Sometimes it took an outsider to capture the misery and the impoverishment of Ireland in the mid-nineteenth century. Frederick Douglass was that man. By rights we should never have heard of Douglass. He could have lived and died as a slave on a southern plantation. Instead he became the most famous abolitionist and spokesman for African American rights of the nineteenth century. But he also visited and wrote about Ireland. That he compared the plight of Irish peasants to that of African American slaves is telling. Historian Cecelia Hartsell will share her expertise on Douglass’s life and philosophy, and the reasons for his empathy with the doomed Irish peasantry of the 1840s.
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