Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

Frederick Douglass, original name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, was an African American man who fought for the rights of slaves. His talent to express oratorical and literary place him as the most important fighter of the U.S. abolition movement, and he became the first ex-slave black citizen to hold high rank in the U.S. government. His life as slave influenced his literature creations that made him famous. He was in born February 1818 in Tuckahoe, Maryland.

He was separated as an infant from his slave mother and he never knew his white father. At the age of eight, his owner sent him to Baltimore to work as a servant for Hugh Auld family. There was a mishap in the family, in which the wife of Hugh Auld defied state law and teach Frederick how to read and write. Because learning would make Douglass unfit for slavery, Frederick was forced to continue his education in a school where his was constantly harassed but upon the death of his master, he was returned to the plantation at 16. Few years later he was introduced to the ship selling and he was contracted in Baltimore as a ship caulker.

Frederick attempted to escape with three others in 1833, but the plan was ruined when their owner found out before they could escape. After five years, he was continuously traveling in search of job, but this time with his last name changed to Douglass as a prevention for slave seekers to recognize him. Later he was invited to a meeting in where he expressed his feelings and experiences under slavery, which were the exact same words that unleashed so much controversy and that guided him into a new career as agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. There were many skeptics who doubted that such an articulate spokesman could ever have been a slave, because of that Douglass felt impelled to write his autobiography, which contained almost the same words of his speech, written in 1845, revised and completed in 1882 as Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.

Douglass’s biography impacted America in many ways, usually categorized as being the literature that gave rise to The Civil War. Also a classic in American literature as well as a primary source about slavery from slave viewpoint. But things weren’t perfect, Douglass was still a slave and therefore he was treated as property. He had to avoid being recapture by his former owner, (whose name and location were shown in the narrative), or another slave haunter.

So, while thing calm down in the United States, Douglass left on tour to Europe. That trip helped Douglass to gain more popularity and donations for the abolition movement. Later he returned with funds to purchase his freedom and to start his own antislavery newspaper, the North Star (later Frederick Douglass’s Paper). He started supporting many abolitionist groups and allying with many people that beneficiated his cause. Despite the emotional and physical violent attacks, Douglass never flagged in his devotion to the abolitionist cause.

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