Frederick Douglass speaks in Waterford

9th October 1845
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Frederick Douglass was an American abolitionist and former slave who visited Ireland in the latter part of 1845

After the publication of his book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass' life and freedom were at risk. For his own protection he was advised to flee America for Britain and later Ireland. He would spend four months in the country.

Whilst in Ireland, Douglass was present at a Repeal meeting where he heard Daniel O'Connell speaking on the subject of the liberation of slaves in America. So impressed was Douglass with O'Connell's dedication to the abolition of slavery that the sought an audience with him. The two men became friends and travelled to a number of rallies together. 

During his time in Ireland, Douglass gave over 50 lectures around the country on the topic of the abolition of slavery in America. He was well-received and described feeling for the first time that he was a man and not a colour. One such visit, which was highly attended, took place in Waterford on the 9th of October 1845

Read about Douglass' visit to Ireland in his own words here

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