Really never goes out of style

Room 125 – National Hotel-
Washington Jan 13/73

Dear Friend Douglass —
 I hope to see you here personally — but more than all — I want you to speak your strong word for the power & majesty of the Old Charter of Rights to protect all citizens under the [government] in their right to vote —
— you, with your old [Liberty Pants construction] of the U.S. Constitution must be in harmony with us that it guarantees a Republican form of gov’t in each state —& that a Repub. form must be based on the [freedom] and franchise of every class of U.S. citizens —
[Sincerely] yours
Susan B. Anthony

The “Friend Douglass” addressed in the salutation is Frederick Douglass. For those who wish to find fault with my decryption of Susan B.’s rather-short-of-gold-star penmanship, the original letter may be viewed in facsimile: pg 1, pg 2.

Words and phrases are in square brackets where I consider my reading less than certain. A more doctrinaire textual scholar than myself might note that the first two words of page two might plausibly be rendered “Liberty Party” rather than “Liberty Pants”, while a more rash one might plump for “Silvery Pork”.

Douglass was a longtime friend of Anthony; both lived in Rochester, New York for many years. Douglass, who usually was closely allied with the women’s movement of the day, had parted ways with them over suport for the 15th Amendment. In the end, however, that circumstance did not destroy his friendship with either Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This letter is, perhaps, an indication that much of the tension had eased by the early 1870s.

In any case, Susan B. clearly thought it was time for some liberty pants, though it is not entirely obvious whether it is Douglass or the Constitution that she thought should be so accoutered.

Liberty pants should not be confused with serious pants.

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