Why Does Douglass Look Down Upon The People Of The Underground Railroad? (Question)

Why does Frederick Douglass not approve of the underground railroad? because he believes, that to many people know of it. what had Douglass believed about life in the north was he right? He thought the north would be poor without slaves.

What happens to Douglass when he reaches New York City?

  • Nonetheless, he carries his plan through and reaches New York City smoothly on the third of September. Rather than feeling relieved upon reaching New York, however, Douglass is seized with terror. He finds himself in an unfamiliar city, without shelter, food, money, or friends.

How does Douglass feel about the Underground Railroad?

Douglass adds that the underground railroad (an organized system of cooperation among abolitionists helping fugitive slaves escape to the North or Canada) should be called the “upperground railroad,” and he honors ” those good men and women for their noble daring, and applauds them for willingly subjecting themselves to

Was Frederick Douglass against the Underground Railroad?

Frederick Douglass was very active on the Underground Railroad and was well-connected with other abolitionists across the state. He helped a great deal of fugitive slaves make their way to freedom in Canada. He spoke out about the Jerry Rescue in Syracuse.

Why did Frederick Douglass disapprove of the manner in which the Underground Railroad was conducted?

Why did Frederick Douglass disapprove of the manner in which the Underground Railroad was conducted? He thought that there was too much publicity about the Underground Railroad which may hinder future escape efforts because they were enlightening slaveholders of their methods of escape.

What does Douglass say about slaves in his narrative?

Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.

Who did Douglass marry?

Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts Douglass remained married until his death in 1895. After his will was contested by his children, Helen secured loans in order to buy Cedar Hill and preserve it as a memorial to her late husband.

Why does Douglass not trust after he escaped?

Q. Why doesn’t Douglass trust anyone after he escapes? Because of someone stealing from him when he first became free.

Was Underground Railroad an actual railroad?

Nope! Despite its name, the Underground Railroad wasn’t a railroad in the way Amtrak or commuter rail is. It wasn’t even a real railroad. The Underground Railroad of history was simply a loose network of safe houses and top secret routes to states where slavery was banned.

Does the Underground Railroad still exist?

It includes four buildings, two of which were used by Harriet Tubman. Ashtabula County had over thirty known Underground Railroad stations, or safehouses, and many more conductors. Nearly two-thirds of those sites still stand today.

What happened to the Underground Railroad?

End of the Line The Underground Railroad ceased operations about 1863, during the Civil War. In reality, its work moved aboveground as part of the Union effort against the Confederacy.

Why does Douglass fail to give all the details of his escape?

Why does Frederick fail to give the details of his escape? He wanted to protect other slaves and keep it a secret from slave owners who may possibly read his book. He was considered a rebellious slave, and his death was supposed to be a warning to other slaves.

Why does Douglass not give details about his escape?

Why didn’t Douglass give all of the details of his escape? Douglass’s book was published before slavery was ended. If he’d given all the details of his escape, he would have given away important information about the Underground Railroad and put people in danger.

What did Frederick Douglass do?

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery, before and during the Civil War.

Why does Frederick Douglass describe the songs that the enslaved people sing and how they sing them so carefully?

Why does Frederick Douglass describe the songs that the enslaved people sing, and how they sing them, so carefully? It helps Douglass reject the idea that slavery in America is justified by the Bible.

How did Frederick Douglass escape slavery?

Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery on September 3, 1838, aided by a disguise and job skills he had learned while forced to work in Baltimore’s shipyards. Douglass posed as a sailor when he grabbed a train in Baltimore that was headed to Philadelphia.

Why is Douglass somewhat grateful that Mr Auld orders Douglass’s reading lessons stopped?

What is Douglass’s main point about Gore shooting Demby? Why is Douglass grateful that Hugh Auld orders Douglass’s reading lessons stopped? Auld unwittingly gives Douglass the key to escape slavery. Why does Douglass believe that city slaveholders are usually less cruel than rural slaveholders?

Ch. 11 : Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Why does he have a condescending attitude toward the folks who worked on the Underground Railroad? On April 27, 2016, at 1:39 a.m., JasminU523307 posed the question. Aslan last modified this page on April 27, 2016, 1:41 a.m.


