Beyond the Pale: Frederick Douglass in Cork

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Beyopo^e/rale
FredericIT?ouglassin Cork
LEEJENKINS
one
No
one
would
our
. . . seemed
to be
to feel
himself
seemed
be
contaminated
to get
difficult
New
Frederick
by
Garrison,
same
the
cities,
England
at my
deformed
approach.
whiter, purer, and better than
our
or disturbed
shocked
number
without
But
some
then you
the people
of persons
democratic
know
28 October
together
nose
white people
accounts for
it!
here. This
Douglass,
describing
in
Father
Mathew,
Cork,
at my
dark presence.
No
contact
I think
with me.
it
by
a soir?e
a
letter
1845
of
growing
are
in America
hosted
to William
(Foner
in any
in his hon?
Lloyd
5.7).
in the autumn
ex-slave Frederick Douglass
visited Cork
as
an
lecturer. Douglass's
of 1845
presence here offers a valu?
antislavery
The
on local history, while,
in a wider
able perspective
sense, his Irish sojourn
also
of
but
cross-reference,
suggests points
oppositions
equally
significant
in the mid
Ireland and black America
and partings of the ways, between
American
nineteenth
century.
was born
into Maryland
slavery in 1818; after his
Douglass
to
in
of
the
North
relative
freedom
the
1838, he lectured on anti
escape
on
and
women's
and racism; he edited
temperance,
slavery
rights
as
to Haiti; and he
US
served
advised
newspapers,
consul-general
presidents,
Frederick
in 1845 of the
life story. It was the publication
Narrative
the
first of his autobiographies
of
Life of Frederick Douglass, An
to cross the
which
American Slave, Written By Himself?
prompted Douglass
an account
to Ireland and Britain. The Narrative, which
ends with
Atlantic
as an antislavery orator, was written
vocation
his
of
of Douglass's
discovery
was an impostor,
to refute allegations
that it was
that, as an orator, Douglass
wrote
three versions
impossible
80
of his
that a young
man
who
was
removed
from
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
slavery by only
a few
and rhetorical
dexterity which
Douglass
display the linguistic
on
in
American
of
the
his
behalf
Society. In
Anti-Slavery
speeches
displayed
as an ex
had to prove his authenticity
refuting such allegations, Douglass
slave, and to do this his Narrative
gives details of names, dates and places,
?
disclosures which made his recapture a very real danger, even a probability
could
years
in Ireland and Britain between
1845 and 1847.
self-exile
Douglass's
on
in
1845
Cunard
the
Atlantic
the
built
crossed
newly
ship the
Douglass
was
to
to
in
He
in
America
and
forced
travel
returned
Cambria,
steerage.
on the grounds of
1847 on the same ship, subject to the same discrimination
hence
and the row
to apolo?
that ensued forced the Cunard management
treatment
in
racist
had
the
for
the
received.
press
gize publicly
Douglass
. . . has never since occurred
on
like
insisted
that
'the
the
board
Douglass
seems
not
to
line'
have
although Cunard policy
steamships of the Cunard
a
as
since
of
the
result
'a
contretemps,
sympathetic
substantively
changed
colour,
about discrimi?
traveller', William
Thackeray,
Makepeace
complained
on
in
1850s
the
blacks
Cunard
against
ships
(Douglass 388; Lorimer
fellow
nation
48;Loggins39).
On board
in 1845, an incident occurred which
the Cambria
anticipated
was supported by an
the success of his Irish antislavery
tour, when Douglass
violence
of Southern
Irishman
the taunts and the threatened
against
passengers. The Limerick Reporter of 11 November
account of this shipboard incident as follows:
proslavery
Douglass's
There
happened
Gough;...
It was
to be
an
Irishman
remarkable,
present
not
that
from
a man
Dublin
of
the
whose
1845
name
slaveholders
reports
w.as
wished
to have [Mr Douglass]
in Ireland, for they knew he would get fair play
there (hear, and cheers), and when
the fellow threatened to throw him
was
that two might play at that game
he
Irishman
told
this
overboard,
by
...
[Mr. Douglass]
then
called
for
three
cheers
for
old
Ireland.
?
than that, he seems also
found 'fair play' in Ireland
and, more
Douglass
to have found the full complement
he arrived in
of his selfhood here. When
a
can truly
autumn
in
in
stated
letter
the
of
Ireland
home,T
1845, Douglass
of my life since landing in
say, I have spent some of the happiest moments
a transformation.
I live a new life'
this country. I seem to have undergone
(Douglass
Douglass's
stems in part from
this regeneration
on the
strategic emphasis
paradox of finding
of
than in the supposed Land of the Free ?'Instead
373). The
impetus
and
characteristic
greater liberty in Europe
a democratic
government,
behind
I am under
amonarchical
I am covered with
the bright, blue sky of America,
Isle. I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes
Emerald
his
Yet Douglass's
Irish 'rebirth' resonates
beyond
government.
the soft-gray
Instead of
fog of the
a man'
(Douglass 374).
abolitionist
immediate
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pate', Irish Review 24 (1999)
81
in striking ways with
the experience
of other visitors
agenda, and compares
as
to Ireland. Trollope,
in
Post Office
for instance,
Ireland
surveyor also in
the 1840s, stated 'From the day I set foot in Ireland all . . . evils went
away
from me'
(Foster 291).
in kind: calling him?
different
position,
though, was obviously
Douglass's
as
the Belfast News Letter of January 1846 reports, 'a refugee abroad, an
self,
said in a letter toWilliam
Garrison
outlaw at home', Douglass
dated 1 Jan?
in
I
1846
that
of
shall
be
influenced
Ireland,
uary
'speaking
by no
...
no
no
I
to
in
favor of America
have
end
creed to
serve,
prejudices
to none.' Yet
to defend; and as to nation,
I belong
uphold, no government
as spokesman
a nation, Dou?
a colonised
nation within
for black America,
common
cause
its spokesman,
with
could
make
colonial
Ireland
and
glass
and 'his truly won?
