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PHOTO ESSAY

Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass in Haiti (c. 1891).

Courtesy of the National Park Service.

Douglass remained active and outspoken in his later years, serving as minister to Haiti from 1889 to 1891. While in this post he became an unwilling agent of American expansionism in the Caribbean by unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate special shipping concessions for American business interests and the lease of land for a naval base at Môle St. Nicholas. He eventually resigned in disgust and returned home, where he devoted his energies to the emerging antilynching movement. This drawing by the American illustrator James E. Taylor, c. 1891, shows Douglass, facing the viewer, wearing a panama hat. The woman standing to his right has been identified as Victoire, the mistress of President Hyppolite of Haiti, who was a widower at the time Douglass was the U.S. Minister there.

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