Please Include Yours. Aslan responded at 11:41 a.m. on April 27, 2016. In Douglass’ opinion, the highly public debate around the Underground Railroad was a source of hatred for him. His delight at the fact that slaves had found their way to freedom was overshadowed by his belief that “open statements are a positive evil to the slaves left, who are yearning to escape.” Douglass was growing restless in 1838, questioning why he was required to continue handing over the contents of his purse to his owner.

When Master Thomas arrived in town, Douglass approached him and asked if he would be interested in hiring him out.


Summary Douglass manages to flee to the north in this chapter, but he is coy about the means by which he accomplished this achievement. He reveals that his technique of emancipation is still in use by other slaves, and as a result, he does not wish to make it public. Douglass goes on to say that the underground railroad (an organized system of cooperation among abolitionists who assisted fugitive slaves in escaping to the North or Canada) should be renamed the “upperground railroad,” and he commends “those good men and women for their noble daring, and applauds them for willingly subjecting themselves to bloody persecution,” but he is adamantly opposed to anyone disclosing the methods by which slaves were able to fle Apparently, Douglass was in desperate need of money to go away, and so he offered to Hugh Auld that he “lease his time.” For a specific sum every week, Douglass was given the freedom to pursue work on his own terms; anything he earned in excess of the amount he had committed to Auld was his to retain.

  1. “Rain or shine, work or no job, at the end of each week, the money must be forthcoming, or I will be forced to give up my privilege,” the narrator states.
  2. For Douglass, this employment scenario entailed not only suffering under slavery, but also experiencing the worry that comes with being a free man (who must fend for him or herself in the job market).
  3. At some point, he was able to save up enough money to travel to New York City on September 3, 1838.
  4. In the North, there are a plethora of “man-hunters,” who are willing to return fugitive slaves to their masters in exchange for a monetary reward.
  5. This is the first time that Douglass describes his wife, Anna Murray (a liberated lady whom he had met in Maryland) and how she came to live with him in New York City with him.
  6. They were instantly wedded and moved to the city.
  7. Douglass provides the following explanation: “I granted Mr.

That is something I must hang onto in order to maintain a feeling of my own identity.” Sir Walter Scott’s epic love poem The Lady of the Lake was the inspiration for Johnson’s choice for “Douglass” to take the place of “Bailey.” Surprisingly, in the poem, the name of the exiled lord, James of Douglas, is spelt incorrectly with a singleton.

  1. Instead, he discovered a cultured and rich society that was devoid of traces of great poverty in the North.
  2. Douglass was resourceful, and he quickly found employment loading ships and handling a variety of other odd jobs.
  3. During this period, another watershed moment happened.
  4. On August 11, 1841, while attending an anti-slavery conference, he delivered his first speech to an assembly of white people, at the request of William Coffin, an abolitionist leader who had invited him to speak.
  5. Analysis Douglass, now a free man, saw that his initial name was inextricably linked to his identity and decided to keep it.
  6. In The Lady of the Lake, we follow the narrative of James of Douglas, a fugitive who comes to terms with himself; it is a story that is faintly paralleled by Douglass’ own fugitive existence.
  7. First and foremost, he asserts, slavery is a robber, and the rewards of slave work are exclusively enjoyed by slaveholders and their families.
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Greed is unquestionably one of the primary components of slavery – along with power and authority.

Certainly, a free market in which an individual must fend for himself or herself is a challenging environment to live in, but Douglass would have preferred it over a slave economy any day.

Douglass is far less critical and forthright about racism in the North than he is in the South (at least in this first version of his autobiography).

First and foremost, he was still high on the high of freedom in the North, and whatever prejudice he encountered there would have been insignificant in comparison to what he faced in the South.

For many years, the power of slave hunters in the free states was a sensitive topic of discussion.

Money became an essential key to freedom, a key that was equally important as knowledge, because Douglass need money in order to purchase his journey to New York.

They had better health, were happier, and were more affluent than their counterparts in the Southern United States (South).

Because northern living circumstances were superior and the free market was a more efficient process, the northern hemisphere dominated. Slave labor had been supplanted by machinery. Having witnessed the type of capitalism that exists in the North, Douglass enthusiastically welcomes it.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Chapter XI & Appendix Summary & Analysis

Douglass adds that the final chapter of hisNarrativedepicts the period of his life during which he managed to elude capture and emancipation. He admits, however, that the chapter does not provide a detailed description of his escape route because he does not want to provide slaveholders with knowledge that would assist them in preventing other slaves from fleeing to the North. To the contrary, Douglass hopes that slaveholders would grow frantic with the thought of invisible adversaries lurking around them, ready to take their slaves away from them or hamper them in their quest to regain possession of their slaves.