Daniel
O'Connell.
had admired O'Connell
Douglass
in favour of
days in slavery, when
speeches
Curran
O'Connell
and
had
been
the
among
Emancipation
by
matter.
first reading
'The reading of these docu?
self-educated
Douglass's
to utter my
and to meet
the
said, 'enabled me
ments,' Douglass
thoughts,
to
sustain
forward
arguments
slavery.'1
brought
drous
eloquence'
since
his
Catholic
In Dublin
on 29 September
shared
1845, at a rally for Repeal,
Douglass
?
Hall with O'Connell
and there are chimes of
of Conciliation
the platform
a common
the abolitionist
rhetoric of Douglass
and the
between
vocabulary
of mid nineteenth-century
O'Connell
rhetoric
Ireland: where
liberation
between
Great Britain
of the Act of Union
and Ireland,
argued for Repeal
one in 1845) insisted that
the
of the Union
of
slavery
break-up
was
as
known
the American
O'Connell
the
and
William
states;
Liberator,
was
American
Garrison's
called
the Liberator. Dou?
paper
Lloyd
antislavery
to
to
used
the
refer
'black
Ireland'
both
disaffected
blacks and
glass
phrase
Garrisonian
abolitionists
in the American
disaffected
Irish
was
(of whom Douglass
South necessitated
in America;
both
O'Connell
and Douglass
appropriated
know you not,/Who
be free,
would
and Douglass
O'Connell's
repeated
Byron's words,
'Hereditary bondsmen,
must
themselves
strike the blow',
to
injunction
'Agitate! Agitate!'
(Blassingame
'In 1835
180).
[O'Connell]
'AGITATE AGITATE
until
common
cause with
had
called
his fellow
O'Connell
V.118; Cusack
for a black O'Connell
sufferers
shades
into
of 1881, The Life and Times of
autobiography
remembers
how, at the Dublin Repeal
rally in
the 'Black O'Connell
of the United
States';'nor
without
his usual word of denunciation
of our
Blassingame V.275).2 For his part, O'Connell
South
of the American
by the slaveholders
82
learned
their
112; Huggins
who would
and
strength'
in his
when
identification,
Frederick Douglass,
1845, O'Connell
Douglass
'called me
did he let the occasion
slave system'
was dubbed'this
(Temperley
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
227).
pass
(Fladeland 350;
Irish Caliban'
in 1847, Douglass
[Address] to the British People'
quoted
to the plight of the African American
he applied
slave
about the history
of Ireland, a history which
words
'may be
man
a
the track of a wounded
crowd'
(Blassingame
through
In his 'Farewell
when
O'Connell
O'Connell's
like
traced,
11.27). In the 1960s, Martin
had taken from O'Connell
Luther
would
the words Douglass
quote
The
black American
experience.
of
between
demonstrations
currency
King
to describe
common
1920s, too, had suggested
Irish and black American
nationhood:
Alain Locke, architect of the Harlem
as his model; while Marcus
the
Irish
Renaissance,
up
Literary Revival
Garvey's black nationalist
ideology was rooted in his study of Irish Republi?
held
to support
IRA prisoner
canism. Garvey
the campaign
vigorously
joined
and Mayor
of Cork Terence MacSwiney,
who
died on hunger
strike in
? on
no
doubt comforted
1920,
by the fact that Garvey had assured him
?
is uncertain
of the 'sympathy
of 400,000,000
what
negroes'
authority
in
late
his
himself,
life, supported Parnell and lobbied
(Dooley 22). Douglass
inWashington
for Irish Home Rule.
like these may be suggestive, yet it is, of course, right to
Correspondences
of the plight of
warn, as Luke Gibbons
does, against 'a simplistic
equation
states of
in the Southern
that of the black population
the native Irish with
in his Irish lectures and
the USA'
himself,
(Gibbons 97). Frederick Douglass
facile
identifications
of Irish and black
afterwards, repeatedly warned
against
American
the two
grounds
insisting, in 1850, that 'there is no analogy between
experience,
there were better
cases' (Blassingame
11.258?9). Douglass
thought
that of Haiti
for comparing
the troubled history of Ireland with
IV.606,V.527),
(Blassingame
Persse's account of Ireland
a
regular
war
between
a comparison
in 1822, as
the
in Henry
foregrounded
and
oppressors
the
...
oppressed
Stratford
In Mrs
(she writing
pen) compares this war to
Connolly
the insurrection of the Blacks and calls Ireland a second Hispaniola or St
and it is true, for there human beings were put to death like
Domingo
the slaves and the slave
wild beasts while
the conflict lasted between
owners (Pethica and Roy 68).
s paper
with
amuffled
slave
between
the lot of the Irish and the lot of the American
Equations
Irish
the
made
were, however,
press during Douglass's
quite regularly by
visit: the Waterford Freeman 10 September
1845, for instance, used Douglass's
slaves of Ireland'; the Limerick
white
visit to the town to talk of of'the
Reporter
tells us, on
11 November
1845,
[Douglass] had been met with
land,
character
and
that
as found
therefore
in
there
another
that
the objection
was
country.
no
His
that slavery existed
necessity
answer
for
was,
in Ire?
its
describing
that
if
slavery
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
83
existed
it ought
on
slavery
to be
here,
American
the
soil
put
. . . But
down
on which
he
now
there
was
like
nothing
stood.
