3. Frederick Douglass’ Cooper Union Endorsement

Cooper Union-Astor Place-Frederick Douglass-Abraham Lincoln-NYCPhoto by Amy Cools for Untapped Cities

Of the notable events that have taken place in Cooper Union’s Great Hall, one of the most famous is the speech Abraham Lincoln gave there on February 27th, 1860. It was a speech that cemented Lincoln as a Presidential contender and ensured that the Great Hall would become an important venue. Twenty years after Cooper Union’s Great Hall helped Lincoln rise to prominence, on October 25, 1880, abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass gave a speech to an overflow crowd declaring that “James Garfield must be our President.” On March 4, 1881, Frederick Douglass led Garfield to his inauguration demonstrating the importance of Douglass’ support and endorsement.

Next check out our trip inside of Cooper Union’s clocktower.