro-Australian boxer Peter Jackson is “one of the best missionaries abroad”

Giving noted journalist T. Thomas Fortune a tour of his Cedar Hill library in 1892 Frederick Douglass’ wry sense of humor was on display.

“Don’t forget Peter’s picture,” exclaimed Mr. Douglass.

“Which Peter,” I asked.

“Why, Peter Jackson, of course,” said Mr. Douglass, admiringly gazing upon the massive proportions of the Afro-Australian pugilist. “I consider him one of the best missionaries abroad.” 

Known as the “Black Prince,” Jackson, the Australian Heavyweight champion, gained notoriety in the United States for portraying the character of Uncle Tom in theatrical productions of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and for World Heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan‘s refusal to fight him.

In May 1891 Jackson fought James J. Corbett to a draw after 61 rounds. Corbett would go on to defeat Sullivan in September 1892.

Jackson is recognized as one of the greatest boxers of the 19th century.

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