It could be said that Frederick Douglass, one of the greatest Afro-american leaders and interpreters of the nineteenth century in America, was manner in front of his clip, particularly sing his life-long and frequently unsafe activities linked to conveying an terminal to slavery in the United States during a clip when such actions were considered as downright disloyal by some and bordered on rebellion against a system so well-established in the American South that even proposing its death could convey approximately much wretchedness and even decease. But through it all, Frederick Douglass made it clear to those who supported his attempts and to those who violently opposed him that he would non rest until the establishment of bondage in America was destroyed everlastingly. Therefore, his life narrative is one of hurting, destitution and gallantry and demonstrates that even one adult male can do a immense and durable difference in his society.
Born in 1818 as Frederick Baily at Holmes Hill Farm in the province of Maryland, Douglass was raised as a slave under the ownership of Aaron Anthony who besides “ managed the plantations of Edward Lloyd V, one of the wealthiest work forces in Maryland. ” His female parent, Harriet Baily, was besides a slave and it has been suggested that his male parent was Aaron Anthony, but this has ne’er been officially documented. While his female parent toiled in the Fieldss, immature Frederick spent most of his clip at his grandma ‘s place “ who lived a short distance from Holmes Hill Farm. ” When Frederick was six old ages old, he and his grandma relocated to the chief Lloyd plantation, where he met for the first clip his brother and two sisters. At some point, it seems that Frederick ‘s grandma abandoned
him and when he discovered this fact, he “ fell to the land and wept ” and was shortly to
“ larn the rough worlds of the slave system ” on the plantation ( Thomas, 2007, Internet ) .
The last clip that Frederick of all time saw his female parent was at the age of seven and a short clip after, his female parent died under cryptic fortunes, but Frederick did non happen this out until some old ages subsequently. Unlike other immature black males, Frederick “ had a natural appeal that many people found prosecuting ” which so led to Frederick being sent to the metropolis of Baltimore to populate with Hugh Auld, the brother-in-law of Lucretia Auld, the girl of Anthony Auld. Upon geting in Baltimore, Frederick became the health professional of Thomas Auld, the infant boy of the Auld family. The kid ‘s female parent, Sophia Auld, decided to learn Frederick how to read and compose, but Hugh Auld “ became ferocious at this because it was improper to learn a slave how to read. ”
Fortunately for immature Frederick, this event set him on the class of higher acquisition, for he understood that being able to read and compose was “ his tract to freedom ” which shortly led him to obtain as much cognition of the universe as possible. After going rather adept in reading, Frederick bought a transcript of the Columbian Orator, a newspaper filled with addresss and essays on autonomy, democracy and bravery. Not surprisingly, this first brush with academe so divine Frederick that he made it his life-long end to go educated and therefore free himself from the bonds of bondage ( Thomas, 2007, Internet ) .
It was at this clip that Frederick “ began to larn about emancipationists ” which served to edify him on these new thoughts related to making off with bondage in the United States, new thoughts that “ both anguished and inspired him. ” Since Frederick had seen first-hand the horrors of bondage on the plantations, he began to hate the full system and
started to woolgather “ of emancipation. . .encouraged by the illustration of other inkinesss in Baltimore, most of whom were free. ” However, a figure of new and highly-controversial Torahs had been passed by provinces in the Deep South which “ made it progressively hard for proprietors to liberate their slaves ” ( Thomas, 2007, Internet ) . Obviously, this fact greatly disturbed Frederick, for he himself was still lawfully a slave, a fact that set into gesture the thought that possibly he could liberate himself from bondage.
During his stay in Baltimore, Frederick became progressively interested in academe which shortly led him to go an teacher for other inkinesss populating in the metropolis. Miraculously, Frederick ‘s instruction abilities and his powerful ability to utilize the written word attracted the attending of Charles Lawson, a black sermonizer who took Frederick “ under his wing and adopted him as his religious boy ” ( Thomas, 2007, Internet ) . In early 1833, Frederick one time once more found himself as a slave, for his proprietor sent him to work at the farm of Thomas Auld, non excessively distant from his old place near the Lloyd plantation. It was here that sixteen-year-old Frederick Douglass experienced for the 2nd clip in his life the overpowering adversities of being a slave, for he was forced to work as a field manus and received some really rough intervention at the custodies of Thomas Auld who rapidly decided that Frederick needed to be taught a lesson.
