Notes: A key and uncommon publication from Douglass's "Send Back the Money" speaking tour—"All through winter and spring 1846, the Send Back the Money campaign kept Scotland in ferment" (David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, p. 159). This is a transcript of a large anti-slavery meeting held on April 21, 1846, in Glasgow.
A brief bit of history, for context: In 1843, the Free Church of Scotland split from the official Church of Scotland. The parishes that left the main church needed funds for buildings and clergy and sent a deputation to tour the United States. American presbyterians in the South became generous donors to the new denomination.
Following the publication of his first autobiography, Douglass went to the British Isles because of the risk that his growing noteriety would result in his being returned to bondage as a fugitve slave. He spent 19 months abroad lecturing and promoting his books. He galvanized the Scottish anti-slavery movement with his roof-raising calls to "send back the money" raised in the American South.
In the speech that he gave on the night of this meeting (transcribed on pp. 19–24), Douglass brought the reality of slavery directly to the audience with the example of his own body: "I verily believe, that, had I been at the South, and had I been a slave, as I have been a slave—and I am a slave still by the laws of the United States—had I been there, and that deputation had come into my neighborhood, and my master had sold me on the auction block, and given the produce of my body and soul to them, they would have pocketed it and brought it to Scotland to build their churches and pay their ministers. [The audience cried, "No!"] Why not? I am no better than the blackest slave in the Southern plantations."
This pamphlet also reports on speeches given by other anti-slavery activists, provides the resolutions demanding that the Free Church "send back the money", and summarizes other activities (including speeches by Douglass) in the following week.
The text of Douglass's April 21, 1846, speech in the Douglass papers at the Library of Congress is copied from the text published here. Gale offers a subscription-only digital version; one library's online catalog note for the Gale version reads, "Source library's copy defective: p. 28-29 wanting." Not having a subscription to the database, your cataloguer was unable to verify this claim.
Edition + Condition: Issued as three sewn gatherings without separate wrappers. This is a near fine copy, entirely as issued.
Publication: Glasgow: George Gallie, W. & R. Smeal, and Quintin Dalrymple, 1846.
Item No: #361688