Frederick Douglass in Newport with Dr. John Rice

November 19, 2020, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Redwood Library and Athenæum

Frederick Douglass in Newport Presented by Dr. John Rice

Frederick Douglass arrived in Newport as a fugitive slave as early as 1838. Time and again, he would return to Newport from his home in New Bedford and stay with the Rices at 23 Thomas Street, a station on the Underground Railroad, while giving lectures throughout Rhode Island. John Rice shares the thrilling story of his family’s special friendship with Douglass, reveals a recently discovered letter from him, and connects us to the unique legacy of an African American family living in the same house for more than 200 years. He will also explore Douglass’ association with the nation’s premier Black caterer and civil rights activist, Newport’s George T. Downing.

John Rice, the great great grandson of Newport’s Isaac Rice, is an Engineering Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

This lecture is presented in partnership with Stages of Freedom as part of a three-day event, “Frederick Douglass in Rhode Island” funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. For more information on the other lectures in the series please visit

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Thursday, November 19, 2020 – 6:00pm to 7:00pm
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