1845, reports Douglass's
of Ulster, 9 December
feeling
certain
that Irish people
between
did not always 'sufficiently
distinguish
15 October
and slavery'. The Cork Examiner
forms of oppression
1845,
...
a
not
T
A
insistence
that
stand
before
slave.
slave
you
reports Douglass's
sense of the term, but in its real and intrinsic meaning.'
in the ordinary
The
Banner
Belfast
Irish equations
of
were
the domestic
from
condition
'the rhetoric
appropriated
'Almost without
1780s', when
that of
of
with
the condition
of
slavery
the
during
their own plight to
radicalism
[British]
radicals linked
exception,
Stratford Persse, the Ireland of the
(Oldfield 33). For Henry
was 'the Land of the Free'.3
'this Island of Slaves' while America
slaves'
1820s was
even metaphorical
Irish resisted
1840s, many
equations
came to Ireland in
American
their lot and that of the
slave. Douglass
between
Irish poverty and suffer?
1845, at the onset of the Great Famine. He mentions
come
But
the
to the famine in his second
and he refers explicitly
ing in a letter to Garrison,
the
1855
and
he says, of slave
My Bondage
My Freedom, when
autobiography,
never
since I left slav?
heard any songs like those anywhere
songs, that T have
I heard the same wailing notes, and was
in Ireland. There
ery, except when
much
affected by them. Itwas during the famine of 1845-6'
184).
(Douglass
never mentions
The fact that Douglass
the famine in the public addresses he
to accuse
in Ireland in 1845 has led more
made
than one of his biographers
him
of blaming
William
Irish distress
on drunkenness
126).4Yet although
(McFeely
could talk of the 'livid ghastly face' 'of the
Thackeray
one knew that when
in Cork in 1842,'No
the potato crop
some?
the early autumn of 1845 Ireland was to be faced with
Makepeace
starvation'
popular
failed during
than another periodic
food shortage' (Thackeray 83; Morash
3).
thing more
to
1845 is
An item relating
in the Cork Constitution
of 21 October
Douglass
con?
followed by an item titled 'THE POTATO CROP' which
immediately
accounts
receive the most
[of potato blight]
conflicting
same
in the
full
districts.'The
the
impact of food shortages
respecting
?
was in the south and west of Ireland ?
autumn of 1845
when Douglass
'would not be felt until the following
spring and summer' (Kinealy 55).
to
the mass Irish
reaction
its
indications
notwithstanding,
Douglass's
early
to America
result rep?
in which
the Famine would
emigration
subsequently
cludes
'We ourselves
even
resented'a
serious
dilemma
that American
the problem
Irish-Americans
of
were,
acute
and made
for the anti slavery movement',
vast
that
the
majority
already faced,
to the
then antipathetic
if not actively proslavery,
abolitionists
to attempts on the part of abolitionists
antislavery cause, and hostile
cause between
common
slave and the Irish American
the American
- as
cost
to
when American
his
O'Connell
found
grant
Repeal
84
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
to make
immi?
societies
couldn't
reconcile
his nationalism
with his abolitionist
beliefs
(Osofsky 889,
MPs
in
of
the
British
for Catholic
support
antislavery
parliament
in 1829 had been reciprocated
Emancipation
by Irish votes crucial to the
in
in 1833. When
of
slaves
the
British
dominions
Catholic
emancipation
906). The
Irish agenda had shifted
had been achieved,
and O'Connell's
Emancipation
to Repeal, William
that antislavery was America's
argued
Lloyd Garrison
version of Repeal,
in the 1840s belied
but race riots in the American
North
the kind
of co-operation
Irish and black Americans
Garri?
between
which
to
to
Irish
American
promote
response
attempting
(Osofsky 899).
?
is summed
Garrison
Catholic Reporter
that he
up by the New-England
to
to
in
there
dwell
love
and
should 'be immediately
transported
Ethiopia,
son was
the wild negroes'
harmony with
Frederick Douglass
had been
land by Olaudah
Equiano
spent some eight months
can Charles
brought
Theobald
Lenox
with
him
(Osofsky 901).
as an antislavery
lecturer in Ire?
preceded
an
in 1791
ex-slave
and
who
(an
autobiographer
Ameri?
and
later
the
free
black
by
lecturing here)
on his return
to America
in 1841
who,
Remond,
the 'Irish Address,'
signed by O'Connell,
by Father
Irishmen
and women:
the Address,
and 60,000
other
Mathew,
in the Liberator on 11 March
'to love
1842, urged Irish-Americans
reprinted
CLING BY THE ABOLITIONISTS
hate slavery
and in America
liberty
name
to
of Irish
will
do
honour
Ireland'.
