Reading Frederick Douglass at Springfield Library

Frederick Douglas
Frederick Douglass. Photo provided

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Join us at the Springfield Town Library Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 12:15-12:45 p.m., as we read together the fiery July 5, 1852 speech in which the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

This is a participatory event. Community members are invited to witness or join in the reading. Copies of the speech will be provided. Sign up at the front desk to participate. Bring your bag lunch, and we will provide dessert.

In 1852, Frederick Douglass, one of our nation’s greatest orators and abolitionists, was asked to speak at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In his provocative speech, Douglass said, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.”

He asked, “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?” Douglass’s speech remains emotionally powerful and thought provoking more than a century and a half after he gave it.

This reading is part of our celebration of the Vermont Humanities Council’s Vermont Reads 2019 graphic novel “March: Book 1” by Jon Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. Free copies of “March: Book 1” are available at the Springfield Town Library, 43 Main Street, Springfield.

Presented in conjunction with the Vermont Humanities Council, Springfield Universalist Unitarian Congregation, and Springfield Food Co-op. This program is free, accessible, and open to the public. For more information, contact 802-885-3108 or

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