  • As a courtesy, Auld occasionally pays Douglass a tiny fraction of his salary, which only serves to reinforce Douglas’s belief that he is legally entitled to the payments in their full.
  • When Thomas Auld comes to Baltimore, Douglass approaches him and asks to be permitted to go out and look for job on his own.
  • A year and a half later, Douglass approaches Hugh Auld with the same request, and Auld accepts, with the caveat that Douglass must find all of his own employment and pay Auld three dollars per week in order to cover the costs of his own tools, board, and clothes.
  • In exchange for his own time and payment on Saturdays, Douglass employs Hugh Auld for a period of four months.
  • Hugh Auld is enraged and revokes Douglass’s right of hiring his own time, thinking that Douglass may attempt to flee at any point throughout the day.
  • Then Douglass decides to flee on the third of September, which happens to be his birthday.
  • As the day of his escape approaches closer, Douglass begins to feel nervous about abandoning his numerous Baltimore acquaintances and about the prospect of failing to make it.

However, rather than feeling comforted upon arriving in New York, Douglass is gripped with a terrifying sense of foreboding.

The people around him are frightened of him, and he is scared to communicate with anybody for fear that they would report him in.

Ruggles, an abolitionist and journalist, urges Douglass to seek employment as a caulker in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he has a connection.

Anna moves to New York to be with Douglass.

When Douglass and Anna arrive in New Bedford, they are greeted by Mr.

Nathan Johnson, who cover their travel debt and assist Douglass in deciding on a new name for themselves.

Johnson, referring to the name of a knight in Sir Walter Scott’s novelLady of the Lake.

Douglass has always thought that Northerners are impoverished because they do not own slaves, a belief that is supported by historical evidence.

Douglass does not believe in great poverty.

They are more politically informed and educated than many of the slaveholders in the Southern United States.

Douglass will be employed at the New Bedford docks for the next three years in a variety of positions around the port.

Douglass joins an antislavery conference in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in August 1841, and is encouraged to talk about his experiences as a slave.

He is apprehensive about speaking in front of a group of white people, but he quickly becomes confident. Since that day, Douglass has fought tirelessly to further the anti-slavery cause.

Summary: Appendix

When it comes to religion, Douglass utilizes the appendix to clarify his perspective. A significant distance, he believes, separates Christ’s clean and peaceful Christianity from that of slaveholding America’s wicked Christianity. Throughout the book, Douglass articulates his awareness of the hypocrisy of Southern “Christian” leaders who lash slaves, prostitution female slaves, and wage theft from working slaves while claiming to uphold Christian virtues such as humility, purity, and virtue. Douglass indicates that the Southern church and slaveholders are allies in their struggle against slavery.

Abolitionist poet Robert Frost and a parodic rendition of an old Southern hymn are among the sources Douglass draws on to buttress his case.

Analysis: Chapter XIAppendix

As a result of Douglass’s explanation as to why he does not explain the manner of his escape, one of theNarrative’s primary themes is further developed: slavery is perpetuated via the use of forced ignorance. Slave masters, according to Frederick Douglass, kept blacks slaves by refusing to allow them to receive an education. Douglass characterizes this tactic as an aggressive and demeaning approach to public politics. Douglass flips the script in Chapter XI, refusing to teach slaveholders about the means of his escape, or about how slaves flee in general, as he did in the previous chapter.

  1. Douglass’s tone, on the other hand, grows increasingly passionate as he hints that he would want slaveholders and slavecatchers to suffer as a result of their stupidity.
  2. The terror and paranoia experienced by slaveholders would be analogous to the feelings experienced by slaves.
  3. Learn more about ignorance as a tool of enslavement in this article.
  4. As a result, Douglass’s narrative of the events leading up to his escape is obviously divided.
  5. The level to which Douglass suffers as a result of his friends’ departure from New York City is the sole evidence of how important Douglass’s friends are to him.
  6. The narrative claims that men are transformed into slaves on an individual level by stripping them of their sense of self.
  7. Douglass’s first few days alone in New York reflect a watershed moment in his development as a person.
  8. Douglass provides the reader with a sense of his current circumstances and thoughts, but he also emphasizes that no reader will be able to truly sympathize with his feelings until he or she has personally experienced all of the events he or she is reading about.

