Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 May 2021
Douglass made several tours of Scotland, the first and longest lasting four months. He spent a total of nearly six months in Scotland between January and October 1846, addressing at least seventy meetings, probably many more.
Douglass and his fellow campaigners spoke mostly at two kinds of venue. They held public meetings at civic halls and meeting rooms, such as the City Hall and the Assembly Rooms in Glasgow, the Exchange Rooms in Paisley, the Music Hall (now the Assembly Rooms) and Waterloo Rooms in Edinburgh, the City Hall in Perth and the Assembly Rooms (now the Music Hall) in Aberdeen – and many of them still exist today.
They also addressed audiences in numerous churches, usually belonging to the United Secession Church or the Relief Church (the two denominations merged in 1847 to form the United Presbyterian Church). Most of these church buildings have since been demolished or rebuilt beyond recognition.
In drawing up a list of his speaking engagements, my starting point was the list published in The Frederick Douglass Papers. Series One: Speeches, Debates and Interviews. Volume 1: 1841–46, under the general editorship of John W. Blassingame (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).
But some meetings are listed there which certainly did not take place: Douglass did not accompany fellow antislavery campaigner Henry Clarke Wright on his tour of the Borders in March and April, for instance. I have not included them here, nor a few others for which I have been unable to find independent confirmation. On the other hand, I have found evidence of meetings which are not listed in the Frederick Douglass Papers.
An asterisk indicates that the exact date is not certain. One may assume the meetings took place in the evening unless specified otherwise.
Accompanied by his white abolitionist friend James Buffum, Douglass arrived in Ardrossan from Belfast on Saturday 10 January and proceeded by train to Glasgow.
Thursday 15 January: Glasgow, City Hall.
Thursday 22 January: Glasgow, City Hall.
Friday 23 January: Perth, City Hall.
*Saturday 24 January: Perth.
*Sunday 25 January: Perth.
Monday 26 January: Perth, City Hall.