Of his arrival in Ireland, Frederick Douglass wrote:
‘‘Eleven days and a half gone, and I have crossed three thousand miles of the perilous deep ocean… Instead of the bright blue sky of America, 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.”
Of his first weeks in Dublin, he wrote:
‘‘Our success here is even greater than I had anticipated. We have held four glorious anti-slavery meetings – two in the Royal Exchange & two in the Friends’ meeting-house – all crowded to overflowing.
One of the most pleasing features of my visit, thus far, has been a total absence of all manifestations of prejudice against me, on account of my colour. The change of circumstances, in this, is particularly striking. I go on stagecoaches, steamboats, into the first cabins, & in the first public houses, without the slightest manifestation of that hateful & vulgar feeling. I find myself not treated as a colour, but as a man – not as a thing, but as a child of the common Father of us all.’’
READ MORE Frederick Douglass speaks in Waterford