“This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the 4th of July. It is the birthday of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. 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.”

Paraphrase: On July 4th National celebrate our freedom and independence

Response: Douglass mentioned this quote like this because he wanted people to know he’s different. In a sense, it sets the tone for the remainder of the speech. He wants them to understand that this American holiday is for them, not him.


“Behold the practical operation of this internal slave trade, the American slave trade, sustained by American politics and American religion. Here you will see men and women, reared like swine, for the market. Do you know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States.”

Paraphrase: Slavery and the slave trade are controlled by American politics and religion. Men and women, as well as animals, are exchanged as though they are worthless. They conquered the southern states.

Response: Douglass is discussing the experience of being sold as a slave. He’s comparing the slave trafficking they perform to selling or trading any animal or goods at the time.it was as if his value was the same as anything that was being sold.