In 1834, he was sent one time once more to work as a slave at the farm of Edward Covey who had the repute of being an “ adept slave ledgeman. ” At this farm, Frederick received a serious whipping and ended up in a two-hour long battle with Covey which resulted in Frederick being sent yet once more to another farm owned by William Freeland who was known as “ a comparatively sort maestro. ” It was here that Frederick and a group of
fellow slaves conspired to get away by stealing a boat and heading North to Pennsylvania, where bondage was illegal. However, the flight secret plan failed and Frederick ended up in gaol, where he was “ inspected by slave bargainers ” and to the full expected to “ be sold to a life of populating decease ” as a slave ( Thomas, 2007, Internet ) . Fortunately, Thomas Auld managed to obtain his release and Frederick was sent back to Baltimore, where he worked in a shipyard as an learner. This state of affairs clearly was in his favour, for Frederick shortly found himself gainfully employed and gaining good rewards for a black adult male.
At this clip, while off from his work, Frederick formed “ an educational association called the East Baltimore Mental Improvement Society, ” where he shortly learned how to debate decently as an educated and highly-informed bookman. Not long after, Frederick met Anna Murray, a free black adult female and “ a retainer for a affluent Baltimore household. ” Despite the fact that Anna was uneducated and most likely could non read, Frederick however “ admired her qualities of economy, diligence and devoutness ” which shortly led to going engaged to Anna. One really fortunate incident at this clip evidently gave Frederick a new mentality on life, for Thomas Auld “ promised him that if he worked hard, he would be freed when he turned 25 ” ( Thomas, 2007, Internet ) .
However, Frederick was still repetitive on seeking to get away from the bonds of bondage, and in 1838, he did pull off to do it every bit far as New York City without being caught which if he had could hold meant decease. In New York, an wholly new universe opened up for Frederick Douglass, for in this thriving city, he could walk the streets as a free black adult male and could believe of his hereafter with much optimism and bravery.
Meanwhile, Anna Murray, now Mrs. Frederick Douglass, found it really hard to do terminals run into for her turning household, yet she did pull off to make “ a comfy domestic abode for her household ” of five kids ( Becker, 2001, 178 ) . Besides, Frederick was going something of a famous person in Lynn, Massachusetts, for his addresss within the local black community brought him much attending from the largely white emancipationists with William Lloyd Garrison as their unofficial leader. As the editor and proprietor of the Liberator newspaper, Garrison called for “ the immediate emancipation and racial equality ” and denounced bondage as “ iniquitous and inhumane ” and advocated “ all actions, even in rebelliousness of the Constitution, to convey an terminal to the Empire of Satan ” ( Goodwin, 2005, 84 ) .
In 1841, Garrison asked Frederick to fall in him as a lector against bondage and as his popularity grew, he became a regular lector for the Garrisonian Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, where he met a figure of of import political and societal figures like Wendell Phillips who held the sentiment that “ the best usage of good Torahs is to learn work forces how to tread bad Torahs under their pess, ” a clear mention to his stance on get rid ofing bondage in America ( Guelzo, 2004, 18 ) . But most significantly, Frederick rapidly adopted the dovish positions of Garrison and Phillips and shortly came to recognize that “ bondage could merely be done off with by societal reform, while rejecting the political attack to stoping bondage as a via media with a pro-slavery Fundamental law ” ( Keenan, 1995, 215 ) .
In all of this, Frederick Douglass began to come into his ain as an militant and deep mind, and pulling upon his experiences as a slave, he systematically “ lambasted bondage and its ill-famed effects, most notably anti-black bias and favoritism in
both the North and the South ” ( Phillips, 2000, 214 ) . In 1845, Douglass ‘s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave was published and achieved much success. Soon after, Frederick began a series of speech production Tourss in Great Britain which “ heightened his famous person immeasurably ” ( Becker, 2001, 183 ) . Shortly after returning to America from Great Britain in 1847, Frederick commenced his calling as a distinguished journalist. As an editor, he worked for assorted publications, and his work as a journalist “ increased his usage of the printed word as a tool for agitation and alteration while emphasizing autonomy, difficult work, doggedness, instruction and morality ” ( Keenan, 1995, 235 ) .
Not surprisingly, Frederick Douglass shortly became the symbol and protagonist of many Afro-american middle-class values and the premier illustration of the American success moral principle. In 1851, after officially interrupting his connexions with Garrison, Frederick came to understand that political action against bondage was a necessary world which forced him to go more politically active. At the eruption of the Civil War in 1861, Douglass stanchly supported the Republican Party whose campaigner for the Presidency in 1860 was a comparatively unknown politician from Illinois named Abraham Lincoln.
Throughout the 1850 ‘s, Frederick Douglass, like many of his protagonists and supporters, knew that war was ineluctable and felt deep in their heads and Black Marias that emancipation for black slaves was merely a affair of clip. At many of his addresss given during the opening yearss of the Civil War, Frederick did much to “ dignify the Union cause by accepting black soldiers into the Union ground forces and handling them reasonably and pleaded with his people to to the full back up the Union cause ” while besides concentrating on Union triumph which would intend emancipation for all African-Americans ( Becker, 2001, 256 ) .
Although Frederick Douglass did non back up Abraham Lincoln during his run for the Presidency in 1860, after Lincoln was elected, Douglass ‘s sentiment of Lincoln remained unwavering. When Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862-63, Douglass “ felt compelled to acknowledge that the Emancipation Proclamation was an act of dramatic make bolding with every promise of being merely the first of a series of Acts of the Apostless from Lincoln. ” Even after Lincoln was assassinated in April of 1865, Douglass remained steadfast in his sentiments on the President and his brave attempts to convey freedom to all African americans.
Some of his remarks on Lincoln deserve to be mentioned at this point. First, Douglass stated that Lincoln was “ pre-eminently the white adult male ‘s president ” and every bit far as abolishment was concerned, Lincoln “ seemed belated, cold, dull and apathetic. ” However, Douglass besides knew that Lincoln had done his best to assist free African americans from the bondage of bondage. As Douglass puts it, Lincoln was “ Swift, avid, extremist and determined ” and despite the failures of Reconstruction, his personal failures of foresight and his “ fury of unappeased racial justness, ” Lincoln, in the eyes of Frederick Douglass, “ is double beloved to us, and his memory will be cherished forever ” ( Guelzo, 2004, 249-50 ) .
After the Union triumph over the Confederacy in 1865 which brought an terminal to the Civil War, Frederick Douglass became even more widely known and respected, non merely among black Americans but besides white Americans from all societal backgrounds. He continued to press the new Union authorities “ to cover reasonably and rightly with his people ” and while many outstanding black Americans “ questioned his go oning commitment to the
Republican Party, Douglass valorously strived to assist the party rediscover its humanistic and moral rules ” ( Keenan, 1995, 256 ) . Between 1877 and 1891, Douglass served as the U.S. Marshal and the recording equipment of workss for the District of Columbia and served as a U.S. representative and curate to Santo Domingo and Haiti. During all of this clip, Douglass remained “ a hardy Republican ” ( Phillips, 2000, 218 ) .
In his ulterior old ages, Frederick Douglass, despite his place as an senior solon for Afro-american society, seemed to overlook “ the many rough conditions that confronted rural and destitute black Americans on a day-to-day footing. ” Yet Douglass did reprobate “ the alarming growing in the figure of lynchings of black work forces in the 1880 ‘s and 1890 ‘s ” and although many of those who advocated adult females ‘s rights had “ badly criticized him for back uping the Fifteenth Amendment, ” Douglass continued his run for the predicament of African-Americans across the state and ne’er wavered on his positions refering the black adult male ‘s right to vote and to fair and equal intervention under the Torahs of the United States ( Phillips, 2000, 238 ) .
In 1882, Anna Murray-Douglas died and in January of 1884, Douglass married Helen Pitts, his personal secretary who happened to be white. This event brought much unfavorable judgment from both races and from close household members. However, Douglass continued to “ joint his committedness to a composite American nationality that transcended race and to show his vision of a true democratic state ” ( Goodwin, 2005, 89 ) . On February 20, 1895, Frederick Douglass died from a monolithic bosom onslaught at the age of 77. As Sandra Thomas relates, “ No 1 had struggled more resolutely for the rights of his people ” and “ born at a clip when strong voices were urgently needed to shout out for
freedom, Douglass established himself as a powerful talker for all work forces and adult females ” regardless of race, colour, cultural background or political positions ( 2007, Internet ) .