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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

Have a Happy and Proud Juneteenth

Fredrick Douglass traveled to Ireland and spoke at rallies across the island. Of the trip he said it was “some of the happiest moments of his life.”

While some Irish disgracefully supported slavery the mass of the Irish people in the words of Douglass abhorred the slave owner and sided with the slave.

Here is a letter from Frederick Douglas on leaving Ireland and a short video clip of connections between Douglass and Ireland.

Please watch and share.

Letter from Frederick Douglass to William Lloyd Garrison

Victoria Hotel, Belfast, 1 January 1846

My Dear Friend Garrison: I am now about to take leave of the Emerald Isle, for Glasgow, Scotland, I have been here a little more than four months …

I can truly say, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life.

The warm and generous co-operation extended to me by the friends of my despised race—the prompt and liberal manner with which the press has rendered me its aid—the glorious enthusiasm with which thousands have flocked to hear the cruel wrongs of my down-trodden and long-enslaved fellow-countrymen portrayed—the deep sympathy for the slave, and the strong abhorrence of the slaveholder, everywhere evinced—the cordiality with which members and ministers of various religious bodies, and of various shades of religious opinion, have embraced me, and lent me their aid—the kind hospitality constantly proffered to me by persons of the highest rank in society—the spirit of freedom that seems to animate all with whom I come in contact—and the entire absence of everything that looked like prejudice against me, on account of the color of my skin—contrasted so strongly with my long and bitter experience in the United States, that I look with wonder and amazement on the transition.

Eleven days and a half gone, and I have crossed three thousand miles of the perilous deep ocean.

Instead of a democratic government, I am under a monarchical government. Instead of the bright blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft grey fog of the Emerald Isle.

I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes a man.

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