City celebrates Frederick Douglass visit

Posted 8/5/20

The 150th Anniversary of the Frederick Douglass visit to Newburgh is being celebrated next Tuesday.

In honor of Frederick Douglass’ visit to Newburgh in 1870 and his legacy of voter rights …

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City celebrates Frederick Douglass visit

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The 150th Anniversary of the Frederick Douglass visit to Newburgh is being celebrated next Tuesday.

In honor of Frederick Douglass’ visit to Newburgh in 1870 and his legacy of voter rights and civic engagement, the public is invited to come to the site and commemorate this important historical milestone. The gathering will take place on Tuesday, August 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the ADS Warehouse, 105 Ann Street. The public is asked to assemble in the Anne Street Parking Lot across from AME Zion Church.

The evening will consist of

• Unveiling of mural by artist Vernon Byron

• African American Spiritual Sing-A-Long

• Re-enactment by Oliver King

• Proclamation for a Day of Civic Engagement by our elected officials.

A limited number of unique broadsides with Frederick Douglass quotes will be printed by Thornwillow Press. Students turning 18 are highly encouraged to attend. Come with masks and social distancing.

The passage of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution on July 28, 1868 made African-Americans citizens of the United States. Less than two years later, on Feb. 3, 1870, the 15th Amendment granted African American men the right to vote.

In celebration of the successful passage of the 15th Amendment, abolitionist and AME minister Frederick Douglass conducted a national speaking tour; and, on August 11, 1870, he came to Newburgh.

An estimated that 4,000 people came here to listen to him at the opera house, site of the current Newburgh Free Library and Board of Education complex. He also took part in a march on Washington Street and visited the AME Zion church.

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