Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) Oration delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06829 Author/Creator: Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) Place Written: Rochester, New York Type: Pamphlets Date: 5 July 1852 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: First Edition by Lee, Mann & Co. Douglass' famous fourth of July oration, given on the fifth. Douglass was asked by the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society to give the oration on the fourth, choosing the topic "the meaning of the Fourth to the Negro." Douglass' famous peroration: "Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice [of the Fourth], embodied in the Declaration of Independence, extended to us? .... This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, but I must mourn." McFeely called this "perhaps the greatest anti-slavery oration ever given." Sabin 20716. Blockson 30.

People: Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: Slave Life, African American Author, Slavery, Declaration of Independence, Civil Rights, Fourth of July, Women's History, Abolition, Reform Movement, African American History

Sub Era: Age of Jackson