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Frederick Douglass at Springfield, Mo.
			
                   FREDERICK DOUGLASS                       9

intensely  he felt over the growing spirit of lawlessness that
seemed to have the effect of making his people outlaws.  For
several weeks before he started, he studied, brooded and work-
ed over this questestion.  His address must have been rewritten,
at least a half dozen times. A much interlined copy of this
great speech of Mr. Douglass' on Lynching is preserved by
the writer. The whole argument and philosophy of the ques-
tion of anti-lynching, seems to be embraced in this fierce phil-
lipic. It has all the vigor and trenchant power of his many
wonderful addresses delivered during the anti-slavery con-
flict.
     It scarcely need be said that at each of these places men-
tioned, Mr. Douglass was received with every mark of high
appreciation. His audiences were of a kind that no other
colored man at that time could command. He spoke out with
such earnestness and used language so direct and fierce when
dealing with the lynching habit that  people  were  visibly
moved under the spell of his hot indignation. At Omaha, the
Governor of the State and other prominent citizens were on
the platform. At the conclusion of Mr. Douglass' address,
the Governor rose and in behalf of his race complained that
the "distinguished orator" had been a little too severe and
sweeping in his arraignment of the American people.  The
fact is the address went straight to the conscience of the
audience and disturbed those who would claim a sort of im-
munity from blame because of their distance from the scenes
of lawlessness. How accurately did he prophecy that in a few
years lynching in the Northern States would be almost as
possible as in Arkansas or Mississippi. How that baleful
prophecy has been fulfilled, we can all bear sorrowful testi-
mony.




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 23, Num. 1

Frederick Douglass at Springfield, Mo.

Laing

Volume:  23
Issue Number:  01
Page Number:  07
Date:  07/1906


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