WORD LISTS

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

January 31, 2012
Frederick Douglass
July 5, 1852

Full text available here.
citizen
Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic.
sensation
Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have.
assembly
I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day.
avail
The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country schoolhouses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.
oration
The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July oration.
privilege
This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for it is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence.
plantation
The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable—and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight.
latter
The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable—and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight.
gratitude
That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude.
evince
I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium.
elaborate
I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium.
indulgence
With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence, I will proceed to lay them before you.
emancipated
This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God.
deliverance
It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day.
republic
But, besides general considerations, there were peculiar circumstances which make the advent of this republic an event of special attractiveness.
accord
I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers.
linger
According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood.
horizon
There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon.
portend
The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence.
destiny
May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny?
patriot
Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier.
shroud
Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow.
consolation
There is consolation in the thought that America is young.
inundate
They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties.
wrath
They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship.
accumulate
They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship.
toil
They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship.
hardship
They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship.
withered
But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory.
abyss
But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory.
sovereign
The style and title of your " sovereign people" (in which you now glory) was not then born.
prerogative
This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.
impose
This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.
colonial
This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.
burden
This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.
deem
This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.
infallibility
But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints.
absolute
But, your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints.
unjust
They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to.
oppressive
They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to.
controversy
It would, certainly, prove nothing, as to what part I might have taken, had I lived during the great controversy of 1776.
tyranny
Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies.
colony
Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies.
liberty
The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers.
earnestly
Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress.
redress
Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress.
petition
They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner.
remonstrate
They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner.
decorous
They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner.
scorn
They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn.

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