149 Biography


Fredrick Douglass, born as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, was born into slavery February of 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. His mother was Harriet Bailey, a slave, his father was a white man believed to be his master Aaron Anthony. His exact birthdate was never known but he always chose to celebrate it on the 14th of February. Douglass originally lived with his maternal grandmother, Betty Bailey. Then at a young age, he was selected to live in the home of the plantation owners, one of which might have been his father. His mother passed away when he was only about ten years old and was only able to see her 4 to 5 times before she passed away. Sophia Auld, the wife of Hugh Auld, taught Douglass the alphabet but had to stop because the husband told her that it is dangerous to teach slaves how to read and write but Douglass was determined to learn how to read and write and he taught himself. Douglass discovered the book The Columbian Orator which gave him the concept of freedom and human rights. His interest in religion and god was awakened by listening to the preaching of a white Methodist minister named Hanson. He became acquainted with a colored man named Lawson who taught him about the Bible. With borrowed documents from a sailor, Douglass escaped from slavery using the Underground Railroad and headed to New York. His final destination was New Bedford, Massachusetts where he settled. In New York, he married Anna Murray. A private ceremony was conducted by reverent J.W.C Pennington, a well-known Presbyterian Minister. In New Bedford, he changed his last name to Douglass, a character from the poem “Lady of the Lake” by Sir Walter Scott. He kept his first name. After escaping slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader in the abolitionist movement where he became famous for his antislavery writings. A man named William Coffin, a prominent abolitionist, invited Douglass to speak at a convention in Nantucket.He became an agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. His first duty assigned was to travel with George Foster to secure subscribers to the Antislavery Standard and Liberator. This is where he gave lectures in the eastern counties of Massachusetts. Douglass was called to advocate equal rights for the proposed new constitution of Rhode Island. As an agent of the Antislavery Society, Douglass toured New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. He began to consider slavery as a matter of law instead of public opinion. He was so articulate that people had begun to doubt he had been an actual slave. Frederick Douglass was one of the most famous human rights leaders in the anti-slavery movement and was the first African-American citizen to hold a high rank in the U.S. Government. He was one of the most famous people in his time from doing things like advising presidents and lecturing to thousands about various causes such as women’s rights, anti-slavery, and advocating for African-Americans to be included in the Union Army. Sadly, after coming home from a National Council of Women meeting in Washington D.C., Frederick Douglass died of a heart attack.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

openamlitGU by Timothy Robbins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


Comments are closed.