Lot #4
Frederick Douglass

"My appointment is another step in the upward course of my race"—Douglass takes the political office held by an African American at that point, becoming the first confirmed for a presidential appointment by the US Senate
This lot has closed

Estimate: $15000+

Description

"My appointment is another step in the upward course of my race"—Douglass takes the political office held by an African American at that point, becoming the first confirmed for a presidential appointment by the US Senate

ALS signed “Fred'k Douglass,” one page, 5 x 8, March 31, 1877. Letter to attorney and pioneering civil rights activist Albion Tourgee, who would later litigate the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case. In full: "I am thankful for your kind congratulations. I would write you a long letter if the pressure upon me during these final hours of my office were removed. You will take the will for the deed. My appointment is another step in the upward course of my race and I rejoice to be identified with it." In fine condition, with old mounting remnants on the back of the blank integral page.

At this time, President Rutherford B. Hayes had just assumed office and appointed Douglass as United States Marshal for the District of Columbia—the highest political office to be held by an African American at that point. Douglass accepted the commission and became the first African American confirmed for a presidential appointment by the US Senate. Recognizing it not just as a personal achievement, but "another step in the upward course of my race," Douglass remained in the position until 1881, when he was made recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia.
 

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #600 - Ended January 13, 2021





This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
Buy a third-party letter of authenticity for $150.00

*This item has been pre-certified by a trusted third-party authentication service, and by placing a bid on this item, you agree to accept the opinion of this authentication service. If you wish to have an opinion rendered by a different authenticator of your choosing, you must do so prior to your placing of any bid. RR Auction is not responsible for differing opinions submitted 30 days after the date of the sale.