Frederick Douglass's Paper
Unsigned Reprint
Rochester: 10 June 1853

Mrs. Stowe and her Money.

[From the National Era.]

  Says the Albany Atlas:

  "We hope for the credit of the country, not less than for her own self respect, that Mrs. Stowe has not received gratuities in money, from Englishmen. It cannot be that a lady, whose position places her above such temptations, would thus compromise that position. The $750 gift at Liverpool will, we are persuaded, be explained. Mrs. Stowe cannot have gone abroad for alms."

  This fling is unworthy of the Atlas. We did not look for it to join the corps of revilers who dishonor themselves by mean attacks upon an upright woman. Mrs. Stowe is not a mendicant; but is receiving contributions for the education and elevation of the colored race in America. Part of her object in going to Europe was this purpose: and we are pleased to see that she is not unsuccessful in her praiseworthy effort to benefit the down-trodden. While we are writing this, the subjoined paragraph catches our eye in the Richmond Examiner, dated May 13, 1853.

BREAKING UP OF A NIGHT SCHOOL—The officers at Norfolk made a descent on Tuesday upon a negro school kept in the neighborhood of the Stone Bridge by a Mrs. Douglas and her daughter, and the teachers, together with their sable pupils, were taken before his Honor. They acknowledged their guilt, but pleaded ignorance of the law, and were discharged on a promise to do so no more—a very convenient way of getting out of a scrape. The law of this State imposes a fine of one hundred dollars, and imprisonment for six months for such offences—is positive, and allows no discretion in the committing magistrate."

  Education is an offence in Virginia, under a penalty of "one hundred dollars and imprisonment for six months," and allows no "discretion in the committing magistrate."—We believe that there are now Virginians but who will agree with us that this law was not fit to be made. Virginia has recently passed an act to effect the removal of the free people of color from within her borders to the coast of Africa, the expense to be paid by a tax on the free colored people themselves. Much good, it is expected, will result from the measure: but if good will follow by sending an uneducated people among a barbarous race, would not more good result by educating the negroes before they are sent to Africa?

  The advocates of Colonization, or at least those connected with the Colonization Society, profess to believe that Africa is to be redeemed from barbarism and heathenism by the emigration of the negro race from this country, and that Christianity and enlightenment will attend the path of the emigrants. If this object is to be attained, it would seem to be the part of wisdom to adopt the means to the end, and take measures to educate the negroes before they are expatriated, lest when they reach Africa, the tide of barbarism overwhelm them, and destroy whatever influence for good they might if educated exert. Even were it otherwise, the policy of Virginia, in resisting education, seems to us to be shortsighted and despotic.—National Era.