Nathan Sprague

Nathan Sprague was Frederick Douglass’ son-in-law having married the orator’s his eldest child, Rosetta. Sprague enlisted in the Union during the Civil War. Over the years, Sprague’s desire to profit off of his father-in-law’s name and his numerous financial failures put a lot of strain on the Douglass family. His marriage to Rosetta was also a rocky one. At one point, Sprague sued Frederick Douglass for funds he believed were owed to his sister.

“Nathan Sprague had come to despise the hand that fed him, and he wanted revenge…Charles [Douglass] pointed to all of Nathan’s employment and business failures, accusing him of blatant ingratitude and of a ‘malicious conspiracy’ to ruin Douglass.”[1]

Nathan Sprague died on January 23, 1907 at the age of about 65. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York away from his father-in-law’s plot.

Exact Grave GPS coordinates: 43.126433, -77.620241

[1] David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018), 655.

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