The Literary Page
Two New Books by Charles W. Chesnutt. [ . . .] Another book by Mr. Charles W. Chesnutt is a volume in "The Beacon Biographies of Eminent Americans" in which Mr. Chesnutt tells the story of the life Frederick Douglass. In introducing it the author says that the more he has studied the records of the life of Douglass the more it has appealed to his imagination and his heart. Belonging to a later generation than this champion of his oppressed race he was only privileged to see the man and hear the oratory after his life work was substantially completed, but often enough then to appreciate the strength and eloquence by which he impressed his contemporaries.
Mr. Chesnutt, in noticing the fact that Douglass spent two years as minister resident and consul general to the republic of Hayti, says he has heard him speak with enthusiasm of the substantial progress made by the Haytians in the arts of government and civilization, and with indignation of what he considered slanders against the island, due to ignorance or prejudice. When it was suggested to Douglass that the Haytians were given to revolution as a mode of expressing disapproval of their rulers, he replied that a four years rebellion had been fought and two presidents assassinated in the United States during a comparatively peaceful political period in Hayti.
The little volume has a striking photogravure portrait of Frederick Douglass from one of the last photographs taken of him and the one most highly thought of by his family.
"Two New Books by Charles W. Chesnutt," rev. of Frederick Douglass in "The Literary Page," The Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, 10 Dec. 1899: Part 2-6.