Saturday, July 06, 2013

Declaration of Independence is still a work in progress

For its July Fourth celebration of 1852, the city of Rochester NY invited Frederick Douglass to speak.  Danny Glover gives an impassioned reading of that speech.

The accompanying notes intimidate the speech didn't go over so well but gives no further information.

But according to one account, it went over quite well.  A letter to Douglass was "Dear Sir-The Ladies of the "Rochester Anti Slavery Sewing Society," desire me to return you their most sincere thanks for the eloquent and able address delivered in Corinthian Hall, on the 5th of July. Anticipating its speedy publication in Pamphlet form, they request that you will furnish them with one hundred copies for distribution:
In behalf of the Society,
SUSAN F. PORTER, President.


As I suspected, the Danny Glover version is a shortened version of Douglass' speech.  Few 19th Century orators would give an eight-minute speech.

I admit it, my 20th Century eyes don't have the patience to read through the complete speech.  Now, will I get back to it before I read all the Federalist Papers or the Wealth of Nations?  I have my doubts I will read completely through any of the three.