America in Class Lessons

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

Author: Schramm, Richard R. (NHC Vice President for Education Programs, 1984–2016)

Advisor: Engell, James (NHC Fellow, 2010–11)

In the 1850s abolition was not a widely embraced movement in the United States. It was considered radical, extreme, and dangerous. In “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass sought not only to convince people of the wrongfulness of slavery but also to make abolition more acceptable to Northern whites.

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History / Literary Criticism / Education Studies / Speeches / Rhetoric / Abolitionism / Slavery / American History / Primary Sources /