Frederick Douglass and the Irish

Frederick Douglass, ca. 1879.  George K. Warren. (National Archives Gift Collection) Exact Date Shot Unknown NARA FILE #:  200-FL-22 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #:  113

Join the Irish American Heritage Museum and Professor Tim Madigan on Saturday February 6 at 2PM for an interesting look into one of America’s most famous historical figures.  This talk will discuss the life of the great social reformer, statesman and orator Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), with an emphasis on his lecture trip to Ireland as a young man in 1845 and how this influenced his later views on abolition and human rights. In particular, Dr. Madigan will talk about the role which meeting the Irish Emancipator Daniel O’Connell played in his commitment to the cause of human freedom. Dr. Madigan also will examine how Douglass remains a powerful figure for reconciliation in modern-day Ireland and Northern Ireland, with plaques commemorating him in Cork and Waterford, murals honoring him in Belfast and a statue to him in Dublin — all cities he spoke at during his lecture series. In the words of President Obama, when he visited Dublin in 2011: “His time here, Frederick Douglass said, defined him not as a color but as a man. And it strengthened the non-violent campaign he would return home to wage.”

Tim Madigan is the Director of Irish Studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, the city where Douglass lived for over 20 years after his return to America from his trip to Ireland.

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