An "Autograph and Something More" from Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass's autograph in Franklin E. McNear's autograph book, 1860 (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Between 1855 and 1886, Franklin E. McNear collected autographs in his leather-bound, red autograph book. Among the eighty-four signatures are notable historic figures like P.T. Barnum, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Frederick Douglass. Penned in 1860, the Frederick Douglass page includes more than just his autograph. Take a look at the image shown here to see the words Douglass wanted to accompany his autograph:

This then is my autograph and something more. I am for Liberty, the right of each man to own his own body and soul, whatever may be his colour wherever he may be born - whether of one race or a nother - I am for Liberty now, and always - to the weak as well as the strong - I am for Liberty - universal Liberty, wherever the haughty tyrant rears his head or the dejected slave drags a chain.

Read letters written by Frederick Douglass on racism, Jim Crow, and the disfranchisement of black voters.