the
the
of
purpose
you
Similarly,
to America
in the
societies was to educate prospective
emigrants
antislavery
on
21
of
the
Southern
noted
ethics
abolition. The Cork newspaper
Reporter
on antislavery
1841 that Remond's
'must be useful
exhortation
September
cause
to the Anti-Slavery
whence
hundreds
locality,
in general, but is especially
of our fellow-countrymen
important
annually
to us in this
Emigrate,
to
on
of slave-holding
their guard against the seductions
cupidity'
to be singled out as a special
want
didn't necessarily
to assimilate
into American
interest group in this way
society, they
wishing
run counter
were wary of causes which
to
to American
patrio?
appeared
put
But
them
Irish-Americans
in the
often competed
tism; at the same time, of course, Irish-Americans
increase
which
and
would
labour market with
blacks, competition
only
vast
of
unleash
numbers
ex-slaves
fall
of
should the abolition
wages
slavery
was
onto the open job market. Another
factor in Irish-American
proslavery
and sometimes
often evangelical,
the predominantly
Protestant,
explicitly
abolitionists
of most white
(even O'Connell
belongings
: and
his
and
Garrison
for his antisabbatarianism
denounced
anticlericalism)
him?
abolitionism
and English
the close links between American
Douglass
anti-Catholic
self said of England,'She
abolition movement'
our
hostility
toward
antislavery
is still the mother
too, of
country, and the mother,
?
and
Irish-American
suspicion
only increased
(Douglass
292).5
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
85
the pledge from Father Mathew
to teetotalism
who
been converted
had himself,
by the Cork
reputedly,
and antislavery agitator Billy Martin
and had given an address on
Quaker
at
in the city
Institute
Mathew's
and
Temperance
Slavery'
'Intemperance
In Cork
in 1845, Douglass
his visit
74). Remembering
(Harrison,'Cork
Anti-Slavery'
in his Irish Sketch Book, William
man who
taken
had
Thackeray
Makepeace
'said that all the fun had gone out of Ireland
?
from it'
and Thackeray
all the whiskey
to Cork
in 1842
cited an old gentle?
since Father Mathew
a working
received
an
after
of this, when,
the morning
demonstration
intemperate
night before,
he and his fellow revellers came down to breakfast atMcDowell's
(Imperial)
as a hangover
of
in search of soda-water
Hotel
cure, only to find 'the Apostle
banished
tea' and 'we did not like to ask for
seated at the table drinking
Temperance
as that' (Thackeray 64, 65). Dou?
in such an awful presence
the soda-water
in
after an evening soir?e, but because,
glass also took breakfast with Mathew
there was no
case, the soir?e had been hosted by Mathew
himself,
Douglass's
?
have
could
found
and anyway, Douglass
need for soda-water
plenty at the
soda-water manufacturer,
with whose
home of Thomas
family he
Jennings,
at
time
of
in
of
Cork
the
Richard
Cork.6
Dowden,
Mayor
Douglass's
stayed
and then as part?
visit to the city, worked with Jennings, first as an apprentice
ner in the business: on his death, Jennings
to Dowden,
his
left the business
fellow Unitarian
teetotaller
as
of Dowden
advocate. A vignette
temperance
in
his
writer
Francis
Cork
Reliques
of
by
Mahony,
s persona, Cork priest Father Prout, calls upon Dow?
and fellow
is provided
Father ProuL Mahony
den, 'whom I am sorry to see indulging
for a song. 'Dick Dowden's
Song,' which
the connection
between
Dowden's
Gin
in nothing but
follows, makes
and his business
temperance
is a lurking viper,
That
the maddened
stings
soul,
And reason plays the piper,
While
Folly drains the bowl;
And
rum, made
Inclineth
And
of molasses,
man
to
fair potheen
sin;
surpasses
The alcohol of gin.
But purest air in fixture
Pervades
the
soda
draught,
And forms the sylph-like mixture
Brewed
by
our
gentle
craft.
Nor is the beverage injured
flavoured with a lime;
When
Or if,when slightly gingered,
'Tis swallowed off in time
(Mahony 96-97).7
86
soda all the evening'
to
satirical reference
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
interests:
the day of his arrival in Ireland ... found temperance
had,'from
Douglass
to
attacks on liquor and chattel slavery'
audiences
his combined
responsive
was anx?
yet, although he insisted that 'All great reforms go together', Douglass
on his Irish agenda,
ious that the issue of slavery should remain uppermost
and in his Cork
speech on
to metaphorical
intemperance
the world
sober, we
and Slavery' Douglass
he said, 'if we could
'Intemperance
status, when
would
relegated
but make
no
have
has been drunk'
slavery. Mankind
so
1.55, 58). Douglass
keen, however, when Mathew
(Blassingame
as
for
and reneged on his earlier
later used slavery
intemperance,
metaphor
to antislavery. Visiting
in 1849, Mathew
America
refused to
commitment
was
not
himself with
the argument
that 'had he
speak out against slavery, justifying
states because of his support for
the Southern
been prevented
from visiting
in the South would
have remained "slaves"
Irish people
abolitionism,
many
to drink' (Kerrigan,'Irish
The
American
116).8
Temperance'
correspondent
1849 that
arguing on 29 August
agreed with Mathew,
have been ren?
of Temperance
had attacked slavery, he would
to help his white
slaves.' Douglass's
denunciation
of
'powerless
of the Cork Examiner
if the Apostle
dered
Mathew
1849 was
s 'disgraceful
in his paper
apostasy'
that
of the New
outdone
only by
Society,
Anti-Slavery
America,
telling him
Although
...;
States,
you
cause,
and
if you
the
lay
axe
devote
succeed
at the
of the course
root
Echo, which
keep his old
that
feel
any
in
of
of
you
would
your
time
destroying
taken by Mathew
life, were
gladly lay down my
I also
yet
to
you
Weekly
is that he will
17 August
110).
