"The Life of "Frederick Douglass" (Small, Maynard & Co.,) in the Beacon Biographies, is written by Mr. Charles W. Chesnutt, author of "The Conjure Woman." The dramatic career of Mr. Douglass is clearly and sympathetically narrated. While he lived Douglass was often accused of "trimming," and he certainly managed to hold good political offices during most of his later years. In the view of his biographer, Douglass only exercised "his usual prudence and foresight." Whether he was applying these virtues chiefly for his own good or for the good of his race, is another question. At any rate he showed remarkable good judgment in not falling in with John Brown's wild Harper's Ferry scheme.
Probably Douglass's chief benefit in the anti-slavery cause was as a brilliant example of what might be made out of his race under favorable circumstances. He was a fascinating orator, and won the sympathies of his audiences for his oppressed people.
Rev. of Frederick Douglass. In: "Bookishness," Life 35 (Feb. 1, 1900): 86.