Abolition literature

Frederick Douglass

•Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland. He was taught to read by the wife of his owner, so he became educated.

•In his young adulthood, he escaped slavery and migrated into the north

•Hears two abolitionists, William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips, and is inspired.

•He was hired by the Massachusetts Anti­Slavery society to travel and give speeches about his experience as a slave and about the abolitionist movement.

• Writes for the North Star, a newspaper spreading abolitionist messages.

•He writes The Life Of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

•Douglass travels to England to avoid slave hunters. In England, fans bought his freedom so he was able to return.

•Begins to attend Women’s Rights Conventions.

•With the Union, he works with Abe Lincoln to improve the conditions for African American soldiers.

•Fought for changes in the constitution for the voting rights of African Americans.

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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin tells the story of two slaves, Tom and Eliza, as they struggle through different aspects of life as slaves. The book is written by the magnificent Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe was perhaps the most famous abolitionist author of her time, writing over 30 different novels and short stories. This book was one of the first instances of a piece of literature opening up to the majority of the population about the harshness of slavery, promoting wide change in beliefs towards slavery.

A Narrative of Thomas Smallwood

Biography: Thomas Smallwood was born in Prince George’s County in 1801, where he was a slave in the household of Reverend J. B Ferguson who taught him how to read and write. After being freed at age of 30, Smallwood was an advocate for the African Colonisation Society, then later started working with organizers of the Underground Railroad around Maryland. He then had to sneak his family to Canada, where later he and his son were two of seven leaders selected to be on a committee that drafted a pro-Union "Address to the Colored Citizens of Canada."

Summary: Smallwood focuses on the African Colonisation Society, the Underground Railroad, life for former slaves in Canada, and his personal views of slavery in America. He also talks about about Walker, a former slave whose story he thinks has been wrongly overlooked. After explaining the reasons for his disliking with the African Colonisation Society, Smallwood describes his experiences helping slaves escape via the Underground Railroad. His narrative shows a proper insight of the African Colonisation Society and the Underground Railroad.

Inspiration: Thomas Smallwood was mostly inspired by his experiences while working with African Colonisation Society and the Underground Railroad and how he believed that not all of the member of each society were trustworth.

Importance: His narrative is important because it gives an proper insight of the African Colonisation Society and the Underground Railroad, and the truth behind the whole system. It inspires American values and society by emphasizing the cruelty against black slaves in America.


All across the nation, the rise of literature was very clear. Not all stories had a deeper meaning behind them, but the ones that did, had an incredible meaning. The rise of abolitionist literature provided the spark that spread across the north as people realized how important it would be to end slavery (prompting a civil war). In fact, abolitionist authors are most likely the single biggest factor for the change in opinions of slavery as a nation, and helped push the country to new heights.