Blessings of Liberty and Education

  • Ladies, Gentlemen and Friends:

  • Frederick Douglass

    As I am a stranger among you and a sojourner, you will, I hope, allow me a word about myself, by way of introduction.

    Profile Picture of Frederick Douglass in Blessings of Liberty and Education
  • I want to say something about the day upon which we are met.

  • Coincidents are always more or less, interesting and here is one such of a somewhat striking character.

  • This day has for me a special interest.

  • It happens to be the anniversary of my escape from bondage.

  • Fifty-six years ago to-day, it was my good fortune to cease to be a slave, a chattel personal, and to become a man.

  • Frederick Douglass

    It was upon the 3rd day of September, 1838, that I started upon my little life work in the world.

    Profile Picture of Frederick Douglass in Blessings of Liberty and Education
  • It was a great day for me.

  • With slavery behind me and all the great untried world before me, my heart throbbed with many anxious thoughts as to what the future might have in store for me.

  • I will not attempt here any description of what were my emotions in this crisis.

  • I leave you to imagine the difference between what they were and what they are on this happy occasion.

  • I then found myself in a strange land, unknown, friendless, and pursued as if I were a fugitive from justice.

  • Frederick Douglass

    I was a stranger to every one I met in the streets of the great city of New York, for that city was the first place in which I felt at liberty to halt in my flight farther North.

    Profile Picture of Frederick Douglass in Blessings of Liberty and Education
  • New York, at that day was by no means a city of refuge.

  • On the contrary, it was a city in which slave-hunters and slave-catchers delighted to congregate.

  • It was one of the best fields for that sport this side of Africa.

  • The game once started was easily taken.

  • If they had caught me, I should have been elsewhere to assist in founding an Industrial School for colored youth in Virginia.

  • Frederick Douglass

    This is all I have to say on this point.

    Profile Picture of Frederick Douglass in Blessings of Liberty and Education