Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was a man born into slavery only to escape as a young man. He then went on to write no less than three autobiographies. Frederick Douglass then went on to become one of the most influential figure contributing in the abolishment of slavery through his writing and speeches.


It is assumed that Frederick Douglass was born around the year of 1818. He was born in Talbot County in Mary land to a slave who died when he was approximately 10 years old. His father was probably one of the plantation owners.

He was sent to Baltimore and sold to new owner Hugh Auld. While in Baltimore, Douglass was privileged to be able to learn to read and write under the Sophia Auld until her husband banned his lessons. Even then Douglass defied the odds and continue to learn how to read and write from the white children in his neighbourhood. Through his reading skills he later taught other slaves to read the New Testament as he moved on from place to place.

Escape from slavery was no easy task for Frederick Douglass and it took him three separate attempts. His success was aided by his love interest Anna Murray on September 3, 1838. Frederick Douglass finally made it to Ireland in 1845 at the same time as the Irish Potato Famine was beginning to emerge. He remained in Ireland and in Britain until the year 1847 when Douglas was able to return to America.


As a free man Frederick Douglass wrote 3 autobiographies. These works have since become regarded as essential reading for anyone learning about the abolishment of slavery. They were written as propaganda toward the antislavery cause but also as a personal narrative. These three autobiographies are listed as:

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, and American Slave (1845)
  • The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881)
  • My Bondage and My Freedom (1855)

As well as writing his experiences of a slave, Douglass was often invited to lecture about his experiences in an attempt to abolish slavery.


Frederick Douglass became one of the leading figures in the abolishment of slavery through writing his own experiences and through giving lectures. It was only due to his lessons under slave owner Sophia Auld that he was able to become one of the greatest men of his time.

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