Posts Tagged Massachusetts

Artists wanted to create Frederick Douglass memorial in New Bedford (deadline May 31, 2019, sponsored by New Bedford Historical Society)

Before the Frederick Douglass statue at One Judiciary Square moves to the US Capitol he takes time to read a new book about his life and times in Anacostia. Photo_ John MullerNEW BEDFORD — The New Bedford Historical Society and the Frederick Douglass Memorial Committee are calling on artists, artisans or artist-lead-teams to create a permanent original artwork of a young Frederick Douglass.

The sculpture will celebrate Douglass through the creation of a timeless and permanent art sculpture of high artistic merit and quality. It is in New Bedford that a young Douglass found his voice as an abolitionist and human rights advocate. The sculpture will be placed in Abolition Row Park that will also celebrate the New Bedford abolitionists who through their advocacy and perseverance changed the thinking of many and led to the movement to end slavery in the United States, according to a news release.

The park will be completed in summer 2020, and the Douglass sculpture will be a center piece in Abolition Row Park. The committee is seeking a bronze representative image of a young Douglass sitting on a park bench that will face the Nathan and Mary Johnson House, 21 Seventh St.

Interested artists should submit eight slides or photos of successful examples of completed public art, a resume, and an artist statement by May 31. Once qualifications are reviewed, semi-finalists will be invited and offered a stipend to submit full project proposals for a sculpture design.

Artist Eligibility

The project is open to all professional artists or artist teams in the United States. Artists/artist teams should have experience implementing their ideas and work in the public realm with community organizations and government agencies. Artist/artist teams must be able to effectively work within the project timeline and collaborate with the architects of record, general contractors, multiple governmental agencies, community groups, city officials and the Douglass Memorial Committee whenever it is required. Artists are NOT eligible who are immediate family or business partners of members of the Douglass Memorial Committee, city staff or program administrators.

Selection Process

The Douglass Memorial Committee will manage the application process and review the proposals. The committee includes arts professionals, community representatives, and city staff. The committee will review the submissions and invite a short list of up to five semi-finalists to be interviewed.

Each semi-finalist will be awarded a $1,500 stipend for development of a proposal, travel and overnight accommodations for presentation to the Memorial Committee. The committee will make a recommendation based on its evaluation of the artwork proposal, experience of artist and references. The Memorial Committee and the New Bedford Historical Society will make the final award to the selected artist. The committee reserves the right to withhold the commission award if it should not find a satisfactory artwork.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

    1. Artistic merit of concept.
    1. Sculpture will be representative of a young Douglass sitting on a park bench. The style and appropriateness of the artwork should demonstrate that it is compatible in relationship to the landscape and New Bedford community.
    1. Technical Considerations and Feasibility: Including the artist’s artistic history and experience in completing public art projects within the timeline and budget, as well as the sustainability of the project.
    1. Safety and Maintenance: Artwork should be durable, meet the requirements of insurance policies and be resistant to theft and/or vandalism. Materials should require minimal periodic maintenance and be readily available if conservation or restoration is necessary.
    1. Diversity: Reflects the overall project goal to strive for diversity in style, scale, media and artists working in traditional and contemporary art forms.

All items become the property of the New Bedford Historical Society.

For all questions and additional information, email Lee Blake, President,

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Dr. Frederick Douglass uplifted on floor of House of Representatives as representative intellect of descendants of ancient Egyptians, source for Greek civilization, and possessing oratorical ability equal to any national legislator. [“The Slave Question.” Speech of Mr. J. G. Palfrey, 26 January, 1848. 30th Congress, 1st Session]

J G Parley

Before his thirtieth birthday Dr. Frederick Douglass was uplifted on the floor of the House of Representatives as a representative intellect of the descendants of ancient Egyptians, the source for Greek civilization, and possessing oratorical ability equal to any national legislator.

It is a new era in Douglassonian Studies. Study up, yung sons. The old, tired tropes and racist speculations will be challenged and put down at every utterance.

In the Bicentennial of the birth of Dr. Douglass it is time to finally tell his life story in full.

For. Once. And. For. All. Times.

The Slave Question.

Speech of Mr. J. G. Palfrey,
Of Massachusetts,
In The House of Representatives,
January 28, 1848

On The Political Aspect of the Slave Question.

“… Again; the gentleman urged, to the point, the natural inferiority of the negro race. He has no doubt examined, and knows how to expose, the seeming paradox of those ingenious men who have held that the balance of power was shifted, and the sceptre of the world passed from the colored to the white race, some twenty-four centuries ago, at the capture of Babylon by the Persians; and I presume he decides that question rightly.  [Mr. Clingman interrupted, and was understood to say he had referred to the Egyptians, and relied on the formation of the Egyptian skull.]

The gentlemen speaks of the Egyptians. Undoubtedly he has attended to the curious hint in Herodotus, bearing that question. The gentlemen quotes Appian, a writer not commonly in the hands of professed scholars. He is a reader of Polybius, and has weighed his merits and those of the other great masters that department of composition in such exact critical scales as to feel justified in placing him at the head of the list in respect to political sagacity.

He cannot have overlooked that singular passage in so common an author as Herodotus, in which the old chronicler has been thought to say, that the ancient Egyptians, the remote source perhaps of Greek civilization, were woolly-headed negroes. I will not defend that interpretation of his words. But it is no invention of any of your high-flying abolitionists of the present day; it have been received by grave and plodding English and German doctors, who read, and pondered, and smoke, and annotated, long before, such a lusus nature as an American abolitionist was ever heard of.

The gentleman has of course determined the complexion of the great captain of antiquity, the Carthaginian Hannibal, and knows how far it resembled that of the Lybians and Nubians whom he led to twenty years’ triumph over the sharp-peaked eagles of Rome. He sees how to dispose of the phenomenon of the French mullato, Alexandre Dumas, that miracle of prolific genius.

He can show that no stress is to be laid on such a case as that of the American Frederick Douglass, now of Rochester, New York, ten years ago a wretched slave, picking up scraps of leaves of the Bible in the gutters of Baltimore, to teach himself to read, then working three years on the wharves on New Bedford, without a day’s schooling I presume in his life, yet now speaking and writing the English language with a force and eloquence which, I hesitate not to say, would do no discredit to any gentlemen on this floor.


Appendix to The Congressional Globe for the First Session, Thirtieth Congress: Containing Speeches and Important State Papers (Vol. 17). City of Washington, Printed at the Office of Blair & Rives, 1848.

The Slave Question.” Speech of Mr. J. G. Palfrey, 26 January, 1848.
30th Congress, 1st Session, p. 133 – 137.

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