Letter to John Scoble
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Balcones - York–
9th May 1846
My Dear Sir - I have just received
your letter of 4th May inviting
me to attend the anniversary
of the British and Foreign Anti
-Slavery Society "which it is in-
tended shall be holden in London
on the 18th May["] - Please accept
my thanks for your cordial
invitation and to express my
regret that such are my engage-
ments in Scotland at this time &
the time specified for your
anniversary it will be impossible
for me to comply.
The present position of what is
called the Free Church, in regard
to Christian fellowship with Ameri-
can Slave holders - and the approach[-]
of in this city of
its general assembly together
with the present State of the
Public mind on this question
makes this the time, & Scotland
the place for all my effort
I deem it of the utmost importance
to the cause of emancipation - that
British Christians of all denominations
should declare non fellowship to
slave holders, or churches to which
slave holders are admitted to
membership. To this point all
my efforts are directed[.] Slave holding
exists in the United States, because
it is reputable, and it is reputable
in the United States, because it is
not so disreputable out of the
United States as it ought to be.
My work is to make slavery dis[-]
reputable. I cannot do this while
Christian churches in this country
are extending the hand of Christian
fellowship - to the slave holders &
indorsing their characters
as good Christians.
Thus far my labors in this
direction have been crowned
with every encouragement.
The United Secession Synod
now in session, in this city
last night came to the almost
unanimous decision to refuse
Christian fellowship to slave holders
or churches which fellowship
slave holders. The Relief Synod is
to meet here on Monday - and
a similar result is expected.
I am Dear Sir,
John Scoble, Esq. Frederick Douglass
Author(s) & contributor(s): Frederick Douglass
Date(s): 9 May 1846
Place(s) of creation: York Temperance Hotel, Edinburgh
Form & transmission history: Manuscript letter in author’s hand.
Object description: Beige four-page/one-sheet letter with some significant discoloration, with one hand in black ink.
Repository: Bodleian Library (Oxford, United Kingdom)
Shelfmark / Identifier: MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 18, C16/75
Digital edition & date: One More Voice, 2020
Critical editing & encoding: Anne M. Martin, Lucy McCann, Adrian S. Wisnicki
Cite this digital edition (MLA): Douglass, Frederick. “Letter to John Scoble” (9 May 1846). Anne M. Martin, Lucy McCann, Adrian S. Wisnicki, eds. One More Voice, site launch edition, 2020, https://onemorevoice.org/html/transcriptions/liv_020031_TEI.html.
Rights: Critically-edited text copyright One More Voice. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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Production note: The editors produced this edition through a rigorous process that involved transcribing and encoding the text directly from images of the original document using the One More Voice coding guidelines (PDF). Users, however, are encouraged to consult the original document if possible.