Old Newspaper Collections Project

By Clayton, Deb, & Holice

Frederick Douglass on the Dinner Question


Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for being such a trooper and typing a ton of old news articles! Without her this project wouldn't be here!


NY Tribune, 1872


The following letter in regard to the slight put upon Frederick Douglass by the president, was written by the former to C. J. Langdon, Elmira, N. Y.

WASHINGTON, D. C., Aug. 15, 1872.

MY DEAR MR. LANGDON: I am obliged by your favor of the 9th August. Absence from home is my apology for my silence. I believe in Gen. Grant fully. There is something so ridiculous about this dinner affair, that I really don't care to talk or write about it. While it would have given me great pleasure to dine with our worthy President, and while an invitation to dine with him in the circumstances would have been a valuable fat against prevailing prejudices, I should be ashamed to charge the omission to invite me as an offense against me or my race. The President was under no obligation to invite me to dine with him. It was am Matter in which he had a perfect right to act free from outside guidance or outsider criticism. I very much enjoyed my dinner at your hospitable table mast Winter, as I had enjoyed thirty years go good dinners at the house of your noble father, but while I appreciate the kind hospitality in both cases, I do not bring any complaint against numerous good people by whom I did not happen to be invited to dine. I maybe forced to say a word more to the public on this subject, but I would rather avoid it. It is enough that I am with all my health laboring to elect U. S. Grant President of the United States for a second term. I certainly should not so labor if I thought him capable of offering me an insult because of the color of my skin. With kind remembrances to all your kind circle. Yours very truly, Frederick Douglas.


Thomas Punch of Boston, age 23, was instantly killed at Salem, on Wednesday, by jumping from a moving train.

Gen. Sherman visited Oxford, England, on Thursday, and had a very agreeable reception from the authorities of the University.

The Susanville stage was robbed, near Reno, Nevada, after a brisk fight between passengers and highwaymen. Nobody was killed.

None of the boys who escaped from the Reform School at Westboro,' Mass., on Thursday were captured the same night, and several others Friday.

S. V. R. Hickox, for many years connected with The Chicago Tribune, in an editorial capacity, died, Friday night, of Bright's disease of the kidneys.

Joseph MacElroy, a gambler, late of New Orleans, was shot dead by Paul Kern, a prominent vine grower of Los Angeles, Cal., Thursday evening, in a quarrel about politics.

At a large meeting of workingmen, held at Pittsburgh, Friday night, measures were adopted to prohibit the introduction of Chinese coolie labor into the manufactories of that city.

Joe Jefferson, the comedian, is in Baltimore. The ocu---------

Copyright Clayton Betzing, 2001

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