Frederick Douglass Transcription Day

Join the Douglass Day Transcription Event!

Join the Lexington location for this national event to celebrate the birthday of Frederick Douglass and make black history accessible.

We will be participating in a national online crowd-sourcing transcription project featuring the Frederick Douglass Papers: General Correspondence, 1841 to 1912, in the collection of the Library of Congress. Participants will try to transcribe all 8,731 pages in a single day!

Location: Depot, Lexington Historical Society
Time: 11-3 PM for students, 12-3 for the general public on Wed. February 14th
Cost: Free!

* If you are signing up as a LHS student, please fill out the form by January 30th!

The Lexington event is sponsored by the Lexington Lyceum Advocates, the Association of Black Citizens of Lexington (ABCL), the Lexington Historical Society, the Lexington High School Social Studies Department, and the Lexington Youth Steam Team.

Not Sure How a Transcription Event Works?
The Douglass Day organization invites everyone to participate and has provided online tutorials for those of us who have not participated before. There will also be professional historians at the event to help guide participants.


About Fredrick Douglass

  • Frederick Douglass was the most influential African American leader of the nineteenth century.
  • Enslaved as a youth, he disguised himself as a sailor and escaped.
  • During his early career, he traveled, spoke against slavery, and attended meetings with abolitionists.
  • He moved to Massachusetts, became a speaker for anti-slavery societies, and gained fame.
  • He praised Lexington abolitionists Rev. Samuel May and Andrew Wellington for their contributions to the anti-slavery movement.
  • He published his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, in Lynn, Massachusetts.
  • Douglass used moral persuasion and personal anecdotes to persuade Northerners to question their support of slavery.
  • He gained international fame touring Great Britain and returned to the U.S.
  • He moved to Rochester, N.Y., where he started his newspaper called the North Star.
  • During the Civil War, he advised President Lincoln and urged the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • He recruited Black soldiers for Massachusetts’ 54th and 55th regiments, contributing to the Union’s victory in the Civil War.

Connections between Frederick Douglass and Lexington

  • Frederick Douglass participated in meetings of the Middlesex Anti-Slavery Society, to which many Lexington abolitionists belonged.
  • Hannah Robbins’, whose family built the Stone Building in Lexington, was an officer of the Anti-Slavery Society.
  • Many abolitionists were likely to meet and be inspired by him.

About Douglass Day

The Douglass Day organization has hosted a transcription event since 2017 to bring people across the country together to create new and freely available resources for learning about Black history. These events, held on the day Douglass chose as his birthday, February 14, feature a crowdsourcing transcription project and a live-streamed event.

This annual, national event is organized by the Douglass Day Organization to mark the birth of Frederick Douglass. Locally, this event will bring together Lexington High School students with local public historians and other interested community members.

To find out more about the event:


Sponsors

Lexington High School (MA) Social Studies Department