Frederick Douglass Speaks About the American Constitution

Frederick Douglass Speaks About the American Constitution

Step back in time on Saturday, April 30 at 1 PM, as the Franklin County Visitors Bureau welcomes the public to a special portrayal of Frederick Douglass at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center. The event, featuring “The U.S. Constitution in the Words of Frederick Douglass,” is inspired by the public talk Frederick Douglass gave in August 1859, just before meeting with John Brown to discuss Brown’s plans to raid the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. The April 30 presentation is offered at no charge and culminates the Franklin County Visitors Bureau’s April celebration Spring into History.

Author and storyteller Nathan M. Richardson will portray Frederick Douglass. Richardson visited the 11/30 Visitors Center in 2020 to bring Douglass to life in “A Conversation with Frederick Douglass and John Brown.”

Frederick Douglass lived an amazing life—from chattel to Renaissance man. He was a freedom fighter, self-made man, orator, author, activist, abolitionist, suffragist, and public servant. Born enslaved in 1818 as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, he changed his name to Frederick Douglass after escaping enslavement in 1837. He published his first book about his life called Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas in 1845. Douglass toured America and Europe, speaking about his life and freedom. Support of Douglass grew. In December 1846 through the efforts of English and Irish advocates, Frederick Douglass was legally and totally free. On his return to America as a free man, he began printing and publishing The North Star and completed a second book My Bondage and My Freedom in 1855. He continued his relationship with John Brown and hearing Brown’s plan for the Raid at Harpers Ferry, tried to convince Brown it would not be successful. The raid did not succeed. Douglass continued to carry the message of abolition and freedom. He served as a consultant to President Lincoln, advocating for USCT (United States Colored Troops) and abolition of slavery throughout the war. He was confirmed by the Senate to serve as a U.S. Marshall from 1877 to 1881, continued his work writing, and was a strong advocate of suffrage until he passed away at 77 years old.

Throughout his lifetime, Douglass had many experiences and opportunities to learn and evolve. With such experience comes a special perspective of the American Constitution. Register for this event here, or contact 866.646.8060.