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Frederick Douglass, Old Orchard Beach, 1877

Frederick Douglass, Old Orchard Beach, 1877

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In 1877, former slave, orator and writer Frederick Douglass, who had spent most of his life fighting for the abolition of slavery and for human rights, traveled through New England on a speaking tour.

He was invited by veterans of the First Maine Cavalry, a famous Civil War unit, to join them at their annual reunion in 1877 at Old Orchard Beach.

Douglass is standing fourth from right in the first row. He noted that it was a sign of great progress in race relations that he had enjoyed "a game of croquet with ladies and gentlemen of a different race right out in front of the hotel."

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