Frederick Douglass's Paper
Unsigned Reprint
Rochester: 22 July 1853

The Journals and Mrs. Stowe.

[From the Tribune.]

  When the stupid, ignorant and profane scoffer hurls his slang and obscenity at others, the good and the virtuous, it is the part of wisdom to let them rail on, considering, as the lion did of the ass, whence it comes; but when men of sense and politeness in other respects, descend to the lowest depths of vulgarity and slander, merely to gratify the malice of pique, and this too in regard to a lady, we may well deem them worthy of rebuke. There are two daily, three or four secular weekly, and as many as three religious (!) papers published in this city. Of the dailies The Dispatch, we believe, has the largest circulation, but The Mail is far the most ably edited. I am not acquainted with the editors of either, but presume they are both gentlemen, and high-minded men. Of the editor of The Mail I can say this much: that he is a very talented and eloquent man, both with his pen and by word of mouth.—His editorials are rich and racy. But there is one thing in his columns, as indeed in the columns of all the papers I have mentioned, that I much regret to see, and that is the almost daily attacks on Mrs. Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin. When nothing else will serve—and these papers, some of them at least, are barren enough of news or interest—a scurrilous paragraph against the talented authoress, can be fabricated almost without effort, spiced off with such choice terms as "Mrs. Harriet Breeches Stowe," "Mrs. Uncle Tom and her testy little Dr.," "Mrs. Petticoat Stowe," and all such graceless slanders.—They seem to revel in the gall of bitterness against this lady, for no other reason that I can see, than because she has told some unpalatable truths; truths which I heard scores, even here, admit. All this may be very magnanimous and chivalrous in these gentlemen, but among others it would be the height of vulgarity, and a condescension of all that constitutes the character of a highminded editor. But do these gentlemen know—these Christian editors—that they can't write down truth—that its blaze will throw into obscurity the dimness of their rush lights and farthing candles.—Whether they do or not, it is so; and the blows that have been stricken, even by a woman's hand, are being felt. And as God makes even "the wrath of man to praise him, 'and the remainder restrains,'" so these editors are only helping the cause they batter against, and raising to honor and distinction her they so heartily despise. Will they not take the hint out of self-respect, and stop disgracing themselves and their papers? We say these things, not because we have any sympathy with the Garrisonian Abolitionists of the North, or with any party bearing the name, other than that highly respectable one in the South, who are as much opposed to Slavery as any, but who would do nothing but in a legitimate way for its removal. And I can assure you that there are many such. —Cor. N. Y. Tribune