Frederick Douglass


“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
– Douglass

b. 1817 CE – d. 1859 CE

American orator and journalist, was born in Tuckahoe, Talbot county, Maryland, probably in February 1817. His mother was a negro slave of exceptional intelligence, and his father was a white man. For the sake of greater safety he soon removed to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he changed his name from Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to Frederick Douglass. For three years he worked as a day laborer in New Bedford.

An extempore speech made by him before an anti-slavery meeting at Nantucket, Mass., in August 1841, led to his being appointed one of the agents of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, and in this capacity he delivered during the next four years numerous addresses against slavery.

From 1847 to 1860 he conducted an anti-slavery weekly journal, known as The North Star, and later as Frederick Douglas’s Paper, at Rochester, New York, and, during this time, also was a frequent speaker at anti-slavery meetings. During the Civil War he was among the first to suggest the employment of negro troops by the United States government, and two of his sons served in the Union army. After the war he was for several years a popular public lecturer. He was widely known for his eloquence, and was one of the most effective orators in America.

Works By Frederick Douglass