Seth Kaller, Inc.

Inspired by History

Other African American History Offerings


Other Civil War and Reconstruction Offerings


Frederick Douglass Recruiting African American Soldiers
Click to enlarge:

Are Freemen less brave than Slaves?

FREDERICK DOUGLASS. Broadside: “Men of Color, To Arms! Now or Never!” Philadelphia [ca Spring, 1863]. 1 p., 8 x 10 in. Subscribed in type by Douglass and fifty-four other African American leaders, including William Forten, Rev. William T. Catto, Rev. Stephen Smith, Rev. J. C. Gibbs, and many others.

Inventory #26162       Price: $25,000

For generations we have suffered under the horrors of slavery...but now the whole aspect of our relations to the white race is changed.... Let us Rush to Arms! Fail Now and our Race is Doomed on this the soil of our birth.... If we value Liberty, if we wish to be free in this land, if we love our country, if we love our families, our children, our homes, we must strike NOW while the Country calls.... We have seen what Valor and Heroism our brothers displayed at Port Hudson and at Milliken's Bend.... they have startled the world by the most exalted heroism. If they have proved themselves heroes, can not we prove ourselves men? Are Freemen less brave than Slaves? More than a Million White Men have left Comfortable Homes and joined the Armies of the Union...; cannot we leave ours, and swell the hosts of the Union...?

We find only seven examples in institutional collections: Brown University, Hay Library; Historical Society of Pennsylvania (copy 1) [ms. added at top: “At a mass Meeting held on July 6, 1863.”]; Historical Society of Pennsylvania (copy 2) [With a July 10, 1863 letter and ms. recruitment list]; Library Company of Philadelphia; Library of Congress; University of Michigan, William Clements Library; University of Rochester.

Most recent recorded comparable price: Sotheby’s, June 19, 2015, lot 103, sold for $27,500.

Add to Cart Ask About This Item Add to Favorites