The original four volumes of the collected works of Frederick Douglass included a substantial number of his writings and speeches but far from all of them. At the time the first volumes of Douglass’ writings and speeches were published (1950-1955), the possibilities of incorporating the other unpublished material were remote. Subsequently this became possible and the present, Supplementary Volume covering the writings of Douglass over the important period from 1844 to 1860 was produced.
These pages will furnish the reader with an excellent picture of the Black communities of Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and other northern cities which Douglass visited and from which he sent penetrating dispatches to his paper. They also contain considerable evidence of the ideological debates, sometimes quite bitter, which were part of the life of these Black communities in the ante-bellum years, especially over such issues as emigration.
Here, as in the previous four volumes, all of Douglass’ writings and speeches are reproduced with no substantial change whatsoever; misspellings and grammatical errors have been corrected if they appeared in the printed sources and clearly were typographical mistakes. A few passages have been omitted from several of the selections to avoid repetition, but these have been properly indicated. In a few cases the only account of a Douglass speech was in the form of a digest by the reporter, and where these have been included, this has been clearly indicated.