Black BritishWesleyan missionary and traveller in West Africa. Freeman was born in Hampshire, the child of a black father and a white mother. Little is known of his early years, but he was employed as a gardener in Suffolk and became a Christian, joining the Wesleyan Methodists. In 1838 Freeman went as a missionary to the Gold Coast, an area of West Africa where he was to spend most of his life. He built Methodist churches at Cape Coast and Accra, promoted education, and trained local men for the ministry. He established a mission station in Kumase, the Asante capital, and visited towns in southern Nigeria and also the kingdom of Dahomey, where he urged King Gezo to stop the slave trade. On furlough in Britain in 1843 Freeman actively promoted missionary work and also the anti‐slavery cause, both helped by publication of his travel accounts. In 1847 ...
Frederick Douglass's relationship with Ireland began, albeit tentatively, at the age of twelve when he read Caleb Bingham's Columbian Orator (1737), a collection of speeches. The book included excerpts from Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the Irish playwright and politician. Douglass later wrote in his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, that from Sheridan he discovered "a bold denunciation of slavery and a powerful vindication of human rights."
Later, as an escaped slave and rising orator himself, Douglass made one of his first major speeches in Boston's Faneuil Hall in January 1841. The occasion was the presentation of the "Great Irish Address," a petition with the signatures of sixty thousand Irish people urging Irish Americans to oppose slavery. The address had been instigated by the Irish lawyer and politician Daniel O'Connell who was a lifelong opponent of slavery as well as ...