|Painting of Frederick Douglas which hangs at Cedar Hill (Source: NPS)|
Today, we talked about Frederick Douglass. The kids will tell you I loves me my Frederick Douglass! He is, for me, an epitome of an what I think of as quintessentially American. I love Madison for his ability to craft a government and Lincoln for his ability to steer that government to reunion, but I love Douglass for his fearless reminder of the great good and great harm government can do for and to its people.
I had the chance to spend a couple days at Cedar Hill, his Victorian home just north of DC this summer and took a video of an actor re-enacting a portion of one of Douglass' speech. The actor, Kevin McIlvaine, has a YouTube site with better quality versions of his work here. I asked for his permission to post this last summer and he graciously said yes. The video above was supposed to be a portion of the Douglass' What to a Slave is the Fourth of July, unfortunately technology is not playing nicely in my sandbox so, for now, here is a video of Mr. McIlvaine's recitation of Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Below are two sites, one for Cedar Hill and one a transcript of the excerpted speech you'll eventually hear on the video. Imagine hearing this speech in 1852 by a former slave on the day after our nation's 76th anniversary.
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
What to a Slave is the Fourth of July
BTW-If you don't know the reference to the title, google it! For me, that story is the essence of Frederick Douglas.
|Cane given to Frederick Douglass by Mary Todd Lincoln. It was one of the president's. (Source: NPS)|