Frederick Douglass (Rochester, NY)

parts_of_monument_frederick_douglass copy.jpg

Dublin Core


Frederick Douglass (Rochester, NY)


Subject (Topic)
Abolitionists--United States
Anti-slavery movements--United States
New York--History
Northeastern United States
Public art
Public sculpture
Slavery--New York

Subject (Name)
Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895

Subject (Object Type)
Commemorative sculpture


Sculptor Stanley W. Edwards modeled Douglass with his shoulders back, feet planted squarely forward, and his arms outstretched with his palms open as if he were addressing an audience. Mounted on the statue's pedestal are four bronze plaques, three of which are inscribed with quotes from Frederick Douglass. Photos of the monument were taken in Highland Bowl, Highland Park, Rochester, New York.


Edwards, Stanley W.


Photographs by Renée Ater


Dedicated: June 9, 1899


George A. Benton; Charles R. Douglass; Hester C. Jeffrey; Benjamin Myers; Nathan P. Pond; Governor Theodore Roosevelt; Enoch R. Spalding; William A. Sutherland; Gertrude A. Thompson; John W. Thompson; and John Van Voorhis.


City of Rochester, Department of Environmental Services, 30 Church Street, Rochester, New York, 14614, United States






Visual Arts-Sculpture


Frederick Douglass Memorial Plaza (South Ave and Robinson Drive), Rochester, New York, 14620, United States

Has Part

Inscription on plaque (facing the monument to the south):
Frederick Douglass

Inscription on plaque (facing the monument to the east):
“I know no soil better adapted to the growth of reform than American soil. I know of no country, where the conditions for effecting great changes in the settled order of things, for the development of right ideas of liberty and humanity are more favorable than here in these United States.” Extract from speech on Dred Scott Decision, delivered in New York, May 1857.

Inscriptions on plaque (facing the monument to the north):
“The best defense of free American institutions is the hearts of the American people themselves”.

“One with God is a majority.”

“I know no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity.”

Inscription on plaque (facing the monument to the west):
“Men do not live by bread alone; so with nations, they are not saved by art, but by honesty; not by the gilded splendors of wealth, but by the hidden treasures of manly virtue; not by the multitudinous gratification of the flesh, but by the celestial guidance of the spirit.” Extract from speech on The West India Emancipation, delivered at Canandaigua, N.Y., August 4, 1857

Has Version

This monument was originally located in front of the old New York Central Train Station (St. Paul Street and Central Ave) in Rochester, New York. In 1941, the work was moved to Highland Bowl, a part of Highland Park, close to the location of Douglass' farm (no longer extant) on South Avenue. As of December 4, 2019, the City of Rochester moved the statue to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Plaza (South Avenue and Robison Drive).


Statue: 96 in. (243.84 cm.)
Pededstal: 108 in. (274.32 cm.)


Bronze; Westerly blue granite

Bibliographic Citation

Haight, R. J. "Among the Sculptors." The Monumental News, vol. 10, no. 9 (1898): 516. Accessed May 25, 2020,

Thompson, James W. An Authentic History of the Frederick Douglass Monument. Rochester, NY: Rochester Herald Press, 1903. Accessed May 25, 2020,

Morry, Emily. "Frederick Douglass Monument." Retrofitting Rochester, Democrat & Chronicle, 2018. Accessed May 25, 2020,

Greenwood, Marcia. "Original Frederick Douglass Statue Is on the Move." Democrat & Chronicle, October 21, 2019. Accessed May 25, 2020,

Rights Holder

Renée Ater

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

Statue: 96 in. (243.84 cm.)
Pededstal: 108 in. (274.32 cm.)


Edwards, Stanley W., “Frederick Douglass (Rochester, NY),” Contemporary Monuments to the Slave Past, accessed July 20, 2024,