Douglass Delivers Speech - Intemperance and Slavery

Mr. Frederick Douglass said:—Ladies and Gentlemen,—The first sentiment that presses for utterance, is that of gratitude.

I feel exceedingly grateful to my honored friend, the president, for affording me an opportunity of meeting with so many highly intelligent and influential people as I see before me. I feel grateful also for the distinguished honor conferred upon me by having been invited by him to a seat by his side in your distinguished presence. I know not why 'tis so, I know not why I am humbled, when I reflect on what I have been, and what I now am. When I think of the situation I once filled, and of the one I now fill, I can scarcely believe my own identity. I was not a slave to intemperance, but a slave to my fellow-men. From deprivation of the ordinary facilities of addressing bodies like the present, you will naturally infer, that I feel embarrassment in my present situation, as one entirely beyond anything I ever expected.