As a result, Douglass’s first few days in New York are distinguished as a severe, personal experience in this paragraph. Learn more about Frederick Douglass by reading this in-depth examination.

How Frederick Douglass Escaped Slavery

Frederick Douglass had never been so nervous in his life. As he reached the Baltimore and Ohio train station, the butterflies in his stomach fluttered with every bounce of the carriage over Baltimore’s cobblestone streets. The slave, then known by his birth name of Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, was about to embark on a risky voyage with the goal of reaching New York—and ultimately freedom—as his final destination. Following Douglass’ failed effort to emancipate himself from slavery two years before, he was imprisoned and transferred to Baltimore by his master, where he was contracted out to work in the city’s shipyards for a period of time.

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According to his memoirs, “I was confident that if I failed in this endeavor, my case would be a hopeless one.” “It would effectively seal my destiny as a slave for all time.” The disguise of a free black sailor, which Douglass pulled off admirably, was a clever trick, considering the nautical expertise he learned while working on the wharf.

  1. With his red shirt and nautical hat, as well as his loosely tied black necktie, he looked dapper for the occasion.
  2. A free African American seaman had given Douglass the paperwork, but the seaman he had taken it from did not resemble the physical description on the sheet of paper.
  3. Close investigation by a train official or by any other authority would disclose the ruse and put Douglass and his buddy in danger of being arrested.
  4. It took several minutes before the conductor was eventually allowed to enter the segregated passenger car carrying the train’s African-American passengers.
  5. “The choice of this conductor had the potential to change my entire destiny,” he wrote.
  6. “Do you think you’ve got your free papers?” he inquired.
  7. As the conductor pointed out, “you do have something to prove that you are a free man, don’t you?” I have a piece of paper with the American eagle on it, and it will take me all the way across the world,” Douglass said.
  8. The conductor’s attention was drawn to the authoritative eagle imprinted on the top of the bus rather than to the erroneous physical description written on the side.

“Had the conductor paid great attention to the document,” Douglass said, “he could not have failed to see that it asked for a person who appeared to be extremely different in appearance from myself.” Douglass’s uneasiness did not completely subside with the arrival of the conductor’s footsteps, on the other hand.

  1. The quicker the train moved, the longer it appeared to take to catch up with the escaping slave.
  2. In addition, Douglass’ cover was almost revealed on a number of occasions during the investigation.
  3. While boarding a northbound train across the river, Douglass noticed a white ship captain who had previously worked for him through the window of another train that had stopped on the track.
  4. Even if the captain’s sight never rested on the slave, the gaze of a German blacksmith whom Douglass recognized did.
  5. “I truly think he was aware of my existence,” Douglass wrote, “but lacked the courage to betray me.” Frederick Douglass in his early twenties, around 1847.
  6. Despite the difficulties, Douglass was able to reach in New York without incident less than 24 hours after departing Baltimore.
  7. Packs of slave catchers scoured the streets of New York, looking for fugitives who could be hiding elsewhere.
  8. Douglass and his new bride left for a safer haven in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the next day after their wedding ceremony ended in tragedy.
  9. A former slave who escaped from slavery changed his last name from Bailey to Douglass in order to better conceal his identity from slave hunters.
  10. When Douglass published his autobiography in 1845, he revealed only a few details about his escape in order to protect those who helped him and to keep authorities unaware of the method he used to break free from slavery.

It was not until 1881 that he was finally able to provide details of his escape. Throughout his life, Douglass referred to February 14, 1838, as the day when his “free existence started,” and he observed that day in lieu of his actual birthday for the rest of his days.

Eastern Illinois University : Teaching with Primary Sources

However, many of the intriguing and lesser known elements of the Underground Railroad are not included in many textbooks, despite the fact that it is an essential part of our nation’s history. It is intended that this booklet will serve as a window into the past by presenting a number of original documents pertaining to the Underground Railroad. Broadsides, prize posters, newspaper clippings, historical records, sheet music, pictures, and memoirs connected to the Underground Railroad are among the primary sources included in this collection.

  1. The Underground Railroad was a covert structure established to assist fugitive slaves on their journey to freedom in the United States.
  2. As a result, secret codes were developed to aid in the protection of themselves and their purpose.
  3. Runaway slaves were referred to as cargo, and the free persons who assisted them on their journey to freedom were referred to as conductors.
  4. These stations would be identified by a lantern that was lighted and hung outside.

