Fredrick Douglass

by: Melina Nguyen

Fredrick Douglass impacted many slaves and abolitionists.

HIs rough childhood built his character.

Frederick was born on the banks of Tuckahoe Creek in Talbot County, Maryland.

Its said that he was born 1817-1818, he himself never knew his real birthdate. Later in life though, he chose to celebrate it on February 14th. As a young boy he lived with his grandmother in the home of the plantation owners. It is said that the one who owned him was believed to be his father. His mother died when he was around 10.

Education: He taught himself how to read and write.

After his mother died, he was sent to serve the Auld family in Baltimore. Sophia Auld taught him how to read the bible when he started pointing to the words. Sophia had never been around slaves, so she treated them normally. Which teaching them anything, was against the law. When her husband found out he forbid her to keep teaching him. Fredrick then started teaching himself. He observed the other kids while they wrote and read.

Fredrick would trade food to the white boys he played with for reading lessons. He learned how to write by telling the boys he could write better then them and "compete" with them. The first book he manage to get was The Columbian Orator. The more he was educated, the more unhappy he felt about his life.

Life as slave

He lived with the Aulds for 7 years. Fredrick's owner Thomas Auld was determined to break his spirit so that he wouldn't be a threat. Thomas was very mean and struggled with complex emotions. He would whip and starve Fredrick. Fredrick was not the most obedient. He would educate other slaves on how to read and write and that would get both him and other slaves in trouble. But no matter what, Fredrick was determined to have a happier and free life, and help other slaves.

Brave Escape

On September 3, 1838, after many failed attempts, he successfully escaped. He thought through carefully and planned an elaborate plan. He said "It would seal my fate as a slave forever.". He disguised himself as a sailor and carried a friend's document (proof of the slaves freedom) and boarded on a train northbound to New York. He jumped on the train at the last moment to avoid the ticked agent. While on the train he was almost caught when the conductor asked to see his documents. Fatefully the conductor only looked at the verifying seal and not the picture.

Contributions,Accomplishments, and important life events

After he escaped he began speaking out about the horrors of slavery. Speaking out was dangerous but he was determined to make a difference.

He published his autobiography called Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave in 1845. He also founded "the North Star," an abolitionist newspaper. This took a big toll on the abolitionist movement.

During the Civil War he fought for the rights of black soldiers, and consulted with Lincoln and influenced the Emancipation Proclamation.

After Lincoln died, Frederick worked with president Johnson on black suffrage.

In 1872 at the Equal Rights Party he was nominated vice president of the United States.

Not only did Fredrick make an impact and supported freedom for other slaves, he was a strong supporter of women's rights too. He attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

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Frederick was passionate for what he believed was right, and took action. He showed his bravery, intelligence, and strong character in the process. He was a big influence on equal rights for all, which is still important today.


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