3. New York City Criminal Court Building

Manhattan Criminal-Court-building-on-centre-st-NYC-Amy Cools

Photo by Amy Cools

Douglass’s new friend Stuart gave him shelter for the night. Since, as Douglass wrote, Stuart lived across from The Tombs on Centre Street, his house would have stood somewhere on the grounds now occupied by the enormous New York City Criminal Court Building.

Looking up at the words engraved across the center front, something struck me. I imagine what Douglass would have felt that day if he knew that Thomas Jefferson’s phrase ‘Equal and Exact Justice to All Men of Whatever State or Persuasion’ would be etched in stone one day above the place his head lay. After all, it describes very well the central driving principle of his life.