One of the great things about the web is you keep stumbling over things you didn’t expect. The complete text of a speech from FD is reproduced on the interesting blog Afro-netizen (regrettably, the speech is undated, but I’ll guess 1870 or later).
Douglass was asked to speak on the 4th of July, and was rather peeved about it, understandably:
“I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. ”
Check it out! (Ed–thought of you when I saw this. Can you give me any more context to the speech? Where and when?)
Edited to add: And Ed comes through! See comments for details:
On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall.