First Edition Pamphlet of Frederick Douglass' "What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?"

1852 ; 39 Pages

Frederick Douglass, on July 5th, 1852, stood before a packed Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, and delivered one of the most important speeches in the history of the United States. In addition to its masterful use of rhetoric and other oratory techniques since studied in classrooms throughout the US, the speech is memorable for casting a searing spotlight on the nation’s hypocrisy of celebrating liberation while also denying the liberty of millions through a vast and brutal regime of slavery. Upon finishing his speech to the six hundred or so mostly white abolitionists, Douglas was met with “a universal burst of applause” and seven hundred copies of the above-featured pamphlet were subscribed to on the spot. See transcript at

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