A Dangerous Path to Freedom

Traveling through the Underground Railroad to seek their freedom was a lengthy and risky trek for escaped slaves. Runaway slaves were forced to travel long distances, sometimes on foot, in a short amount of time in order to escape. They accomplished this while surviving on little or no food and with little protection from the slave hunters who were rushing after them in the night. Slave owners were not the only ones who sought for and apprehended fleeing slaves. For the purpose of encouraging people to aid in the capture of these slaves, their owners would post reward posters offering monetary compensation for assisting in the capture of their property.

  • Numerous arrested fugitive slaves were beaten, branded, imprisoned, sold back into slavery, or sometimes killed once they were apprehended.
  • They would have to fend off creatures that wanted to kill and devour them while trekking for lengthy periods of time in the wilderness, as well as cross dangerous terrain and endure extreme temperatures.
  • The Fleeing Slave Law of 1850 permitted and promoted the arrest of fugitive slaves since they were regarded as stolen property rather than mistreated human beings under the law at the time.
  • They would not be able to achieve safety and freedom until they crossed the border into Canada.
  • Aside from that, there were Underground Railroad routes that ran south, on their way to Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • He was kidnapped from his northern abode, arrested, and prosecuted in Boston, Massachusetts, under the provisions of this legislation.
  • After the trial, Burns was returned to the harshness of the southern states, from which he had thought he had fled.

American Memory and America’s Library are two names for the Library of Congress’ American Memory and America’s Library collections.

He did not escape via the Underground Railroad, but rather on a regular railroad.

Since he was a fugitive slave who did not have any “free papers,” he had to borrow a seaman’s protection certificate, which indicated that a seaman was a citizen of the United States, in order to prove that he was free.

Unfortunately, not all fugitive slaves were successful in their quest for freedom.

Harriet Tubman, Henry Bibb, Anthony Burns, Addison White, Josiah Henson, and John Parker were just a few of the people who managed to escape slavery using the Underground Railroad system.

He shipped himself from Richmond, Virginia, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in a box that measured three feet long, two and a half feet deep, and two feet in diameter. When he was finally let out of the crate, he burst out singing.


Train conductors on the Underground Railroad were free persons who provided assistance to escaped slaves moving via the Underground Railroad system. Runaway slaves were assisted by conductors, who provided them with safe transportation to and from train stations. They were able to accomplish this under the cover of darkness, with slave hunters on their tails. Many of these stations would be in the comfort of their own homes or places of work, which was convenient. They were in severe danger as a result of their actions in hiding fleeing slaves; nonetheless, they continued because they believed in a cause bigger than themselves, which was the liberation thousands of oppressed human beings.

  1. They represented a diverse range of ethnicities, vocations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  2. Due to the widespread belief that slaves were considered property, the freeing of slaves was perceived as a theft of slave owners’ personal belongings.
  3. Captain Jonathan Walker was apprehended off the coast of Florida while attempting to convey slaves from the United States to freedom in the Bahamas.
  4. With the following words from one of his songs, abolitionist poet John Whittier paid respect to Walker’s valiant actions: “Take a step forward with your muscular right hand, brave ploughman of the sea!
  5. She never lost sight of any of them during the journey.
  6. He went on to write a novel.
  7. John Parker is yet another former slave who escaped and returned to slave states in order to aid in the emancipation of others.
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Rankin’s neighbor and fellow conductor, Reverend John Rankin, was a collaborator in the Underground Railroad project.

The Underground Railroad’s conductors were unquestionably anti-slavery, and they were not alone in their views.

Individuals such as William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur and Lewis Tappan founded the American Anti-Slavery Society, which marked the beginning of the abolitionist movement.

The group published an annual almanac that featured poetry, paintings, essays, and other abolitionist material.

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who rose to prominence as an abolitionist after escaping from slavery.

His other abolitionist publications included the Frederick Douglass Paper, which he produced in addition to delivering public addresses on themes that were important to abolitionists.

Anthony was another well-known abolitionist who advocated for the abolition of slavery via her speeches and writings.

For the most part, she based her novel on the adventures of escaped slave Josiah Henson.

