One is struck with the difference between the attitude of the American church towards the anti-slavery movement, and that occupied by the churches in England towards a similar movement in that country. 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. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. When the dogs in your street, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea and the reptiles that crawl shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then I will argue with you that the slave is a man. The questions are designed to provoke thought and guide the students through the document. It is not the gentle shower, but thunder. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence, I will proceed to lay them before you. The anti-slavery movementtherewas not an anti-church movement, for the reason that the church took its full share in prosecuting that movement: and the anti-slavery movement in this country will cease to be an anti-church movement, when the church of this country shall assume a favorable, instead of a hostile position towards that movement. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. Speech-to-Text live streaming for live captions, powered by the worlds leading speech recognition API. Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moments warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating torture. They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny, and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke, put together, have done! What then remains to be argued? I am not that man. As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared men, honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. Suicide Note Revealed After Shocking Death, Mississippi Cops Beat, Waterboarded Handcuffed Black Men, Shot 1 For Dating White Women': Lawyers, Indicted! I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nations destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria, and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the meretoolsand body-guardsof the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. Your cause would be much more likely to succeed. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. Where these are, man is not sacred. Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday school, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds; and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive. It would, certainly, prove nothing, as to what part I might have taken, had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. When a sufficient number have been collected here, a ship is chartered, for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, unfolded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. Who can reason on such a proposition? It destroys your moral power abroad; it corrupts your politicians at home. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On July 5, 1852, eminent African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered a brilliant speech to nearly six hundred people filling Rochester, New Yorks Corinthian Hall, as organized by the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Sewing Society. That point is conceded already. Neither steam nor lightning had then been reduced to order and discipline. had I the ability, and could I reach the nations ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, They are food for the cotton-field, and the deadly sugar-mill. At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance, and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. Easily integrate Rev using our robust APIs to start building your product quickly. We need the storm. Cling to this day cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight. In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; buthow, we ask, could such a thing be done? It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers yourUnion. The simple story of it is that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. Is that a question for Republicans? Racist Ex-University Of Kentucky 'Karen' Sophia Rosing Is Charged For Assaulting Black Student. WebOn December 3, 1860, Frederick Douglass and a group of fellow abolitionists met at the Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Boston for a discussion centered around the following I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. How should I look today in the presence of Americans dividing and subdividing, a discourse to show that men have a natural right to freedom speaking of it, relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively? Youmay rejoice,Imust mourn. The manhood of the slave is conceded. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. In a final celebratory post for Black History Month 2023, it is worth returning to the 1883 Douglass Banquet. I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just. WebThe Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Frederick Douglass. Your lawmakers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, who does not know that slavery is wrong for him. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Fromwhat quarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, andthugs. At the time of the delivery of this speech, Douglass had been living in Rochester, New York for several years editing a weekly abolitionist newspaper. He was invited to give a fourth of July speech by the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester. In the early 1850s, tensions over slavery were high across the county. Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. Web" was a speech delivered by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852, at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, at a meeting organized by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him. Oppression makes a wise man mad. There, the church, true to its mission of ameliorating, elevating, and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and restored him to his liberty. Extend your content reach and maximize your engagement rates. With them, nothing was settled that was not right. If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. I will not. His own testimony is nothing. What is this but the acknowledgement that the slave is a moral, intellectual and responsible being? It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? His death, according to Douglass was not only tragic, but also prevented recently freed slaves and African Americans from gaining the ear of wise and well-intentioned leader. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! He can bring no witnesses for himself. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Fully appreciating the hardship to be encountered, firmly believing in the right of their cause, honorably inviting the scrutiny of an on-looking world, reverently appealing to heaven to attest their sincerity, soundly comprehending the solemn responsibility they were about to assume, wisely measuring the terrible odds against them, your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep the corner-stone of the national superstructure, which has risen and still rises in grandeur around you. Would you argue more and denounce less? Frederick Douglass: (09:38) Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change, (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. It is, however, a notable fact that, while so much execration is poured out by Americans upon those engaged in the foreign slave-trade, the men engaged in the slave-trade between the states pass without condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable. Descendants of Frederick Douglass read excerpts from one of his most famous speeches: What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. How can we sing the Lords song in a strange land? It has been denounced with burning words, from the high places of the nation, as an execrable traffic. The most accurate AI-powered transcription on the market. The arm of the Lord is not shortened, and the doom of slavery is certain. I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Discover why Rev is the #1 speech-to-text service in the world. On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an Independence Day celebration organized by the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society. The drove moves tardily. Frederick Douglass thought that such rationalizations were crap, and he had the right to think so. If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints.