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Douglass Not Soldier-Tribute questioned

Plans to honor abolitionist prove divisive in Talbot Co.

County courthouse lawn is only for war memorials, not Douglass, council says

By Chris Guy
Sun Staff

February 9, 2004
EASTON - The lawn of the county courthouse boasts a monument to Vietnam veterans and a statue honoring "The Talbot Boys," heroes of the Confederacy. Now, sponsors of a memorial to the county's most illustrious native, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, have been told that he does not qualify for a similar honor - because he was not a soldier.

Supporters in the Colonial capital of the Eastern Shore see the courthouse, a political hub since before Douglass was born nearby in 1818, as the only worthy site for his tribute. The jail where, as a young man, Douglass was held after an escape from bondage once stood next door.

But a divided Talbot County Council has shelved the proposal, pointing to an unwritten policy that reserves the lawn for memorials to the county's war dead. Council members suggested the library or a town park might be a better place to honor the famed orator and author.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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