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Back to Frederick Douglass Exhibit

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895).
Autograph letter signed, dated Rochester, New York, 17 August 1865, to Mary Todd Lincoln.
GLC 2472. The Gilder Lehrman Collection, on deposit at the Pierpont Morgan Library.


Rochester. N.Y. August 17. 1865. 

Mrs. Abraham Lincoln: 
Dear Madam: Allow me to thank
you as I certainly do thank you most sincerely for
your thoughtful kindness in making me the owner
of a cane which was formerly the property and the
favorite walking staff of your late laminted husband -
the honored and venerated President of the United States.
I assure you, that this inestimable memento of his
presidency will be retained in my possession while I live -
an object of sacred interest - a token not merely of
the kind consideration in which I have reason to know
that the President was pleased to hold me personally, but
as an indication of his humane interest [in the]
welfare of my whole race.
With every proper sentiment of Respect and Esteem,
I am, Dear Madam, your obedient,

Frederick Douglass 

Exhibition on view at the Pierpont Morgan Library from February 1 through May 15, 1999,
organized by Ms. Leslie Fields, Associate Curator for the Gilder Lehrman Collection.


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