Rosetta (Douglass) Sprague

Rosetta (Douglass) Sprague (1839 - 1906)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Rosetta "Rosa, Rosette" Sprague formerly Douglass
Born in New Bedford, Bristol, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married 1865 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Washington, District of Columbia, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 8 Mar 2019 | Created 7 May 2018
This page has been accessed 843 times.



Rosetta Douglass was the eldest daughter of Frederick Douglass and Anna Murray, born in 1839 in Massachusetts.

She was the wife of Civil War veteran Nathan Sprague of the all-black 54th Massachusetts regiment. Her brothers Charles and Lewis also served in the 54th.

Nathan and Rosetta had seven children: Annie Rosine (Norris), Harriet Bailey, Alice Louise, Estelle Irene (Weaver), Fredericka Douglas (Perry), Herbert Douglass, Rosebelle Mary (Jones).[1]


  • Copyist at the Office of Deeds while her father was Recorder of Deeds[2]


  • 1900: 1528 15th Street NW, Washington, D. C.[3] with her husband, children and Maud Porter
  • 1870: Rochester, New York with her husband, children and Louisa Sprague
  • 1850: Rochester, New York with her parents, siblings, aunt (Charlotte Murray) and Julia Griffiths of Scotland

Census Race

  • 1850, 1900: Black
  • 1870: White corrected to Black


She passed away in 1906 and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

In Her Own Words

Letters to her father in 1846 while she was 17 years old

First published in 1909.[4]

Albany, Oct. 20, 1846.
My Dear Father -
I wish to write to you now to tell you that my eyes are almost well. Miss Mott says that you will feel uneasy and anxious to know. I was very blind when Miss Mott wrote her letter. I have just begun to read and write again. Oh, how happy you will be to hear that I can see again! I thought how you would pity me if only you knew how blind I was. Miss Mott held me in her arms all the time I was not asleep.
Miss Mott told me that you visited a great many blind children and they felt of you because they could not see you and they had heard of you before you came to see them. Oh, how sorry I felt for them that they could not see you!
I wonder if it snows where you are. It snows here today, and I love to see it snow. The flakes are almost as large as the palm of my hand. They look so beautiful falling upon the green leaves of the chestnut tree in front of the parlor windows. The leaves are bright green. They have now a beautiful green edge.
My dear father, if you were here now, oh, happy, how happy, I should be!
Albany, Oct. 23, 1846.
Oh, my dear father, how glad I was this morning when Miss Mott handed me your letter! I kissed it over and over again, and when I read it, oh, happy, oh, how happy it made me! It was such a dear, sweet letter. Why, my dear father, how can I forget you when we talk about you every hour in the day? Oh, no, my dear father, your little Rosa can never forget you. Then I have so many of your dear letters, and you tell me how you love me.
Miss Abigail and Miss Lydia are very much delighted with your last letter. They thought Mr. Sanderson wrote me a beautiful letter, but it did not come from my dear father, although he calls himself my oldest brother. Do you know that, father?
Miss Nash says that she is very much obliged to you for your love to her, but she says she wonders how you have any love left for her when you send a whole heart full to me.
My dear father, you say that you show my letters to little girls. Why, father, I did not think that you would show them. There is something private in them.
Father, you say that you dreamed that I did know you when you met me; I did not smile or look pleased. That was very strange for you to dream that I did not know you, for I shall know you if I only hear you say "Rosa," even though you would speak to me in the dark. I do not dream. I sleep so sweetly. I do not remember what I think when I am asleep, but Miss Abigail says she can give me her dream as an offset to my father's dream. She dreamt that she (-- scan illegible for a few words --) some company and you would not shake hands with her for some time. After awhile you put out your hand very indifferently and spoke coldly to her. But Miss Mott says she doesn't believe in dreams. Do you, father?
Miss Lydia desires me to give a great deal of love to you. This is from your loving little daughter,


  1. Library of Congress, Frederick Douglass Family Tree
  2. The Denver Star 24 February 1917
  3. The Colored American, 12 May 1900
  4. The Statesman, 23 October 1909

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Douglas-7 and Douglass-2331 appear to represent the same person because: father's surname
posted by Sheila x

Rosetta is 22 degrees from Danielle Liard, 14 degrees from Jack London and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.