‘Frederick Douglass’s Paper’

July 4, 1851

In this announcement of the new paper, Garrison indicates that he prefers the old title “because of its brevity; because it wholly avoids the appearance of egotism…”  He comments on the merger of the paper with The Liberty Party Paper, and commends both its editor and Douglass:   “Mr. Douglass needs no praise of ours, as to his ability both as a writer and an orator.”  He then comments on the view of the Constitution to which Douglass now adheres.   “A good deal of anxiety is felt and expressed by many of his old and most reliable friends, in view of this change in his sentiments; and he appears to be keenly sensitive to any criticism from that quarter  — construing that criticism, as he appears to do, into an impeachment of his motives.  This we are sorry to see; for, with those friends, it is not a question of purity of motives, but of soundness and vitality of position; and we see no cause why the discussion should not be conducted, on both sides, in an amicable and magnanimous spirit.  ….it is complainingly said, ‘Mr. Douglass has labored without a salary, while every other editor of his school receives a compensation, independent of his subscription list: ‘all the other editors are white men’; this is an unkind fling.  What claim has the North Star, any more than the Liberator, upon any Anti-Slavery  Society, for support?   Like the Liberator, it is an independent journal, the organ of no association. …..the Liberator has always had to ‘run for luck’, like the North Star … no man, or body of men, being  bound for our support, to the amount of a farthing; nor have we ever thought of making any claim for aid upon any Anti-Slavery Society in the land. We are constantly living ‘by faith’……However widely we may dissent from his present interpretation of the U. S. Constitution, we feel towards our friend Douglass the same admiration for his talents, the same desire for the success of his paper, the same personal attachment, and the same confidence in his wish and determination to do all that  in him lies for the speedy abolition of slavery, that we have felt from the beginning.”