Item #7330 Supplement to The Pine and Palm. James Redpath.
Supplement to The Pine and Palm.
Supplement to The Pine and Palm.

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Redpath, James, et al.

Supplement to The Pine and Palm.

Boston: 2 January 1862. Broadsheet, 24” x 18.5”, 2 pp. CONDITION: Good-, small losses in center of upper and lower quarters of the sheet with partial loss of several words but minimal affect to sense, separations along old folds, right margin toned and chipped.

A supplement to this controversial and short-lived newspaper operated by a white abolitionist, containing reports by agents of the colonization movement, letters from recent African American immigrants to Haiti, and more.

In addition to numerous extracts from letters written home by recent immigrants to Haiti, this supplement to the Pine and Palm includes epistolary reports from agents of Haitian colonization in both the U.S. and Canada (“I was at Ann Arbor, Jackson, Battle Creek, Marshall, and Kalamazoo. All of these places have men of means, and all are anxious for the movement”); notices to prospective immigrants (“Please remind the emigrants that they cannot clear lands nor dig canals with their empty hands…We need implements of agriculture”); and letters from readers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, registering doubts, showing support, making inquiries, and so on (“I am dissatisfied with my present status in this country…but I did not want to ‘leap in the dark’…”). Also included are “extracts (translations), from official letters to the General Agent by high functionaries of the Governmen[t] of Hayti” showing “how the rulers of the Island regard questions which are often fiercely agitated between the friends and enemies of their Emigration Movement here.”

Before it was purchased and renamed by Scottish-born abolitionist and journalistic firebrand James Redpath in early 1860, The Pine and Palm was the Weekly Anglo-African, founded in 1859 by Thomas Hamilton, a Black New Yorker who ran it as an open forum for African Americans “to give vent to our opinions and feelings…to compare notes with each other…to discus the best plans to pursue, to sympathize if suffering come, to rejoice if victory come” (Fielder et al). When Redpath took over the paper, it became the primary organ for the movement of Haitian colonization. In contrast to many abolitionists, who opposed colonization schemes, and unlike the American Colonization Society, which promoted African colonization (often for racist reasons), Redpath championed Haiti as the country where

the Black and the man of color are indisputed lords…where neither laws, nor prejudice, nor historical memories press cruelly on persons of African descent; where the people whom America degrades and drives from her are rulers, judges, and generals…authors, artists, and legislators.” (A Guide to Hayti, p. 9)

After three visits to the island nation in 1859 and 1860, Redpath devised a plan with Haitian President Fabre Geffrard for “inviting an immigration into Hayti of all the enlightened and industrious men of African descent” in North America, and became the official diplomatic agent for the cause. The paper’s Black readership, however, was unconvinced, publishing a statement in the Christian Recorder that

we firmly, flatly, uncompromisingly oppose, condemn and denounce as unfair and unjust, as unwise and as unchristian, the fleeing, colonizing efforts urged by James Redpath, the white, seconded by George Lawrence, Jr., the black, who is employed by him…[and] we do declare that he is not justified in the deceptive policy of placing at the head of the paper, like the figure-head of a ship, the name of George Lawrence, Jr., a colored man, although he has him in his employ; nor is he justified as a professed anti-slavery man, in closing the columns of the paper to a discussion of matters of public and general interest to the colored people, neither in making personal attacks upon individuals without permitting a reply. (May 25, 1861)

Operated by Redpath, financed by the Haitian government, edited—at least nominally—by George Lawrence Jr., and printed out of the same building as William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator, The Pine and Palm became what scholars Brigitte Fielder, Cassander Smith, and Derrick R. Spires call “a concentrated case study of all of the fault lines invoked in the terms ‘black press,’ ‘black print culture,’ and ‘black community.’” Hamilton and his brother Robert revived the Anglo-American in July of 1861, and joined with Frederick Douglass’s Paper and the Provincial Freeman in condemning Redpath and his emigration schemes. The Pine and Palm ceased publication later that year. Outside the publishing sphere, too, Redpath’s schemes were not felicitous. Frederick Douglass, who had shown some initial openness to Haitian colonization, and later served as U.S. Minister to Haiti, was ultimately opposed to the project; many of the early immigrants soon returned home to the U.S.; and Redpath himself, acknowledging that the movement was dead, withdrew in the fall of 1862 to become a Union war correspondent.

James Redpath (1833–1891) immigrated to Michigan from Scotland in the late 1840s. By the early 1850s, he was working for Horace Greeley’s New-York Tribune, and after traveling through the South, conducting interviews with slaves, which he eventually published as The Roving Editor: or, Talks with Slaves in the Southern States, in 1859. He spent several years reporting in Kansas, where he became close friends with John Brown, and it was Brown who convinced Redpath to move to Boston in 1858. Following Brown’s execution, Redpath was the first to publish a biography of the famed abolitionist, The Public Life of Capt John Brown (1860). He was a fervent supporter not only of abolition, but of reparations for slavery. Following his failed efforts to promote Haitian colonization and his journalistic work during the Civil War, Redpath established the Boston Lyceum Bureau, a professional lecturing bureau that represented such prominent speakers as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Mark Twain.

Holdings in OCLC are identified as electronic and microform, however the catalogs of seven institutions—the Library of Congress, AAS, Duke, Cornell, Historic New Orleans, Boston Public Library, and University of Texas at Austin—show that they have the originals, from partial and single issues to, in the case of the LOC and AAS, substantial runs.

REFERENCES: Danky 4834; Fielder, Brigitte; Cassander Smith, and Derrick R. Spires, eds. “Weekly Ango-African and the Pine and Palm (1861-1862),” Just Teach One: Early African Print online.

Item #7330

Price: $650.00

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