African American abolitionist and publisher The most important African American abolitionist opponent of slavery in pre—Civil War America, Frederick Douglass was the first nationally known African American leader in U. Growing up without freedom Frederick Douglass was born in February on the eastern shore of Maryland.
Douglass described her as a kind and tender-hearted woman, who treated him "as she supposed one human being ought to treat another". He later often said, "knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom.
In later years, Douglass credited The Columbian Oratoran anthology that he discovered at about age twelve, with clarifying and defining his views on freedom and human rights. The book, first published inis a classroom reader, containing essays, speeches and dialogues, to assist students in learning reading and grammar.
When Douglass was hired out to William Freeland, he taught other slaves on the plantation to read the New Testament at a weekly Sunday school. As word spread, the interest among slaves in learning to read was so great that in any week, more than 40 slaves would attend lessons.
For about six months, their study went relatively unnoticed. While Freeland remained complacent about their activities, Frederick douglass biography plantation owners became incensed about their slaves being educated.
One Sunday they burst in on the gathering, armed with clubs and stones, to disperse the congregation permanently. Thomas Auld sent Douglass to work for Edward Coveya poor farmer who had a reputation as a "slave-breaker".
He whipped Douglass regularly, and nearly broke him psychologically. The sixteen-year-old Douglass finally rebelled against the beatings, however, and fought back.
After Douglass won a physical confrontation, Covey never tried to beat him again. Inhe tried to escape from his new master Covey, but failed again. InDouglass met and fell in love with Anna Murraya free black woman in Baltimore about five years older than he.
Her free status strengthened his belief in the possibility of gaining his own freedom. On September 3,Douglass successfully escaped by boarding a train from the newly merged Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad P. This depot was replaced by the historic President Street Stationconstructed —; it was noted as a site of other slave escapes along one of many routes of the famous " Underground Railroad " and during the Civil War.
Young Douglass reached Havre de Grace, Marylandin Harford Countyin the northeast corner of the state, along the southwest shore of the Susquehanna Riverwhich flowed into the Chesapeake Bay.
Although this placed him some 20 miles from the free state of Pennsylvania, it was easier to travel through Delaware, another slave state. From there, because the rail line was not yet completed, he went by steamboat along the Delaware River further northeast to the "Quaker City" of PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, an anti-slavery stronghold, and continued to the safe house of noted abolitionist David Ruggles in New York City.
His entire journey to freedom took less than 24 hours. I have often been asked, how I felt when first I found myself on free soil. And my readers may share the same curiosity.
There is scarcely anything in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after reaching New York, I said: She brought with her the necessary basics for them to set up a home.
The couple settled in New Bedford, Massachusettsinlater moving to Lynn, Massachusetts in He held various positions, including steward, Sunday School superintendent, and sexton. Inspired by Garrison, Douglass later said, "no face and form ever impressed me with such sentiments [of the hatred of slavery] as did those of William Lloyd Garrison.
At another meeting, Douglass was unexpectedly invited to speak.Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker.
He became a leader in the abolitionist movement, which sought to end the practice of slavery.
From: The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, (Five volumes) by Philip S. Foner International Publishers (Included on this web site by kind permission of the publishers). This shopping feature will continue to load items.
In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Born into slavery in , Frederick Douglass escaped as a young man and became a leading voice in the abolitionist movement. For his entire life, he fought for equality and justice for all people.
Douglass, Frederick Frederick Douglass, oil painting by Sarah J. Eddy, ; in the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, D.C. National Park Service At a Nantucket, Massachusetts, antislavery convention in , Douglass was invited to describe his feelings and experiences under slavery.
Frederick Douglass was introduced to the abolitionist movement in when William Coffin invited him to share his story in a convention organized by the Massachusetts Antislavery Society (MAS).