Fourth Of July Recap: Frederick Douglass Anti-Slavery 5th Of July Speech Trends 'Till Today


One of the best 4th of July-inspired speeches was from Frederick Douglass. He gave his famous speech during an Independence Day celebration organized and hosted by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society.

 Douglas' 5th of July's speech was witnessed by approximately 600 people at the Corinthian Hall. Douglass's 4th of July message circled around American Slaves. Reportedly, it was the day that reminded them most of the cruelty and injustice that many slaves suffered during the time.  

Douglass was an African American writer, who escaped from slavery in Maryland. He then became a national leader of the abolitionist movement and is famously known for his writings regarding antislavery.

The famous anti-slave writer also wrote several autobiographies focusing on his experiences as a slave in 1845. The literature was revised in 1892 as the events covered his life on the period during the Civil War. Also, he was the first African American nominee for Vice President of the United States of America. More than anything else, Douglass believed in the equality of all humans, Niagara Gazette reported.

Back then, to an American slave, the 4th of July was a bogus celebration to cover up all the injustice and vain. To them, the sound rejoice was empty and cruel; that those during that time who shouted liberty and equality were fictitious and that the entire celebration to an American slave was of such hypocrisy and disgrace. To those that became slaves, the celebration was an avenue to cover up savage acts of inhumanity that the American people have showered towards the slaves, UInterview reported.

Douglass' 5th of July also mentioned that there is no other nation to perform such heinous acts, but the United States during their time. His speech in his newspaper, Frederick Douglass' Paper, was published and 700 copies were distributed in a pamphlet form. At the River Campus Libraries Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation holdings, it contains a collection of manuscripts of Douglass's letters, photographs and ephemera.

The 5th of July speech by Douglass has now been digitized.

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