Quaker Heritage Center Exhibit Highlights Frederick Douglass

Abolitionist Among Key 18th Century Figures Featured in Gallery

January 23, 2013

PHOTO CREDIT: Mathew Brady Studio.

PHOTO CREDIT: Mathew Brady Studio. "Frederick Douglass." C. 1890. African-American Perspectives: The Progress of a People, Library of Congress.

Abolitionist, author and orator, Frederick Douglass is among a short list of Americans whose lives bring great clarity to the 19th century.

The Meriam R. Hare Quaker Heritage Center at Wilmington College will examine his life and times with the gallery exhibit, Frederick Douglass, From Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City, from Feb. 4 through March 1. An opening reception will be held Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

The exhibition explores slavery and abolition through the life of one of the most famous men in 19-century America.

As a young boy, Douglass experienced the horrors of life under slavery in the United States. At age seven, he was sent to Baltimore to live in the house of his new master, Hugh Auld, where he learned to read. The knowledge gained through reading nurtured both a dream of freedom and a keen feeling of despair at the difficulty of escape.

In September 1838, Douglass disguised himself as a free seaman and then traveled to New York City. Though free, Douglass remained a fugitive under the law until friends purchased his liberty. This exhibition explores his life under slavery, in Douglass’ own words, and his escape to freedom.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History developed the exhibit. The project was made possible by a grant from the J.P. Morgan Foundation, with the assistance of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, and with additional support from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The QHC’s regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment made through curator Ruth Brindle Dobyns.