A Frederick Douglass Historical Marker

A Frederick Douglass Historical Marker

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Mike DeGaetano started this petition to Yates County Historical Society

On July 4, 1862, the 10th anniversary of his famous “What is the Fourth of July?” speech, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey Douglass made a stop in Himrod, NY and spoke to a crowd of 2000 people for 90 minutes in this grove above Seneca Lake. He talked of the war, slavery, abolition, and emancipation. The Anti-Slavery Society had invited Douglass to speak at this critical juncture in our country. The crowd was filled with supporters, but there were pro-slavery advocates in attendance as well. One eye witness described a physical confrontation that ensued between the two groups. Six months later, President Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

Seneca Falls is well known as the home of Women’s Rights, but Yates County was a nucleus of abolition in the Finger Lakes.
Next year will mark the 160 anniversary of Douglass’s stop here.

There is no historical marker, no plaque, no flag, nor road sign to mark this significant event. July 4, 1862 was a somber day for a country in the grip of civil war. Douglass acknowledges this fact too.

Please sign this petition urging the Yates County Historical Society to support an initiative to recognize not only Frederick Douglass’s tireless fight for freedom and independence for all, but the Finger Lakes’ role in abolition and emancipation as well.

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