“ARAB” tells readers of the Washington Bee [October 19, 1889] “Give the old man credit” and lists “material aid” Frederick Douglass has tendered to “young Negroes”

FREDERICK DOUGLASS WHAT IS SAID HE HAS DONE FOR THE NEGRO NORTH – GIVE THE OLD MAN CREDIT To the “Colored Veteran:” William Belkizer, of New York City, Preston Jackson, of Oxford, Ohio, Jermiah Perkins, of Rochester, N.Y., young colored men were taken by Mr. Frederick Douglass into his family the same as his own sons – fed, clothed, and taught the printers trade – all at Mr. Douglass’ expense and before the war. Nathaniel Moore, another young Negro was brought up and schooled by Mr. Douglass, Miss Mary Smith of Troy, N.Y., now married and residing in California, was also reared and educated in Mr. Douglass’ family along with his own children. Since the war, William E. Winston, a young Negro refugee from Alabama, was taken by Mr. Douglass at the age of fourteen, kept in school for five years in Rochester, N.Y., put to printers trade, and at the time of his death was receiving $90.00 per month at the Government Printing Office. Charles Mitchell of Maryland, up to a few years ago, made his home with Mr. Douglass and was kept in school for several years. Only last week paid Mr. Douglass a visit, and he is doing well. A score of other young colored men, if they cared to own the truth, can testify to the material aid given them by Mr. Douglass time after time, while trying to learn a trade or get an education. No enterprise of any importance, gotten up by colored people of his country, either before or since the war, but what has had his material support – not one. These facts are pretty well known to colored people worth considering, with perhaps a few exceptions, but as a correspondent of “The Washington Bee” asks “how many colored men and women and has he ever helped to get an education or [learn] a trade? and what public enterprise has he ever encouraged with his vas means?” I thought to recall the foregoing instances coming under my personal observation. I don’t know that Mr. Douglass is under any more obligation to educate other people’s children than any other man. I don’t know of a single obligation that he is under to his race (so called.) I don’t know that he ever held a position of any profit by their votes of encouragement. If ever a man in this world can lay claim to being self-made, that man is Mr. Douglass. He has never claimed leadership. He has never been an office seeker for himself, though he has a right to accept office, or say what he liked when asked. The young Negroes of today, who are spending their time and talent in trying to bring him into disrepute with his people, are the very ones who should be the most thankful for his past services, for had it not been for his early efforts, and those associated with him they would to-day be on the plantation of their parents former masters. I trust I may be pardoned for taking up so much of your limited space in my reply to the gentlemen from Albany, whose non de plume is “Saracen.” ARAB.

[Is ARAB Helen Pitts, Rosetta Douglass Sprague…?]

SOURCE:

Washington Bee, 19 October, 1889, 1.

* This was printed in numerous papers throughout the country.*

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