Frederick Douglass – Reformer, Author, Speaker
Frederick Douglass was the leading spokesman of African-Americans in the 1800s. He became a well-known reformer, author, and speaker. Frederick Douglass spoke about the situation that African Americans had to deal with every day. His powerful speeches influenced many people, including President Abraham Lincoln.
Frederick Augustus Washington Baily was believed to be born in 1818 in Tuckahoe, Maryland. He was born a slave. When Frederick was eight, he was sent to one of his master’s relatives to work. He now lived in Baltimore, Maryland. Frederick educated himself there with the help of his new master’s wife.
In 1838 Frederick ran away from his master and went to Bedford, Massachusetts. Frederick did not want to be captured so he changed his name to Frederick Douglass. In Bedford, Frederick worked as a caulker. The other caulkers refused to work with him because he was black. Frederick then had many other unskilled jobs, such as: cleaning up garbage and making cellars.
In 1841, Frederick spoke at a meeting of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society. He told them what freedom meant to him. The society liked his speech so much that they hired Frederick to talk about his life as a slave.
In the 1840’s, Frederick fought against whites and blacks being in separate train cars. He also fought against religious discrimination. Frederick walked out of a church that would not let blacks join the service until the whites were finished.
In 1845, Frederick wrote an autobiography called Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. After he wrote his book, he went to England. He was afraid that people would find out who he really was and that he was a runaway slave. In England, he continued to talk against slavery. Frederick found friends that would buy his freedom from slavery.
In 1847, Frederick came back to America and started an anti-slavery newspaper in Rochester, New York. This newspaper was called the North Star.
In the 1850’s, Frederick fought against hiring white immigrants instead of Black Americans. He also fought against separating whites and blacks in Rochester schools. Frederick helped runaway slaves become free. His house was a station on the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. Frederick helped get Black Americans to fight for the Union Army during the Civil War. He spoke to President Lincoln several times about slavery.
Frederick was Recorder of Deeds in the District of Columbia from 1881-1886. He was the United States Minister to Haiti from 1889-1891. Frederick Douglass died in 1895 at the age of 77.
Frederick Douglas has affected the lives of many people today. He fought for the abolishment of slavery, and helped influence it’s elimination. Today our country does not allow nor permit slavery. Also, in our society, all people have equal rights including African Americans. Frederick Douglas fought for this and devoted his life to helping black people earn equal rights. Frederick Douglas’s speeches for human rights made contributions against racial injustice, which is still respected today.
Frederick Douglas was an outstanding leader who fought for the end of slavery and equal rights in the 1800’s. Although he was born a slave he managed to overcome his situation and become a very successful man. He was a great reformer, author, and speaker. His speeches influenced President Abraham Lincoln into allowing African Americans to fight in the Civil War. He fought against segregation and fought for civil rights. He was a man that accomplished much and will always be remembered.
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