Efforts of Abolitionists Telling Their Story:Fugitive Slave Narratives

Henry Bibb was born into slavery in Kentucky in the year 1815, and he was the son of a slave owner. After several failed efforts to emancipate himself from slavery, he maintained the strength and persistence to continue his struggle for freedom despite being captured and imprisoned numerous times. His determination paid off when he was able to successfully escape to the northern states and then on to Canada with the assistance of the Underground Railroad, which had been highly anticipated. The following is an excerpt from his tale, in which he detailed one of his numerous escapes and the difficulties he faced as a result of his efforts.

  • I began making preparations for the potentially lethal experiment of breading the shackles that tied me as a slave as soon as the clock struck twelve.
  • On the twenty-fifth of December, 1837, the long-awaited day had finally arrived when I would put into effect my previous determination, which was to flee for Liberty or accept death as a slave, as I had previously stated.
  • It took every ounce of moral strength I have to keep my emotions under control as I said goodbye to my small family.
  • Despite the fact that every incentive was extended to me in order to flee if I want to be free, and the call of liberty was booming in my own spirit, ‘Be free, oh, man!
  • I was up against a slew of hurdles that had gathered around my mind, attempting to bind my wounded soul, which was still imprisoned in the dark prison of mental degeneration.
  • Furthermore, the danger of being killed or arrested and deported to the far South, where I would be forced to spend the rest of my days in hopeless bondage on a cotton or sugar plantation, all conspired to discourage me.
  • The moment has come for me to follow through on my commitment.
  • This marked the beginning of the construction of what was known as the underground rail route to Canada.

For nearly forty-eight hours, I pushed myself to complete my journey without food or rest, battling against external difficulties that no one who has never experienced them can comprehend: “not knowing when I might be captured while traveling among strangers, through cold and fear, braving the north winds while wearing only a thin layer of clothing, pelted by snow storms through the dark hours of the night, and not a single house in which I could enter to protect me from the storm.” This is merely one of several accounts penned by runaway slaves who were on the run from their masters.

Sojourner Truth was another former slave who became well-known for her work to bring slavery to an end.

Green and many others, including Josiah Henson, authored autobiographies in which they described their own personal experiences.

Perhaps a large number of escaped slaves opted to write down their experiences in order to assist people better comprehend their struggles and tribulations; or perhaps they did so in order to help folks learn from the mistakes of the past in order to create a better future for themselves.

Frederick Douglass on Remembering the Civil War, 1877

Americans came together after the Civil Fight in large part as a result of their collective forgetfulness about what the war had been about. The celebrations paid tribute to the valor of both forces, and the significance of the battle began to disappear. Frederick Douglass and other Black activists engaged in a war of historical memory with Confederate supporters during the American Civil War. Dougas urges on Americans to remember the war for what it truly was: a confrontation between an army seeking to keep slavery in place and a country that had grudgingly converted itself into a force for freedom.

  1. On this day of remembrance, we offer you the deep appreciation of millions of freed people as well as the admiration of a devoted country.
  2. While I am not here to rekindle old animosities or to inflame inter-racial strife, no honest man can look at the political condition of the day and fail to realize that we are still suffering from the traumatic sequences of slavery and the recent revolt.
  3. “Please allow us to enjoy peace.” Yes, let us have peace, but first and foremost, let us have liberty, law, and justice.
  4. My personal feelings toward the old master class of the South are well known to those who know me well.
  5. Despite the fact that many of them were not sinners above all others, many of them were in a way the slaves of the slave system, because slavery was a force in the state that was bigger than the state itself.
  6. However, we should not be asked to declare whether the South was correct in its insurrection or if the North was correct in its rebellion.
  7. However, the war’s sectional nature was purely coincidental, and it was by far the least crucial aspect of it.

Good, wise, and generous men in the North, in power and out of power, whose good intentions and patriotism we must all admire, question the wisdom of commemorating this memorial day, and would have us forget and forgive, strew flowers on rebel and loyal graves alike and lovingly, doubt the wisdom of commemorating this memorial day, and would have us forget and forgive.

The late conflict had a right and a wrong side, which no feeling should cause us to forget, and while we should harbor no hate against anybody and extend compassion to everyone, it is not our responsibility to mix up right and wrong, or loyalty and treachery, in our day and age.

though freedom of speech and of the ballot have for the time being fallen before the shot-guns of the South, and though the party of slavery is now in the ascendant, we need bate no jot of heart or hoof in our determination In the event of a major crisis, the American people will remain true to themselves.

“Speech delivered in Madison Square, New York, on Decoration Day,” according to Frederick Douglass. Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, dated 1878. The Library of Congress makes this resource available.

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