Early in the spring of 1870, when Frederick Douglass visited Sunbury, he was probably less surprised by the reception he got than those who’d invited him.

Douglass, who escaped from slavery to become a national leader of the abolitionist movement and then a proponent of equality of all peoples, came to the Northumberland County seat to meet with officials of the Sunbury Lyceum who wanted to engage him for a lecture. The great orator had just completed a successful talk in Danville and the Lyceum members were excited about hosting him in the county.

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