Douglass Response Paper
The Douglass document was written by an escaped slave named Frederick Douglass.Douglass has written three autobiographies.He was asked to deliver a 4th of July oration.He presented this on July 5, 1852 at a meeting sponsored by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society at Rochester Hall in Rochester, N.Y.In his document Douglass proposes the question "what to the slave is the Fourth of July.
In his document he does a good job of getting everyone's attention by honoring the fathers of the republic.He calls them "great men – great enough to give fame to a great age."He said that he "will unite with you to honor their memory" but that the point that he is "compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable" and yet he "cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration."
Douglass quickly argues what it means to be human.He says that the "slaveholders themselves acknowledge it…They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment."If a black man is then a man it should be enough to affirm the equal manhood of the negro race and give them all the rights that are defined in the "Rights of Man", 1789, and the "Declaration of Independence", 1776.
Douglass uses this speech as a chance to remind the north that America isn't truly free yet because even though they have declared their independence and abolished slavery in the north that until the south abolished slavery it wouldn't be free.He makes the point that yes it is good that slavery is abolished in the north but it really doesn't mean that much because slavery wasn't a great factor in the north becau…