The Great Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Celebrated in Hartford

Paul Filson, May 18, 2017

Reverend Dr. Damaris Whitaker from the Center Church in Downtown Hartford celebrated the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass by dedicating a memorial plaque and a court yard at the church. The ceremony was attended by more than 50 people and it was held outside on the steps of the church facing Main Street.

Douglass spoke outside the church in 1843 since he was not allowed to speak inside. The dedication ceremony included a speech by Steve Thornton, Director of the Shoeleather History Project. Thornton spoke about the dangerous times Douglass lived in and his great cause to abolish slavery. Douglass faced enormous obstacles as an African American abolitionist and was not generally greeted kindly during his visits to Connecticut.

The ceremony also included Nathan Richardson’s portrayal of Douglass quoting poems and speeches.  The plaque will be mounted on the outside wall of the church and will serve as a reminder that it took great courage and ultimately a civil war to end slavery in the United States.

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