On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 October 1845, Douglass appeared in the Assembly Rooms in Wexford (now the Cornmarket centre), before a mostly Quaker audience. The talk started at 8 o’clock and the admission charge was 4d or fourpence. The lecture was advertised in the Wexford Independent (a pro-Repeal newspaper published by John Green, who was Mayor of Wexford 7 times).
Joseph Poole wrote:
‘Mr. Editor - you are without doubt an anti-slavery man, and will have pleasure of the fact that the execrable system of American Slavery has had a most complete exposure in our good town of Wexford, at the hands of one of its fugitive victims and most eloquent and determined opponents, Frederick Douglass, of Lynne, Massachusetts, recently a slave in Maryland, and now threatened in his life and liberty for his courageous denunciation of of its iniquity, and who has been driven thereby from the land of stars and stripes - the land of freedom and equality - the land of religion and civilisation - the United States of America, to seek protection from the pitiless grip of his master in the bosom of the Green island, in the hearts and beneath the sheltering arm of the liberty-loving sons of Old Ireland.’
In the Assembly Room Douglass proclaimed aloud his manhood and the manhood of his race and its identity with the whole brotherhood of man, Joseph Poole reported;
‘I am your brother" said Douglass, and the assent of his hearers was proclaimed in such a universal shout of approbation that the old walls shook to hear three million of our brothers and sisters still languish in bondage of the most hideous description in the Southern State of America.’
SEE ALSO ‘Frederick Douglass and Ireland: In His Own Words’, by Christine Kinealy