October 18, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 168 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
FREDERICK DOUGLASS BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 168
(Senate - October 18, 2017)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Pages S6590-S6591] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] FREDERICK DOUGLASS BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION ACT Mr. GARDNER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of H.R. 2989, which was received from the House. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title. The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows: A bill (H.R. 2989) to establish the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission. There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill. Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I rise tonight to join my House colleagues, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Congressman Andy Harris, to celebrate the passage of H.R. 2989, a bill to create a commission to honor Frederick Douglass in 2018, in the bicentennial of his birth. Frederick Douglass was enslaved at birth on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1818; yet he learned to read and write. He escaped from Maryland and moved to New York. In 1845, he published his first autobiography, ``The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave.'' He later escaped to Great Britain to avoid being returned to slavery. British Quakers paid for his freedom, which enabled him to return to United States, settling in Baltimore, MD, in 1847; yet he continued to be a strong abolitionist who campaigned against slavery and in favor of the right to vote throughout the east and midwest. In 1850, he oversaw the Underground Railroad in Rochester, NY. Douglass made four trips back to the place of his birth in Talbot County, MD. He reconciled with Captain Thomas Auld, who had enslaved him in the past. He made a pilgrimage to Tappers Corner in search of his grandmother's cabin and his birthplace. Moreover, he invested in the African-American community in Maryland through housing developments in his old neighborhood in Fells Point, now named Douglass Place, and at Highland Beach, a summer resort community outside of Annapolis. Among his many accomplishments, he served as an adviser to President Lincoln. Moreover, he received several appointments in the District of Columbia: legislative council, U.S. Marshal, and recorder of deeds. He was subsequently appointed Ambassador to Haiti from 1889 to 1891. Two hundred years after Douglass's birth provides an opportunity to reflect upon his legacy. He stated, ``We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.'' I look forward to working [[Page S6591]] with my colleagues to commemorate his bicentennial by retracing his steps and promoting his guiding principles of freedom and justice for all. Mr. GARDNER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The bill (H.R. 2989) was ordered to a third reading, was read the third time, and passed. ____________________