A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass was removed from its base in Maplewood Park in Rochester, New York on Sunday.

It was found near the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet from its pedestal with damage to the base and a finger.

Its removal came on the anniversary of one of Douglass’ famous speeches, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” which he delivered in Rochester in 1852. Maplewood Park was a site along the Underground Railroad, where he and other abolitionists rescued African Americans from slavery.

In his speech, Douglass said that Independence Day “reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”

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Carvin Eison, a leader of the project that initially brought the statue to the park, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that another statue will replace it because of the damage.

“To be given the news today that our monument, one of our monuments has been desecrated, knocked off its pedestal and removed is more painful than I could tell,” Eison said.

Police have not yet identified any suspects in the statue vandalism.

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