Sumner to portray Douglass in DCHS program


Frederick Douglass was a runaway slave, but also a self-educated man, author, noted speaker, activist in civil and human rights, and the first black man to hold high office in the U.S. government. Throughout his lifetime, he spoke in Delaware several times: in 1856 at Templar Hall (Kern Building); in 1867 at William Street United Methodist Church; and in 1870 at the Delaware Opera House.

On May 10, 2008 — Civil War Remembrance Day — a historical plaque was placed at 17 N. Sandusky St. to commemorate his 1856 appearance.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20, the Delaware County Historical Society will present a community program at the William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St. DCHS Board President Jack Hilborn will give a brief history of the church, and DCHS volunteer historian Steve Shaw will present background information on the early life of Frederick Douglass and his escape from slavery.

The highlight of the program will be Douglass speaking about his ideals and beliefs, through re-enactor Tracy Sumner Sr.

The program is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Hilborn Insurance, but there will be an opportunity to make a donation to help further defray expenses. To ensure adequate seating, registration is required. For more information and to register, visit the DCHS website at, email [email protected], or call 740-369-3831, extension 3. Enter through the main entrance of the church, located in Parking Lot #6 on Franklin Street. An elevator is available.

The Delaware County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote, preserve and sustain interest in the history of Delaware County. The Barn at Stratford is operated by DCHS as an event venue for weddings, corporate meetings and other special occasions. To learn more, visit the venue and society web sites at and

Special to The Gazette

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This story was submitted by the Delaware County Historical Society.

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