Frederick Douglass in Ireland: “The Black O’Connell”
This exhibition explores the time Douglass spent in Ireland in 1845-1846 and the impact that the country had on his personal and political development. A highlight of his stay was meeting his hero, the Irish nationalist and abolitionist, Daniel O’Connell. It was while speaking in front of O’Connell that Douglass made an impassioned plea for his enslaved people to find their own “Black O’Connell.” Throughout his life, Douglass would playfully refer to himself in this way. Frederick Douglass in Ireland: “The Black O’Connell” will open to the public in the Lender Special Collection Room at the Arnold Bernhard Library on the Mount Carmel Campus on February 2, 2018.
A smaller exhibition, which will feature a stunning statue of Frederick aged 27 (when he visited Ireland) will be on display in the School of Law on the North Haven Campus.
A specially-commissioned booklet, written by Professor Christine Kinealy, will be available for purchase.
Both exhibitions are free and will remain open to the public for a year. For group visits, including school trips, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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…Instead of the bright blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft grey fog of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes a man.”Frederick Douglass on Ireland, 1846
February 2, 2018 to January 28, 2019
Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
The Lender Special Collection Room
Arnold Bernhard Library, Mount Carmel Campus
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
Partner Exhibiton (Statue)
Quinnipiac University School of Law
370 Bassett Road
North Haven, CT 06473
Schedule of Events
Schedule of Events
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Launch of the exhibition by Professor John Brittain (by invitation only)
Professor Brittain is a prominent civil and human rights attorney who worked on the Sheff v. O’Neill case in the Connecticut Supreme Court. He is a professor at the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Frederick Douglass in Ireland: “The Black O’Connell” (Frederick Douglass in Éirinn: An Conallach Gorm) exhibition opens to the public
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
From Abolition to #BLM: A Conversation with Danny Glover
Burt Kahn Court, Mount Carmel Campus, 7 - 10 p.m.
Driven by activists like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, early abolitionist efforts became the foundation for contemporary debates over the meaning of freedom. The Black Lives Matter movement, named for the hashtag started on Twitter, is steeped in the American tradition of using free speech and social actions to further the fight for justice and equality. In a fireside chat style program with Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, Glover will explore the similarities of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and its early abolitionist roots (particularly Frederick Douglass) to build connections, increase dialogue and end racism.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Happy Birthday, Frederick!
Events throughout the day including special cupcakes and a chance to meet Nathan Richardson (Douglass enactor).
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Frederick Douglass at 200
Center for Religion, Mount Carmel Campus, 7 p.m.
Memorial service to mark Frederick's death on February 20, 1895. The service will include a selection of readings in English and Irish. A gospel choir will perform and there will be traditional Irish uilleann pipes played. Light refreshments will be provided at 6:15 p.m. The service will begin at 7 p.m. This event will take place at the Center for Religion on the Mount Carmel Campus.
Thursday, February 22, 2018
The Gift of Frederick Douglass
Center for Religion, Mount Carmel Campus, 3 p.m.
Kenneth Morris and Nettie Douglass, descendants of Frederick Douglass, will discuss how they are preserving his legacy. The event will begin at 3 p.m. in the Center for Religion on the Mt. Carmel Campus. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.
The Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Bailey was born into slavery in Maryland.
While still a child, he was taught the alphabet, which was illegal.
He began work in a shipyard.
His first attempt to escape to the North was unsuccessful. He was jailed.
He escaped to New York on September 3.
He married Anna Murray, a free woman, on September 15. They moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts on September 17.
He changed his name to Frederick Douglass.
He spoke about his experiences at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on Nantucket Island.
During a lecture tour, he was beaten by a mob.
“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” was published in May.
To avoid being returned to slavery, he traveled to Liverpool in August, and from there to Ireland. He was denied access to first-class cabins.
On August 31, he arrived in Dublin, where he lectured on abolition and temperance.
An Irish version of the “Narrative” was published in September.
On September 29, he lectured on the same stage as his hero, Daniel O’Connell.
From October to December, he lectured at various sites in Wexford, Waterford, Cork City, Limerick and Belfast, before returning to Britain in January 1846.
He made a brief return to Belfast in June and again in July.
In October, he made a brief return to Belfast with William Lloyd Garrison. On December 12, female abolitionists in England “purchased” Frederick’s freedom from slavery.
He departed from Liverpool onboard the Cambria on April 4. Again he was denied access to first-class cabins.
In the fall, he and his family moved to Rochester, New York.
In December, he launched the North Star newspaper.
He signed the Declaration of Sentiments in favor of Women's Rights.
Frederick Douglass’ Paper published.
He delivered his oration, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society.
He published his second autobiography, “My Bondage and My Freedom.”
He traveled to England via Canada to avoid arrest following the abolitionist rising at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.
President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation. Douglass approved and supported the Union war.
He met with Lincoln in the White House for the second time.
Mary Lincoln gave Douglass her assassinated husband’s favorite walking cane.
He published an appeal for “impartial suffrage” for the black man.
Douglass family home in Rochester was burned down. The family moved to Washington, D.C.
He was appointed U.S. Marshal for District of Columbia.
Third autobiography, “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” was published (revised in 1892).
His wife, Anna Douglass, died in August.
He married Helen Pitts.
He traveled to Europe with Helen.
He returned to Dublin by himself in the summer. Many of his former friends had passed away.
He spoke in Washington, D.C, in favor of Irish Home Rule in December.
He was appointed Minister to the Republic of Haiti.
He died at his home in Washington, D.C., on February 20. That day, he had attended a meeting of the National Council of Women. He was buried in Rochester, beside his first wife.
For more information, please contact:
Ann Marie Godbout
Assistant to Ireland's Great Hunger Institute
Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University fosters a deeper understanding of the Great Hunger of Ireland and its causes and consequences through a strategic program of lectures, conferences, course offerings and publications.