Friday, March 23, 2012

Frederick Douglass on Ireland

I have traveled almost from the Hill of Howth... the Giant's Causeway...

...and from the Giant's Causeway to Cape Clear.*

During these travels, I have met with much in the character and condition of the people to approve, and much to condemn; much that has thrilled me with pleasure, and very much that has filled me with pain.... 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.

-- Frederick Douglass to William Lloyd Garrison, Belfast, Ireland, 1 January 1846, published in Liberator, 30 January 1846, republished in My Bondage and My Freedom (1855).

*Kinsale's harbor stands in for Cape Clear, here. At this time of year, Cape Clear is a bit dangerous.


  1. I know! Imagine that! Especially for someone who loves words! Although, Douglass did have a great love for Scottish poets, too, which you can appreciate. Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott, from whom he appropriated his name.

    Ireland had a profound impact on the way that gender fit into his ideas and activism in regard to racial integration.