Temperance'
(Kerrigan,'Irish
and co-secretary
of the Cork Ladies'
approved
that
I feel that Iwould
the Anti-Slavery
ance
cause were
question
apparently
in a letter
Bedford
now
him
that 'Our only wish
respecting
carcass
out
New
Bedford'
of
priestly
friend
Isabel Jennings, Douglass's
stated
Star on
the North
injure
to
it needed,
in
in
the Temper?
the Anti-Slavery
intemperance
in the
Slave
slavery
s Southern
Isabel Jennings
.also had misgivings,
however, about Mathew
'
J know you abhor slavery in your heart,
is evident from her comment,
mission
from you, as
and I trust that its hideousness
will not purposely
be concealed
is too often done' (Maguire 289, 290). Dublin
abolitionist
James Haughton
was much
in his censure of Mathew
who had 'failed to main?
less equivocal
That
tain in the South
he had
what
the noble
advocated
always
Fintan O'Toole
of freedom
for the colored
and
race which
thus had
(Maguire 29In),
typified
in the Irish Times of 23 January 1998 as the
on race'.The
Ireland and Irish
tension between
describes
double-think
ongoing'Irish
over the issue of
America
later by the controversy
principles
at home'
a few years
again be highlighted
slavery would
who
Irelander John Mitchel,
created by the Young
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
87
to Douglass,
another of the many
Irish 'who loved liberty for
according
themselves
and their country, but were utterly destitute
of sympathy with
the cause of liberty in countries
other than their own' (Douglass
683). In
was,
New
in 1854, in the second
issue of his newspaper
the Citizen,
a
to
letter from Haughton,
and other
responded
urging Mitchel
to support antislavery. Mitchel,
Irelanders exiled in America
who had
York
Mitchel
Young
himself
city
for the condition
of the Irish under
slavery as a metaphor
or
a peccadillo,
a
a
or
even
to
'it
is
denied
that
rule,
crime,
wrong
hold slaves, to buy slaves, to sell slaves, to keep slaves to their work by flog?
coercion'
and declared
that 'we, for our part, wish we
ging or other needful
in Alabama'
had a good plantation,
well
stocked with
negroes,
healthy
used
British
in 1848 had praised
who
II.486n; Dillon
11.44-55). Douglass,
(Blassingame
now called Mitchel
a 'traitor to liberty,' but
of Mitchel,'
'the martyrdom
was feted in the South for his defence
Mitchel
of slavery and
unsurprisingly
for his demand
slave
be
that the
trade
11.486).
reopened
(Blassingame
If John Mitchel
to
the
crossover
antislavery
between
to co-opt
Irish-Americans
attempts
rejected abolitionist
himself
had been
the victim
of the
cause, Mitchel
in the
racism promulgated
anti-Irish
and anti-African
Victorian
that this
form
100).9 One
. . . "simian
'the Irishman
(Curtis
period
by Punch magazine
was
of Darwinian
took
typology'
on 18 March
ized" by Victorian
caricaturists':
'debasement
that 'A creature manifestly
between
in some of the lowest districts
with
ous explorers.
It comes
from
1862, Punch told its readers
is to be met
and the Negro
and Liverpool
by adventur?
the Gorilla
of London
Ireland'
(Foster 171).
on 23 October
an address on
in Cork
1845 delivered
who
Douglass,
was
aware
'American Prejudice Against Color',
well
of the rise of ethnology
to link black with
and its tendency
himself
Irish, a manoeuvre
Douglass
to his own ends. In Hudson,
and subverted
Ohio,
appropriated
his
address titled 'The Claims
of the
delivered
1854, Douglass
in which
he recalled 'The day I landed
Considered,'
Ethnologically
sometimes
on
12 July
Negro
in Ireland, nine
a
years ago' when
of
large meeting
did
human
faces
the
tell
common
a sadder
he had addressed
people
tale. More
of
Ireland,
than
five
on
temperance.
thousand
were
Never
assem?
bled: and I say,with no wish to wound
the feelings of any Irishman, that
these people lacked only a black skin and woolly hair, to complete their
likeness to the plantation negro (Blassingame II. 520?1).
York, again in 1854, Douglass
yoked anti
implicidy
racism when
he summarized
'The doctrine
of the hour'
... and now the
'is that the negro is inferior to the white
which
Anglo-Saxon
to the negro and to the Irishman'
is boasting
his superiority
(Blassingame
In Rochester,
black
88
New
to anti-Irish
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
indulged in the nineteenth-century
Irish jokes: in his Narrative, Douglass
says
pastime
in the
of the feeling about Baltimore
that is expressed
that 'I had something
to dying a natural death
in England
is preferable
proverb, that "being hanged
later arguments
in Ireland'" (Douglass 34). One
of Douglass's
for black suf?
