The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, 1852
Born a slave in Maryland, Douglas escaped in 1838 and earned widespread acclaim for his 1845 autobiography. Invited to speak as part of July 4 festivities in his adopted hometown of Rochester, N.Y., the abolitionist took the opportunity to rage at the injustice of slavery.
Best Line: "Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future."