The Bowling Green Address – Essay

A draft of the speech Frederick Douglass gave at the dedication and consecration of the battlefield at Bowling Green:

Less than a score of days ago, our government brought forth, on this continent, a new reality, conceived in hate, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal (but only if they’re white and male).

Now we are divided by a great verbal war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so deceived and so dedicated to alternate truth can long endure. We are met on a mythical battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of Bowling Green, as the final resting-place for truth, which gave it’s life, so our leaders could see our nation die. It is altogether repulsive that we should have to do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. Brave truth is dead and in its death this land has been defiled far beyond our poor power to free it from the stain. The world might note and long remember what we say here, but it may not. It might just be considered fake news, for history is being purposefully rewritten and will be forever tarnished by the falsehoods told here.

It is for us, those who see the the newspeak happening, to be here dedicated to the unfinished work which the death of truth has nobly set before us. That from the honored death of truth, we take increased devotion to oppose those who caused its demise – that we here highly resolve that truth shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that an honest government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall still be possible on this earth.

-C. Mascott

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