Frederick Douglass. A Biography.
From the collection of Charles Blockson
First Edition. Gifted by Charles Blockson, from his library, with his bookplate, inscribed in his hand, to a fellow collector of African Americana. This is a sketch of the life of Frederick Douglass by Charles Wadell Chesnutt, described as America’s first great black novelist, a man who admired Frederick Douglass and had heard the great orator speak. In a chance conversation, Chesnutt was asked by M.A. DeWolfe Howe to write this biography for the “Beacon Biographies of Eminent Americans” series, based upon his success with his book The Conjure Woman: “This book [Frederick Douglass. A Biography] became [Chesnutt’s] first major piece of literary/sociological writing ... the invitation to write this biography, and the biography itself, now formed the first tangible recognition by American publishers of Chesnutt’s status as Black spokesman. This recognition was to spread rapidly.” [Heermance, p90–91]
Description: Frederick Douglass. A Biography.
Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., (1899). 141pp. + back matter. First Edition. Small 12mo. Publisher’s flexible dark blue cloth blocked in blind; gilt lettering and modest design to spine; top-edge gilt; fore-edge uncut. With a frontispiece photogravure of Frederick Douglass. Ex-library copy in typical dress; front board with diagonal break; front free endpaper removed; else about good with bookplate of Charles Blockson inside front cover.