Two Speeches by Frederick Douglass - Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895) - The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
Two speeches by Frederick Douglass; One on West India Emancipation, delivered at Canandaigua, August 4th and the other on the Dred Scott Decision, delivered in New York... May 1857
Title: Two Speeches by Frederick Douglass
Description: Two speeches by Frederick Douglass; One on West India Emancipation, delivered at Canandaigua, August 4th and the other on the Dred Scott Decision, delivered in New York... May 1857
Creator: Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895)
Transcript: Your fathers have said that man’s right to liberty is self-evident. There is no need of argument to make it clear. The voices of nature, of conscience, of reason, and of revelation, proclaim it as the right of all rights, the foundation of all trust, and of all responsibility. Man was born with it. It was his before he comprehended it. The deed conveying it to him is written in the center of his soul, and is recorded in Heaven. The sun in the sky is not more palpable to the sight than man’s right to liberty is to the moral vision. To decide against this right in the person of Dred Scott, or the humblest and most whip-scarred bondman in the land, is to decide against God. It is an open rebellion against God’s government. It is an attempt to undo what. God has done, to blot out the broad distinction instituted by the Allwise between men and things, and to change the image and superscription of the everliving God into a speechless piece of merchandise. Such a decision cannot stand. God will be true though every man be a liar. We can appeal from this hell-black judgment of the Supreme Court, to the court of common sense and common humanity. We can appeal from man to God. If there is no justice on earth, there is yet justice in heaven. You may close your Supreme Court against the black man’s cry for justice, but you cannot, thank God, close against him the ear of a sympathising world, nor shut up the Court of Heaven. All that is merciful and just, on earth and in Heaven, will execrate and despise this edict of Taney.