Douglass talks about our nation and how young it is, 76 at the time which as he says is the age of a old man. i like this quote "The simple story of it is that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your "sovereign people" (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown . Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper." I think what he was trying to say he was "hey dont forget that only 76 years ago you too were under a government that was unfair to you and treated you unjust. Why do you treat another person the same way?
"Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so, than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day, were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it." Again i think what he is saying here would be "be careful we too are wise men and we wont take very much more of this. We as slaves will not go mad under this unfair treatment, we will rise this treatment.