Skip to main content

Frederick Douglass with the Edmonson Sisters at Fugitive Slave Law Convention, Cazenovia, New York

Artist
Ezra Greenleaf Weld, 1801 - 1874
Sitter
Frederick Douglass, Feb 1818 - 20 Feb 1895
Gerrit Smith, 6 Mar 1797 - 28 Dec 1874
Emily Catherine Edmonson, 1835 - 1895
Mary Edmonson, 1832 - 1853
Theodosia Gilbert Chaplin, 1819 - 1855
Date
1850
Type
Photograph
Medium
Half-plate copy daguerreotype
Dimensions
Image: 11.2 x 9.8 cm (4 7/16 x 3 7/8")
Case Open: 15.2 x 24.4 x 1.3 cm (6 x 9 5/8 x 1/2")
Credit Line
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. Set Charles Momjian
Object number
L/NPG.19.95
Culture
Frederick Douglass: American\African American
Emily Catherine Edmonson: American\African American
Mary Edmonson: American\African American
Exhibition Label
In 1850, as Congress considered passage of a harsh new Fugitive Slave Law, more than 2,000 people heeded the call of abolitionist Gerrit Smith (standing, center) to meet in Cazenovia, New York, and protest the impending legislation. Among the nearly fifty escaped slaves to participate were Emily and Mary Edmonson (in plaid shawls), whose freedom had been purchased by abolitionists in 1848, and Frederick Douglass (seated, center right), who served as the convention's presiding officer. On the gathering's second day, the overflowing crowd moved from its initial meeting place in a church to a nearby orchard. There, a local daguerreotypist made this extraordinary record of the convention.
Data Source
Catalog of American Portraits
See more items in
Catalog of American Portraits
Exhibition
Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits
On View
NPG, East Gallery 134