Item contributed by Library of Congress
Well known abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass actively supported the 54th regiment. In early 1863, Douglass went on a tour around the Northeast to recruit soldiers for the regiment. Two of his sons, Charles and Lewis, joined the regiment. Newspapers record Douglass being present at the regiment’s departure from Boston. When the soldiers of the 54th and other Black regiments protested about unequal pay with white soldiers, Douglass met with President Lincoln and spoke on their behalf.
Photograph. John White Hurn, Philadelphia, 1862. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington D.C.View original digital record