The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Mondays at Beinecke series presents Melissa Barton, Rosemary Davis, and Rebecca Hirsch, Beinecke Library:
“Walter Evans Collection of Frederick Douglass and Douglass Family Papers.”
The Walter Evans Collection of Frederick Douglass and Douglass Family Papers, described as “the most extraordinary private collection of Douglass manuscript material in the world” by David Blight, Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies at Yale. The Evans Collection is now part of the Beinecke Library’s James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters.
The Walter Evans Collection of Frederick Douglass and Douglass Family Papers includes records maintained chiefly by Frederick Douglass’s children Frederick Douglass, Jr., Lewis H. Douglass, and Charles T. Douglass, including nine scrapbooks constructed by various of the sons and including material ranging from original autograph letters to newspaper clippings. Of special note is a scrapbook containing letters to Frederick Douglass from Henry Highland Garnet, Alonzo Ransier, Charles Sumner, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Martin Delany. Other highlights include several autograph letters from Frederick Douglass, Sr. to Lewis Douglass from Haiti during his tenure there as consul; letters from Lewis Douglass to his wife Amelia while Lewis was a member of the famed Massachusetts 54thregiment of the Union Army; text of several of Douglass’s addresses as recorded by the family, usually after the fact; and a manuscript of Douglass’s eulogy for William Lloyd Garrison.