Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass 1817(?)-1895
Abolitionist, Author, and Orator
Birthplace: Tuckahoe, MD

Frederick Douglass was born a slave around the year 1818. When he was a young boy, his new mistress taught him the alphabet, which was a crime. Using this knowledge as a starting point, Douglass taught himself to read and write. The experience of being forbidden access to the written word, along with the information he secretly read, made him understand the power of the spoken and written word.

Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838 and moved to Massachusetts, where he became active in the abolitionist movement. He lectured for the Anti-Slavery Society, published his own abolitionist newspaper, campaigned for women's rights, and wrote three autobiographies. During the Civil War, Douglass served as an adviser to president Lincoln, and after the war served the country in other appointed posts.

Douglas died in 1895, but his message lives on: Believe in yourself and you can make a far-reaching, long-lasting change for the good in the world.

Related Resources

Web Resources
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)
This site features a list of links and resources about this famous African American.

Black History Month  Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans

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