Angered by passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Frederick Douglass delivered his famous "Fifth of July" address on July 5, 1852, at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. (Emancipation of slaves in New York—which occurred on July 4, 1827—was traditionally celebrated on July 5 so as not to conflict with Independence Day observances.) In thunderous language, he condemned America’s July Fourth holiday as a hollow fraud because there was neither dignity nor freedom for Americans whose skin was black. He reserved some of his harshest language for pro-slavery Christian clergymen: "I would say welcome infidelity! Welcome atheism! Welcome anything! In preference to the gospel as preached by those divines! They convert the very name of religion into a barbarous cruelty." Many historians consider this the most important antislavery speech of the years leading up to the Civil War. Sadly, its site is now a city parking structure.