LONDON, Eng., June 22.— Does any one in New York state know a brown skin Negro named J. W. A. Shaw? That is the name of the creature who wished to speak against the resolution at the Baptist Union condemning lynching. He has also been to the office of the London Daily Chronicle trying to get them to take some notice of him and give him an interview denying my statements.
At the Democratic club after I had finished my address a man rose in the audience and asked if I knew that a Negro named Shaw was delivering speeches in Hyde park every Sunday which were the direct opposite of everything I said, viz., that the Negro was not deprived of his vote and when lynched deserved it for terrible crimes? My interlocutor said in describing this Shaw that he had no occupation, wore fine clothes, a lot of jewelry and displayed plenty of money, and that he drew large crowds because he was a black man. My reply was that I did not know these things and that it was a more terrible shock than I could express to know that a man of my race could sink to low as to traduce his race, "that thrift might follow fawning."
For if he "had plenty of money" he was more fortunate than I, who found it hard to secure the wherewithal to pay actual expenses. Clearly somebody was making it worth his while to do this. Dean Swift said long ago that "when an Englishman wished to roast an Irishman, he would always find another Irishman to turn the spit" and that as our Saviour had his Judas, Caesar his Brutus, and America had Benedict Arnold, it should not surprise us that the Negro race was no exception to the rule in producing its cowards and traitors and leeches. This is what I said to them, but I was cut to the heart to hear that I owe it to the support, loyalty and trust of the white man of this country, whose race I am betraying, that my statements have not been discredited by this black man, whose race I am trying to defend.
Contrast this with a letter sent by the noblest Roman of them all, Frederick Douglass, to Dr. Clifford, the great London Baptist preacher, and printed in the London Daily News. His letter is as follows:
Rev. Dr. Clifford — Dear Sir: — I take the liberty to write you a word in the interest of Miss Ida B. Wells, now traveling and lecturing in England on the persecution and the lawless outrages to which colored people are now being subjected in the United States. I wish to bear my testimony to the character of Miss Wells and to the truth of her statements. I think she is remarkably happy in the statement of the simple truth. She does not strain facts for effect. If asked why bring this matter before England, I answer because the judgment of England is a moral power and the cause of humanity has a right to that power. Humanity is as broad as the world. It is not limited by national boundaries. Besides where the side of the oppressor is heard, the voice of the oppressed should also be heard. It is meet that Christianity of England should cry out against this terrible persecution. It is nearly fifty years ago when an exile and unable to return to the United States because I was a slave and was liable to be returned to bondage from which I had fled, I found shelter and sympathy in England and spoke to thousands in behalf of my enslaved people. Thanks to the Almighty, ruler of the hearts of men and nations, that old system of wrong no longer exists, and yet the spirit of bondage and of persecution is still here to afflict us, and we need the moral and religions influence of good men and women everywhere to assist in its banishment. Sincerely and gratefully yours, FREDRICK DOUGLASS.
Could anything more clearly show the difference between two men? One is the utterances of the demagogue, the politician; the other that of the statesman, the philanthropist and the true lover of his race. Nor is this the only occasion Mr. Douglass has taken to express to the English people his sympathy with and the great need of the work.
I have heard of letters he has written to four different persons in Great Britain on the same subject, all of which have been helpful and inspiring, for the English love and revere Frederick Douglass as they do no other living American. Grand old man. When I think of how often he has lifted up his voice for his race and how, though his duties were many, he made the round of the Chicago churches last summer with me until we had collected the $500 with which to publish the world's fair pamphlet, besides giving $50 and writing a chapter; how he risked censure for himself by distributing the books on the fair grounds, and how though bowed with weight of many winters he is still helping the crusade for his race — my eyes fill with tears that he cannot stay with us.
It is men of this stamp whom the race should delight to honor — and only those who are doing something for the race. If the colored people of the south have $50 to pay a race man to speak to them, let it be a man who is true to his race at all events. Brave John Mitchell, who has waged such a relentless war against lynching in Virginia, and protected and helped many a Negro victim at real risk to himself: Booker T. Washington, whose quiet, earnest work is a shining light in the Black Belt of Alabama, where it is so needed: Hon. Harry C. Smith, who has always made a gallant fight for his race in THE GAZZETE, and now in the Ohio legislature: Peter H. Clark, one of the ablest and most modest men living: T. Thomas Fortune, who has spent a modest fortune in trying to advance race interests, and in the legal fight against discrimination in New York state making it easier for the next Negro to win such fights: Bishop H. M. Turner, than whom no man loves his race more, or has struck harder blows for it — these men (and many more like them) are the ones the race should delight to honor, because of the work they have done for the race. — Ida B. Wells, in N. Y. Age.