Frederick Douglass

This essay Frederick Douglass has a total of 952 words and 3 pages.

Frederick Douglass




Frederick Douglass was one of the most important black leaders of the Antislavery movement. He
was born in 1817 in Talbot County, MD. He was the son of Harriet Bailey and an unknown white man.
His mother was a slave so therefore he was born a slave. He lived with his grandparents until the age of
eight, so he never knew his mother well. When he turned eight, he was sent to "Aunt Kathy," a woman
who took care of slave children on the plantation of Colonel Edward Lloyd. When he was nine, he was
sent to Baltimore where he lived with Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Auld. He started to study reading with Mrs.
Auld but Mr. Auld forbid it. However, he still managed to learn anyway. To cause him to comply with
slavery more easily, Mr. Auld sent to him to Edward Covey, a man who specialized in breaking down the
spirits of rebellious slaves, or a "slave breaker." While there, he was beaten daily for the slightest offense
against the strict rules. One day he finally fought back in a fight !
that lasted two hours, and forced Covey to stop trying to "break" him. He was returned to Auld, where he
was sent to a shipyard to learn the caulker's trade. But that didn't stop his education, he not only learned
caulking but he also learned to write by tracing the letters on the ship front. Using seaman's papers given to
him by a free black he escaped by sea. He tried to get work as a caulker but racial discrimination forced
him to become a common laborer. To avoid being taken back, he changed his last name to Douglass. He
soon became a large part of the antislavery movement when he came in association with The Liberator,
which belonged to William Lloyd Garrison, and he also joined the black Garrisonians of New Bedford. He
attended the Massachusetts Anti- Slavery Society in Nantucket, in 1841. When they asked him to speak, he
spoke of his experiences as a slave. His speech made a deep impression, and the society hired him as a
full-time speaking agent. He spoke at !
many conventions and spoke against slavery and the rights of free blacks. Sometimes white mobs broke up
his conventions but he continued as a lecturer. He soon became on of the leading black abolitionists and on
of the most famous lecturers of that time period. As his speeches grew became more cultivated, people
began to doubt that he was ever a slave. So he wrote an autobiography entitled Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Dougl

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