Mar 26, 2015 - Sale 2377

Sale 2377 - Lot 83

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
DOUGLASS, FREDERICK. Autograph Letter Signed, to a Mr. Sherman, regarding his request for a loan. 4to sheet of lined paper, folded to form four 8vo pages, written on one side only. Washington D.C., 3 December, 1883

Additional Details

"Dear Mr. Sherman, I would gladly make the loan to your brother-in-law but I have not got the amount, or near the amount required. I am just now closely invested. A few hundred dollars are all that I keep on deposit-I am glad you felt free to apply to me. It would be a service to me to invest outside the District. The personal tax here cuts down my six percent interest to four and one half percent. So that five percent in New Hampshire won't be better than six percent here. Truly Yours, Fredk. Douglass." In 1881, Douglass was made Recorder of Deeds by President Garfield as a political reward for bringing the colored vote. Many thought that a government position assured Douglass wealth (as it no doubt did for less ethical men). Douglass writes in his 1892 autobiography (pages 638-642) how he was besieged by letters asking for money: "Numerous pressing and pathetic appeals for assistance written under the delusion of my great wealth, have come to me from colored people from all parts of the country with heart-rending tales of destitution and misery, such as I would gladly relieve did my circumstances admit of it." Mr. Sherman's appeal seems a little different, to invest rather than simply give, but nonetheless part of what Douglass writes about.