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Part VI - The Affinity Scot

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 May 2021

Alasdair Pettinger
Affiliation:
Scottish Music Centre
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Summary

But, ladies and gentlemen, this is not a time for long speeches. I do not wish to detain you from the social pleasures that await you. I repeat again, that though I am not a Scotchman, and have a colored skin, I am proud to be among you this evening. And if any think me out of my place on this occasion (pointing at the picture of Burns), I beg that the blame may be laid at the door of him who taught me that ‘a man's a man for a’ that.’

Frederick Douglass, Rochester, New York, 25 January 1849

The change wrought in me is truly amazing. If you should meet me now, you would scarcely know me. You know when I used to meet you near Covey's wood-gate, I hardly dared to look up at you. If I should meet you where I now am, amid the free hills of Old Scotland, where the ancient ‘Black Douglass’ once met his foes, I presume I might summon suffi cient fortitude to look you full in the face. It may be that, wearing the brave name which I have assumed, might lead me to deeds which would render our meeting not the most agreeable. Especially might this be the case, if you should attempt to enslave me. You would see a wonderful difference in me. I have really got out of my place; that is, I have got out of slavery, which you know is ‘the place’ for negroes in Christian America.

Frederick Douglass, Perth, 27 January 1846

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Frederick Douglass and Scotland, 1846
Living an Antislavery Life
, pp. 261 - 262
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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