11.488). Douglass
black American
himself,
however,
of telling
often
as much when
sober, as an Irishman knows
frage was, 'If (the negro) knows
to
In
he said 'they talk of the
knows
vote.'
when
he
1890,
drunk,
enough
ever
Did
hear
the
Democratic
of
the
you
negro.
party complain of
ignorance
the ignorance of the Irish vote?' (Blassingame
III.604, IV.435).
'Even Irishmen, who were white, Chris?
In seventeenth-century
America,
the Pale," and some were
tian, and European, were held to be . . ."beyond
even referred to as slaves' (Degler 30). Frederick Douglass
referred to himself
as 'Standing outside
the pale of American
humanity'
(Douglass 769).10 Dou?
in October
of 1845. In a letter
the Pale, to Cork,
literally, beyond
glass went,
to Richard Dowden, Mayor
of Cork, Douglass
thanks
written
from Limerick
me
Dowden
'for the many attentions which
you pleased to show
during my
as I
in
reviled
and
maltreated
the
somewhat protracted
stay
City'
'Trampled,
. . .you may
emo?
the
have been by white
readily imagine
people
grateful
?
Imeet with facts
the
forever dispelling
tions which
thrill my heart when
affection Dou?
of such infernal doctrines
(Dowden U. 140.98).The
? was
?
ever
visit
'I
with
for
Cork
shall
remember
felt
my
pleasure'
glass
in the fulsome 'Address to Frederick Douglass
From Anti-Slav?
reciprocated
1845.
in the Cork Examiner on 7 November
ery Societies of Cork,' printed
darkness
between Douglass
and Cork was symbolized
by the signet
relationship
on
to
sent
the city11
behalf
of
which
Dowden
Douglass,
ring
subsequently
on
of
had been founded
the principle
The Cork Anti-Slavery
Society
The
'ecumenical
tion
of very
Anti-Slavery'
in reality consisted
of'an uneasy juxtaposi?
'Cork
and
interests'
(Harrison,
political
opposed
religious
such
Cork
activists
included
For
instance,
71-2).
antislavery
as Thomas
and
host in Cork
advocates
Jennings, Douglass's
co-operation',
but
temperance
winter
maker of'non-intoxicating
stout', Jennings s business partner Mayor
of the Cork Examiner J.F Maguire,
founder
the
teetotal
Richard
Dowden,
of the
antislaver Mathew
and the sometime
himself, as well asMrs Beamish,
Beamish
Society
of the Cork Ladies Anti-Slavery
and president
brewing
family
in the
at the time of Douglass'
visit to the city.12 Francis Mahony,
verse
3
in
of his
interests
such
of Father Prout, highlights
opposed
persona
'Dick Dowden's
Song':
With
soda's
cheerful
essence
They'd fill the brimming glass,
And feel the mild 'fervescence
Of hydrogen
and gas;
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
89
Nor
quaff
Geneva
s
?
liquor
Source of a thousand ills!
Nor swill the poisonous ichor
Cork (to her shame!) distils
(Mahony97).
Although
and
gious
antislavery,
Douglass
was applauded
for bringing
the various
together
factions
of the city in a unified
commitment
political
his 'protracted'
oppositions
for boosting
reli?
to
seems to have intensified
in Cork
such
sojourn
as it healed
them. Isabel Jennings
applauded Douglass
of and support for both
the Cork Anti-Slavery
membership
as much
and the Cork Ladies'Anti-Slavery
she was the co
Society, of which
?
was also
and for doing so across religious divides.13 Yet Douglass
secretary
him for
for
sectarian
bias:
Cork
Methodists
criticized
displaying
castigated
Society
out for attack (because of Methodist
singling Methodists
a
Roman
Catholic
audience
ica) among
predominantly
on
in Amer?
proslavery
in his speech at the
in the Cork Examiner
the fol?
1845, reprinted
in
later
his
self-defence,
saying, in the
lowing day. Douglass
disingenuous
was
21
'a
Cork Constitution
1845
of
October
that he
fallible man; and it
Court
House
14 October
was
would
too much
be requiring
that he should know men's
religions by their
aware
in
well
of
the
fact, very
(and politi?
Douglass
religious
in Ireland is apparent, from the several
of his audiences
cal) composition
to his mainly
invocations
and mainly
of Daniel O'Connell
made
Catholic,
faces.'That
was,
name
in Douglass's
is not mentioned
listeners
(O'Connell's
working-class,
address at Cork's Wesleyan
elicited'Tremendous
cheers'
Chapel).14 Douglass
Court House
for his words, with
their topical
from his Catholic
audience
are capable of'looking
at
defiance
and subversive subtext, about slaves who
their masters'.
