July 1

July 1, 1889 – Frederick Douglass Named Minister-Resident and Consul-General to Haiti

One of America’s greatest orators Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey) was named Minister-Resident and Consul-General to Haiti on July 1, 1889.  Douglass was the first African American to have a position that high in the United States Government. Born a slave, after escaping slavery Douglass became one of the world’s foremost abolitionist and human rights leaders.

Frederick Douglass by Samuel J Miller, 1847-52

Frederick Douglass by Samuel J Miller, 1847-52

Douglass was known for his brilliant and persuasive oratory which drew listeners of all races to hear him expound upon the merits of freedom for all people.  His famous “Fourth of July” speech illustrated the mastery of his intellectual persuasion and boldness to speak the truth regardless of any personal consequences. Douglass was born in February of 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland and died on February 20, 1895 in Washington, DC at age 77.