Delegate Lecture Circuits

The conversation captured in the 1855 Philadelphia National Colored Convention did not start or end there. Growing out of conversations in print and on the stage, in public and in private, the messages espoused in the 1855 Convention were part of a trajectory of Black activist rhetoric that continued well beyond its date and location. Particularly successful speakers, such as Frederick Douglass and Mary Ann Shadd Cary, took their messages with them in traveling lecture circuits throughout their careers. To the right, you'll find tabs for some of the delegate lecturers from the 1855 Convention, detailing where they went and what they spoke about in the years surrounding the convention. 

Mapping the locales these speakers visited attests both to the unexpected mobility of Black activists and also to the difficulty of traveling very far distances or to very many places because of the violence Black persons encountered daily, which indeed made frequent travel such as theirs so unexpected in the first place. Clearly, urgency of message and necessity of sustaining activist networks spurred travel to major urban hubs as well as newly formed settlements. 

Click on the tabs to the right to learn more about the speakers and their lecture circuits.

Written by Jessica Conrad, PhD Candidate in English