Frederick Douglass: American Slave

By: Grant Farmer

Frederick Douglass had a great influence on the Civil War.


He was born in 1818 to a Harriet Bailey. He moved to his grandmother's house after his mother died at a very young age. His life was good with his grandmother until she sent him away to a plantation to work as a slave.He eventually moved to Baltimore where he worked on ships in the harbor. His master's wife taught him how to read and write but, when his master found out he sent him away to the slave breaker named Edward Covey. He worked on trying to break Frederick's rebellious spirit and almost succeeded but, Frederick eventually ran away to Baltimore.


Frederick Douglass was different than most slaves mostly because he had a education. In that time of history, it was illegal to teach slaves how to read and write. When he lived in Baltimore, his master's wife, Sophia Auld, taught him how to read and write. Eventually, His master would find out and would ban him from being taught. Although he wasn't getting as good as a education from Mrs. Auld, children in the neighborhood also helped him in his education.


At a very young age, Frederick Douglass realized that slavery was wrong. BY understanding this, he also took it upon himself to undo slavery. After he was sent away from Baltimore, he started teaching other slave how to read and write. By doing that it helped other slaves follow his cause. He eventually started holding meetings talking to other slaves about what they faced. He one day was holding a rally when his owner came and threatened to kill him. The owner realizing that Frederick was dangerous sent him away to Edward Covey or better known The slave breaker. Every day he would whip Frederick until he was tired. He also starved him to weaken him. His methods almost worked until one day Frederick fought back and almost killed him. Soon after, Fredrick would run away.

Frederick Douglass's effect on abolitionists.

Frederick Douglass did many things to help with the northerners abolitionist movement. At first he did not do much but just attend their meetings, but after awhile, he started to speak to them about his stories. A man named William Lloyd Garrison realized how powerful it would be to have Frederick's story out in the public, so he wrote a article about Douglass in his Newspaper called the Liberator. Soon after, Frederick started giving speeches at abolitionist conventions.

Life as a Author

After he got deep in the abolitionist movement, he started wring a book called, " Narrative life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave." His book told many horrible and memories Frederick had about life as a slave. His book told countless tales of how brutal the owners and masters were. This of course outraged the south. It ended up being bestseller in the north and in Europe. He was so successful that he wrote two more books called, " My Bondage and My Freedom," and, " Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.


Frederick Douglass had many other accomplishments that effected the civil war. His book like I said earlier was probably his greatest, but did you know he also gave a famous speech named, " What to the Slave is the Fourth of July." It talks about how America's, " Freedom to All," is not true for slaves. His final big accomplishment is that he pushed for women rights and spoke at the Seneca Falls Convention.