Daniel
ship with American
antislavery meeting,
had besides
strong
relation?
too, had criticized Methodism's
O'Connell,
a Cork
and
when
O'Connell
addressed
himself
slavery,
his audience
was
'implacably
anti-Catholic
to his politics and
I.456n; Fagan
(Blassingame
was
of the Cork Methodists
opposed
prejudices'
11.239?40). Douglass's
rejoinder to the criticisms
1845
spirited. The Cork Examiner of 20 October
reports his remark that 'if
in the Court House were Roman
of the persons at the meeting
it showed
the slave than did the
Catholics,
sympathy with
they felt more
to discredit Douglass
other sects.' Cork Methodists
subsequently
attempted
in Belfast, a significant port of call in Dou?
in the eyes of their co-religionists
the majority
and
of the close relationship
between Ulster
glass's Irish itinerary because
at the time of a scandal surrounding
of funds from
Scodand
the solicitation
American
of Scotland.15
slaveholders by the Free Church
It was Douglass's
that he had been
90
turn to take umbrage,
in the Cork
described
he was informed
however, when
in terms which,
he
Constitution
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
like a good advertisement
complained,'looked
claimed
that the Constitution
had called him
negro,'
but
gether
described
the Constitution
a creature
insisted
from
on 21 October
own
of his
a slave trader'. Douglass
of the
specimen
'an excellent
1845
that this was
in fact
had
'alto?
been
imagination'.
Douglass
as 'a fine young negro, with expressive features'
ease and correctness':
who
it was the Southern Reporter
'speaks English with
which
had described
1845 as 'a noble specimen
of the
him, on 16 October
race to which
as
reason
to
he belonged'.
have
had
much
Douglass
might
in the Constitution
of him offered by the Cork Examiner
object to the description
ber 1845, which
that 'his appearance
is singularly
suggested
in
is
if
because
'there
his
features of
little,
agreeable'
anything,
lower
thickness
of
and
of
flatness
of
face,
prominence
lips,
of
15 Octo?
and
pleasing
that peculiar
nose, which
true
characterizes
the
peculiarly
Negro
type.'
Controversial
of the handsome
too, at least potentially, was the veneration
?
?
the
Cork
and
later
the
Belfast
Ladies'
Soci?
Douglass
by
Anti-Slavery
one
to
visit
eties.16 Following
female
Belfast,
Douglass'
antislavery
am
a
T
is
convinced
that
there
declared,
campaigner
scarcely
lady in Belfast
to promote
to join in any means
calculated
the
of the deeply injured Africans'
The
Southern
(Oldham
180).
16 1845 notes that that when Douglass
Reporter of October
spoke at the city
was
court house,
'The Grand
with
ladies, who
Jury Gallery
thronged
seemed to take the liveliest interest in the proceedings.'
who
would
not be anxious
enfranchisement
Since Charles
Lenox
Remond's
visit
to the city
in 1841,
the chief
func?
was
to make
tion of CLASS,
the Cork
Ladies Anti-Slavery
Society,
to send to American
handicrafts
Its
1846
bazaars.
advertisement
antislavery
on Douglass'
recent visit to Cork:
'The eloquent,
in behalf of his
and touching appeals of FREDERICK DOUGLASS,
powerful,
are so fresh in your memories,
enslaved and suffering fellow-countrymen,
to remind you, that the time is approaching
that we deem it only necessary
for contributions
to send
played
to the Bazaar'
A typical
(Dowden
U.140).
CLASS
is the 'Cork box of 1848,' which
'42 seaweed
included
year's work
5
11
Berlin
wool
3
3 pairs of
knitted
crochet
neck
ties;
doilies;
pieces;
pieces;
children's socks; 4 dolls; 1 baby's cap' (Oldham
179).
to antislavery
lies in the fact
Perhaps a less ephemeral Cork contribution
your
Contributions
that Anna Richardson
glass's freedom
Jennings
(Oldham
Ireland on a literal
through
seems, made
made
in 1846, bought Dou?
the woman who,
was
sister
in Cork, Ann
the
his
of
hostess
'master,'
some
in
found his freedom
sense, Douglass
179).17 So,
of Newcastle,
from his
as profound,
upon Edinburgh
sage to the Free Church
as on a metaphorical
it
level. Douglass,
as literal, a mark upon Cork
in 1845 as he
in 1846, where Douglass
carved his antislavery mes?
into the turf at the
'SEND BACK THE MONEY'
as well
if not
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
91
base of Arthur's
Seat
'the little misunderstanding
128). Despite
? a
one
between myself
of
of your papers'
'misunderstand?
to
not
which
if
have
been
exacerbated,
appears
ing'
engineered,
by
rival local newspapers
stressed, in the farewell
infighting between
Douglass
address to the citizens of Cork which
in the Imperial Hotel,
he delivered
(Shepperson
and the Reporter
'Particularly' he was 'indebted
I have been
the few feeble words
to the press for their freedom
in copying
to say in this City, that they might
of my
terribly in the ears of the oppressors
how
return
to my
land, and
sound
than 150 years after Dou?
1.71). And today, more
is still invoked
in the contemporary
Irish press.
on 30 May
1997 and 26 February
1998, Fintan
countrymen'
(Blassingame
left
his name
Ireland,
glass
in
the
Irish
Times
Writing
O'Toole
able
has
the violence
committed
compared
against blacks by nine?
to America
current
Irish emigrants
with
Irish hostility
teenth-century
at
toward (coloured)
in this
and
has
home,
cited,
immigrants
poignantly
at
in
the
of
Ireland
'the
entire
context, Douglass's
1845,
finding,
delight
of everything
that looked like prejudice
the color of my
skin'. An Irish Times editorial
absence
to present-day
immigrants
a
is
less welcoming
Tiger
prospective
called Celtic
of the Famine
Notes
1
if your
era, especially
Ireland
against me, on account of
of 20 April
1998 warns
that 'the jungle of the so
place than the impoverished
skin is dark.'
