The humble beginnings and rise to success of frederick douglass
Each in its turn has been oppressed and persecuted.
Frederick douglass summary
The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the constitution. He found a way to escape from his master and settles in Massachusetts. I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel. For Reprints and Permissions, click here. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. How stands the case with the recently-emancipated millions of colored people in our own country? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? What, then, remains to be argued? Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. Liberty came to the freed-men of the United States not in mercy, but in wrath, not by moral choice but by military necessity, not by the generous action of the people among whom they were to live, and whose good-will was essential to the success of the measure, but by strangers, foreigners, invaders, trespassers, aliens, and enemies. It is very polite, and never offers its services unasked.
They inhabit all our Southern States. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome.
They can be angels, or they may be demons. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed.
Frederick douglass reading
They are dexterous of hand, patient in toil, marvelously gifted in the power of imitation, and have but few wants. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot and kill. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world, and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. If the Negro cannot live by the line of eternal justice, so beautifully pictured to you I have better employments for my time and strength than such arguments would imply. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July.
A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy, is a curse, not a blessing to mankind.
I question the justice of this complaint.
Six-and-forty years ago, on the day we now celebrate, there went forth over the blue waters of the Carribean Sea a great message from the British throne, hailed with startling shouts of joy and thrilling songs of praise.
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