Frederick Douglass was an escaped African-American slave who visited Waterford City in 1845. In 2013 a plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Waterford Councillor John Cummins to commemorate the visit. Frederick Douglass 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”.
A plaque commemorating the visit of Frederick Douglass to Waterford City in 1845 was unveiled at the entrance to City Hall in the year 2013 On This Day.
Photo by Marion DossStatue of Frederick Douglass.] by New York Public Library on 2009-10-07 09:57:05 FREDERICK DOUGLASS SPOKE IN CITY HALL [MEMORIAL PLAQUE IN WATERFORD]-118255 by infomatique on 2016-05-25 18:32:19
Lord Lieutenant & Corporation by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1914-11-17 09:14:04