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ALs from Wendell Phillips praising black revoluti  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$120
$200 - $300

Autograph Letter Signed - 1877 Radical Abolitionist Praises Black Revolutionary

Phillips, Wendell



Oct., 15, 1877


3 pp.

To Mr. (John?) Fiske “Toussaint was printed in a small volume in ’63. It may be still attainable, tho I believe not on usual counters. “Speeches and Addresses by WP”. Lee & Shephard of this city would get you a copy if you asked them…a second hand dealer would look one up for you.” The most eloquent public speaker among the “radical” Abolitionists before the Civil War, Boston clergyman Wendell Phillips shocked a New York audience, days after the execution of John Brown, by a public lecture praising the leader of the only successful slave revolt in the western Hemisphere – Haiti’s Toussaint L’Ouverture. While southerners were petrified with fear of uprising by their own slaves, Phillips hailed Toussaint, as a “patriot and martyr”, comparable to Cromwell, Washington, Lafayette – and John Brown (whose name moved the audience to “loud hisses and cheers”). Though Phillips included his “incendiary” lecture again in an anthology of his speeches published the year of the Emancipation Proclamation, it was largely forgotten by the time he wrote this letter to someone seeking a copy – except by a new generation of Black school children who had never heard of the Rev. Phillips, but after his death in 1884, often memorized and recited his Toussaint lecture, embracing the Haitian rebel as “their hero”. Famed Black renaissance man James Weldon Johnson remembered how, as a boy, he was so moved at his own school graduation in 1887 by a classmate’s reading of Phillips’ lecture, which he interpreted (as Phillips had intended) to justify violence in a righteous cause.

Lot Amendments

A bit of yellowing; very good.

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