Text: S.Con.Res.49 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/21/2012)

2d Session
S. CON. RES. 49

To direct the Joint Committee on the Library to accept a statue depicting Frederick Douglass from the District of Columbia and display the statue in a suitable location in the Capitol.


June 21, 2012

Mr. Schumer (for himself and Mr. Durbin) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration


To direct the Joint Committee on the Library to accept a statue depicting Frederick Douglass from the District of Columbia and display the statue in a suitable location in the Capitol.

    Whereas Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Maryland in 1818, escaped from slavery and became a leading writer, orator, and publisher, and one of the Nation’s most influential advocates for abolitionism, women’s suffrage, and the equality of all people;

    Whereas the contributions of Frederick Douglass over many decades were crucial to the abolition of slavery, the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the support for women’s suffrage, and the advancement of African-Americans after the Civil War;

    Whereas after living in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Frederick Douglass resided for 25 years in Rochester, New York, where he published and edited “The North Star”, the leading African-American newspaper in the United States, and other publications;

    Whereas self-educated, Frederick Douglass wrote several influential books, including his best-selling first autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave”, published in 1845;

    Whereas Frederick Douglass worked tirelessly for the emancipation of African-American slaves, was a pivotal figure in Underground Railroad activities in Western New York, and was an inspiration to enslaved Americans who aspired to freedom;

    Whereas as a well-known speaker in great demand, Frederick Douglass traveled widely, visiting countries such as England and Ireland, to spread the message of emancipation and equal rights;

    Whereas Frederick Douglass was the only African-American to attend the Seneca Falls Convention, a women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848;

    Whereas during the Civil War, Frederick Douglass recruited African-Americans to volunteer as soldiers for the Union Army, including two of his sons who served nobly in the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment;

    Whereas in 1872, Frederick Douglass moved to Washington, DC, after a fire destroyed his home in Rochester, New York;

    Whereas Frederick Douglass was appointed as a United States Marshal in 1877 and was named Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia in 1881;

    Whereas Frederick Douglass became the first African-American to receive a vote for nomination as President of the United States at a major party convention for the 1888 Republican National Convention;

    Whereas from 1889 to 1891, Frederick Douglass served as minster-resident and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti;

    Whereas Frederick Douglass was recognized around the world as one of the most important political activists in the history of the United States;

    Whereas Frederick Douglass died in 1895 in Washington, DC and is buried in Rochester, New York;

    Whereas the statues and busts in the Capitol depicting distinguished Americans number more than 180 and include only two African-Americans;

    Whereas that imbalance fails to show the historically significant contributions of African-Americans to the United States;

    Whereas it is time to display in the Capitol the statues and busts of outstanding African-Americans whose contributions to the Nation deserve that recognition; and

    Whereas Frederick Douglass’s achievements and influence on the history of the United States merit recognition in the Capitol: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That—

(1) not later than 2 years after the date on which this resolution is agreed to by both Houses of Congress, the Joint Committee on the Library shall accept from the District of Columbia the donation of a statue depicting Frederick Douglass, subject to the terms and conditions that the Joint Committee considers appropriate;

(2) the Joint Committee shall place the statue in a suitable permanent location in the Capitol; and

(3) all costs associated with the donation, including transportation of the statue to, and placement in, the Capitol, shall be paid by the District of Columbia.