31 August-Frederick Douglass

A plaque was unveiled in Imperial Hotel, Cork in 2012 to commemorate visit of Frederick Douglas to Cork City, Ireland in 1845. Frederick Douglass was an African-American who escaped from slavery in the state of Maryland. Following his escape Douglass became a leader of the abolitionist movement in America.

Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery on September 3rd 1838. He travelled first to New York and later settled in Massachusetts. In the years following his escape he travelled the northern states to speak at rallies demanding the abolition of slavery.

In 1845 Douglass visited Ireland, where he met Daniel O Connell. He gave lectures, which were very popular, in several locations across Ireland. In a letter to the abolitionist William Garrison, Douglass wrote: I have travelled almost from the hill of Howth to the Giant’s Causeway and from the Giant’s Causeway to Cape Clear.

During his travels Douglass spoke at meetings in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast, Wexford and Waterford. He described the great sense of freedom which he felt while visiting Ireland. “I am covered with the soft, grey fog of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and lo! The chattel becomes a man. I gaze around in vain for one who will question my equal humanity, claim me as his slave, or offer me an insult”.

When he visited Cork City Frederick Douglas stayed at the Imperial Hotel. A plaque commemorating his stay was unveiled at the Imperial Hotel in the year 2012 On This Day.

[Statue of Frederick Douglass.] by New York Public Library on 2009-10-07 09:57:05

Waterford City Hall photo

Frederick Douglass

Photo by Marion Doss


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