Frederick Douglass’ Name Misspelled For Nearly 130 Years

March 5, 2019

The Great Western Staircase is located in the New York State Capitol Building in Albany, NY, and portrays busts of famous New York State historical figures and significant scenes in American history.

Among the 77 busts carved, some of the names include, Susan B. Anthony, Christopher Columbus, Benjamin Franklin, and, most importantly, Frederick Douglass. Constructed some time in the late 1880’s- early 1890’s, shortly after the Civil War, Frederick Douglass was the only black man to be included.

Or should I say ‘Frederick Douglas,’ which was how his name was spelled for over 100 years. No, you’re not crazy and yes, you did read that right.

However, thanks to Governor Cuomo, the nearly 130-year-old bust has been amended.

In his official announcement on February 28th of this year, Governor Cuomo stated,

“Frederick Douglass’ impact on this state and this nation endures to this day, and it’s only right that we ensure his memory lives on accurately in the historic halls of the State Capitol.”

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