Frederick Douglass Sculpture for Newcastle

by Bethany Malcolm in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

Frederick Douglass Sculpture for Newcastle


raised of £2,500 stretch target


80% 3 hours left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 22nd September 2020 at 4:28pm

This Crowdfund will enable the gifting of a unique bronze cast bust of Frederick Douglass to be made to Newcastle City Library.

by Bethany Malcolm in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Any Extra Funds will be given to Newcastle Central Library to support there events planed for Black History Month in October.

Frederick Douglass 

Frederick Douglass was an American abolitionist, writer and intellectual.

Douglass was born sometime around 1818 on a plantation in Maryland USA. In 1838 he escaped slavery in Baltimore, travelling to Philadelphia disguised as sailor. He went on to become a national leader of the abolitionist movement, famous for his speeches and writing. 

He lectured to thousands of people and alongside the abolition of slavery was a supporter of many causes linked to equality including women's rights. 

In 1845 he published his autobiography Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave which made him world famous. 

He also published an antislavery newspaper - The North Star. 

Links to Newcastle

Frederick Douglass travelled to the UK during the 19th century for Anti-Slavery lecture tours, to educate British audiences about slavery, racism and the abolitionist movement.  

In 1846 he stayed in Newcastle for a short time, at the home of Anna Richardson and her sister-in-law, Ellen. 

He has a lasting connection to the city as these two local women, Quakers and campaigners, raised the money for Douglass’s freedom. 

He wrote in his memoirs:

"These were Ellen and Anna Richardson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne … without any suggestion from me they … bought me out of slavery...and thus enabled me to return to the United States and resume my work for the emancipation of the slaves."

The house where Frederick Douglass stayed in Summerhill Grove now has a blue plaque to commemorate his link to the location, and the University of Newcastle recently opened the Frederick Douglass Centre. The story was featured on BBC Two's A House Through Time and on BBC Radio 4's In Our Time However there is no bust or statue of Frederick Douglass in the city. 

Newcastle City Council have kindly agreed to host a bronze bust of Frederick Douglass at City Library. The location of the library will enable the bust to be accessible to all, meaning people of all ages and backgrounds could learn about and be inspired by Frederick Douglass and the abolitionist movement, and his surprising link to Newcastle. Now more than ever we need to see representation of Black history in our public buildings and spaces. 

Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah who spoke in Parliament earlier this year about Frederick's connection to Newcastle has described the sculpture as “very powerful.”

The Project 

The sculpture has now been produced in wet clay by Newcastle artist Beth Malcolm. It has been sculpted using a variation of reference images of Frederick Douglass throughout his lifetime.

Funds We Need 

We need to raise £2000 to pay for the next part of production - which involves moulding, casting in bronze at a specialist foundry and mounting for display. 



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£100 or more

£100 Pledge Reward

You will be invited to be a honoured guest at the unveiling of the Sculpture and receive a Digital design drawing of the sculpture.

Let's make 'Frederick Douglass Sculpture for Newcastle' happen

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