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DOWNING, GEORGE THOMAS. Scrap Book, assembled for his daughter Rebecca. Large folio, full brown morocco with "R. M. Downing" stamped in gilt on the upper cover; boards detached, but present. Consists of newspaper clippings regarding African-American struggles and progress from the 1860s through the 1870s with some personal mementos tipped in. Includes Rebecca's school certificate from Boston's noted Winthrop School, and an elaborate certificate for Rebecca's having sewn seven bags for Civil War soldiers, dated 1861. should be seen. Boston, circa 1860-1875
With a dedication on the first page "A 'Scrap' from George T. Downing to his Daughter Rebecca M. Downing, New Port, January 1, 1875. George Thomas Downing (1819-1903), African-American businessman and civil rights leader, attended New York's noted Mulberry Street School. At fourteen, Downing organized a literary society, and together with a group of friends refused to celebrate the Fourth of July, anticipating Frederick Douglass's speech on the subject by some decades. He completed his education at Hamilton College. From 1857 to 1866, Downing led the fight to end segregation in Rhode Island's schools. This scrap book of high points in African-American history contains articles from contemporary newspapers, including Frederick Douglass' New National Era.
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