Federated Church on Heritage Trail


The board of trustees of the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard is delighted to welcome the Federated Church in Edgartown as site No. 29 on their historic trail. According to a press release, a Heritage Trail plaque will be unveiled at the church on July 3, honoring Frederick Douglass, the famous orator, who spoke there on Nov. 29, 1857. Douglas had addressed a meeting where the Edgartown Town Hall is now located on Nov. 28, 1857. His theme was to describe enslavement and to urge the community of Edgartown to oppose it in all its forms.

The plaque will be unveiled as part of the Federated Church’s annual reading and celebration of Douglass’ famous speech “The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro,” a speech given at Rochester, N.Y., in 1852.

The African American Heritage Trail is the builder of the physical historic Trail that now has sites in every Vineyard town. They provide educational programs, cultural heritage tourism, and create economic opportunity for young people.

The reading of Douglass’ speech will begin at 12 noon on July 3, and the unveiling of the plaque will take place at 1:30 pm, followed by light refreshments. Everyone is welcome.