preview

frederick douglass

Better Essays
Frederick Douglass was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. A brilliant speaker, Douglass was asked by the American Anti-Slavery Society to engage in a tour of lectures, and so became recognized as one of America's first great black speakers. He won world fame when his autobiography was publicized in 1845. Two years later he bagan publishing an antislavery paper called the North Star.
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in 1819 on a Talbot County, Maryland plantation. At the age of eight he was sent to Baltimore as a house servant. Frederick was grossly mistreated. To keep from starving, on many occasions, he competed with his master's dogs for table scraps and bones. . In 1825, he was sent to serve as a houseboy in the home of Hugh and Sophia Auld in Baltimore. Mrs Auld grew fond of him and sought to teach him to read and write. But when her husband discovered the deed she was doing he put it to a stop, because it was unlawful to teach slaves how to read, Frederick took it upon himself to learn. He made the neighborhood boys his teachers, by giving away his food in exchange for lessons in reading and writing. At about the age of twelve, Douglass purchased a copy of The Columbian Orator, a popular schoolbook at the time, which helped him to gain an understanding and appreciation of the power of the spoken and the written word. During his time in the South he was severely flogged for his resistance to slavery.

Carter 2

In his early teens he began to teach in a Sunday school which was later forcibly shut down by hostile whites. The lessons he learned about the evils of slavery and his hatred of the institution was deepened during his stay with Thomas Auld. Determined to crush the spirit of young Frederick, Thomas Auld hired him out to Edward Covey, a slave breaker who worked and whipped him mercilessly. He endured the mistreatment until one day he could stand it no longer and fought back. On January 1, 1836, Douglass made a resolution that he would be free by the end of the year. He planned an escape. Bu...

... middle of paper ...

...uld continue his active involvement to better the lives of African Americans. He conferred with Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and recruited northern blacks for the Union Army. After the War he fought for the rights of women and African Americans alike.. He focused attention on Jim Crow laws in the North, by entering public places in which he knew these laws were enforced, sometimes risking physical ejection. He also gave his money to aid fugitive slaves, and used his printing carter 5 shop in Rochester, New York as an Underground Railroad station. In addition, he became impressed with the radical Abolitionist, John Brown, whose advocacy of revolutionary means to end slavery, intrigued Douglass. However, he decided against joining Brown in his plan to overthrow the government. Still, his involvement with Brown was visible enough that a warrant for Douglass' arrest was issued after the Harper's Ferry raid, and
Get Access