Ireland
and References
The
ham's
first book
Douglass
handbook,
eloquent
to buy when
was Caleb
still a slave in Baltimore
managed
Bing
in 1797. See Douglass,
Hie Columbian
Orator, first published
41, 225 532.
to the contrary,
for
himself,
money
despite Douglass's
protestations
accepted
cause from Southern
a letter to O'Connell
his Repeal
slaveholders:
from Dublin
aboli?
warns
tionist James Haughton
to receive
O'Connell
such funds
against
continuing
Dowden
(unidentifiable
newspaper
U.140).
clipping,
2
O'Connell
3
For
4
In his Frederick
then
5
gripped
In his letter
'Save
6
see
example,
Slaves.
see Pettit
preserved
soda-waters
to Petheca
title
Douglass,
the country,
to O'Connell,
To
and Roy's
the Land
states,
Quarles
Benjamin
'Ignoring
he attributed
all of Ireland's woes
of the Free from
the potato
to the dram
this Island
famine
of
which
(41).
shop'
and proslavery,
says, of Irish-Americans
this deep degradation.'
See note 2, above.
1 November
'Cork Anti-Slavery'
Examiner,
1845; Harrison,
77; for Jennings,
was a manufacturer
as labels
water:
70.Thomas
of vinegar
and mineral
Jennings
in the Cork
Public Museum
included
flavoured
show,
Jennings's
products
them,
See Cork
the
I beseech
you,
James Haughton
save them from
'On the morn?
and lemon
describes
what
when
squash. Douglass
happened
in
invited us to breakfast with
him at his own house'
ing after the soir?e, Father Mathew
a letter to the Liberator,
224.
rpt. in Maguire
7
In Dublin
and
92
James
two
of
Haughton,
the best-known
were
also
figures
prominent
in the
in
Richard
movement,
antislavery
the promotion
of temperance,
JENKINS 'Beyond the Pale', Irish Review 24 (1999)
Webb
and
in
the meetings
of a temperance
founded
there in 1831 took place
in a room
society
the local antislavery
took breakfast.'
Father Mathew
27.
society
Kerrigan,
that although
Father Mathew
'had never
felt the slightest
doubt
argues
J. Mathew
Cork
where
8
Frank
was
a curse and a
'If he
yet,
slavery
disgrace',
his temperance
he would
have discarded
work,
that
with
and have made
his American
as I can do
much
overthrow
to save men
other
any
kind
9 Father Mathew,
too,
the Irish to sober up'
10 The Limerick Reporter
in Ireland
who
'was
of slavery'
would
that
1845
reports
a little of his severity
plained
that 'Such men
had no right
with
towards
slavery
life-work,
claimed
as
'I have
attempting
to
own
exhortations
to
a Mr
Mathew,
the distillers
he
be
excluded
exists
from
the
to Dowden.
letter
Father
'If any man
words:
reports Douglass's
. . .
as a
may
slave]
in Douglass's
at breakfast
on
of his
without
for all Punch's
mocked,
man
principle
Mathew
289).
(Maguire
another
[treat
'
an attack
combined
the main
(179). Father
of intemperance,
slavery
contemptuously
sympathy.
the ring is mentioned
of
gift
12 Douglass
the
(Foster
180).
of 11 November
of human
pale
11 The
fruitless'
journey
from
had
Wm.
O'Connor
to which
of Cork'
'com?
Mathew
replied
to prosper
(Foner 5.8).
by the ruin of others'
13 Isabel Jennings
a greater
sen?
of Douglass,
'Never was
wrote,
[there] a person who made
in Cork
sation
in
all
another
she
of
beliefs';
said,
letter,
amongst
religious
Douglass's
to the Church
'we think we have got contributions
from persons
visit,
(of
belonging
never
a person
who
could
have been
influenced
who
had himself
England)
except
by
? we
are silent'
had no means
suffered
of approaching
them
and the clergymen
(McFeely 124; and in Taylor 243-4).
14 The
Constitution
Cork
Dublin
Webb
part of Ireland.' Douglas
edition
of his Narrative
feared
was
17 Anna
Cork
such
1845
tells us
Examiner
attended
Atkins
with
quarrelled
of endorsements
endorsements
1:86; Harrison,
Blassingame
uary 1846.
16 The
16 October
that
classes'.
by the working
a 'hotbed
Belfast
of Presbyterianism
thought
can be struck
'a blow
Webb,
printer Richard
15 Douglass
Dublin
other
of
the Court
House
was
meeting
attended
'numerously
of
would
Richard
15 October
by 'over one
Richardson
the
ladies'.
text
2-3;
the
Churchism'
but
effectually
inclusion
two Belfast
from
Webb
1845
hundred
over
Webb
frame
Davis
and Free
here more
in the
that Douglass's
reports
179.
See Oldham
Court
the
in any
second
ministers.
Presbyterian
'sectarian'
in narrowly
Foner
1.66; Cork
told
than
terms.
House
See
12 Jan?
Examiner
meeting
was
a member
of the Society
of Friends,
and
(1806-92)
anti-Garrisonian
British
in
and Foreign
Her
role
Anti-Slavery
Society.
of Douglass's
and
'her continued
of Douglass
and her
freedom,
support
to the
belonged
the purchase
friendship
risonians',
with
Julia Griffith,
225n.
Ripley
Douglass's
associate,
made
her
suspect
among
British
Gar
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