Committee plans fourth year of events

WARREN – Frederick Douglass, a 19th-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery, will be the topic of the first of this year’s Civil War remembrance events being planned by the local Civil War 150 committee.

This will be the fourth consecutive year the committee has held Civil War-related programs and displays marking the 150th anniversary of the war held from 1861-1865.

Sally Thomas, a committee member, said the first event planned for 2014 will take place on Feb. 22.

Hugh Mullen, a committee member, said the day’s events will focus on Douglass, and there will be other re-enactors as Civil War soldiers as well.

Actor Michael Crutcher will portray Frederick Douglass in Courtroom 1 at the Trumbull County Courthouse at 2 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session following.

Wendell Lauth, a committee member, said that on Feb. 22, a meet-and-greet will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Thomas Meeting Room on the second floor of the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library similar to the Chautaqua-type program, where the performers can speak out of character.

In the past few years, the CW150 has held events in Warren and Niles focusing on different people, battles and events during that specific year 150 years ago.

Douglass risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken anti-slavery lecturer, writer and publisher. He was recognized as one of America’s first great black speakers. Douglass became one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery in the United States.

Douglass served as an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and fought for the adoption of constitutional amendments that guaranteed voting rights and other civil liberties for blacks.

Lauth said Douglass had visited the Warren area which during the Civil War was a anti-slavery and part of the Underground Railroad which aided fugitive slaves in their escape to freedom.

In past years, the CW150 has held programs on the Battle of Shiloh and Battle of Gettysburg and the Emancipation Proclamation.