“I have shed no tears,” Theodore Tilton remembers his brother from another, Frederick Douglass

Theodore Tilton c1870.jpgParis, France, March 3, 1895

My Dear Mrs. Douglass:

I infer that by this time you will have gone back from Rochester to Washington.

As to Frederick, I have already said my say. I have said it in verse.

But what I have said – now that I have said it – seems to me to be written in so intimate, so personal and so affectionate a vein, that I question the good judgement of publishing my eulogistic stanzas at the present moment.

I will not trust them even to myself.  * * *

Meanwhile, my object in this note is to say that, ever since I had the news of his death, I have been filled with every friendly emotion except one, and that is, grief, for of this sombre sensation I have felt none at all; but, on the contrary, I have experienced a strange joy and pride that he has rounded out his many years amid such universal honor, and has gone down into his grave with such a magnificent exit from this calumnious world.

I have shed no tears – pardon me for saying so – and I have therefore a more than common privilege of speech.

Please remember me to the boys and tell them to be as proud of their father as if he had been Miles Standish or Israel Putnam, or James Otis.

With kindest regards,

Theodore Tilton

SOURCE:

In Memoriam: Frederick Douglass

 

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