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The Life and Legacy of Frederick Douglass


On This Day In TCXPI History

Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist, Women’s Suffragist, Editor, Author and Statesman,

Frederick Douglass was born enslaved in Tuckahoe, Maryland February 14, 1818 . He taught himself to read and write and in 1838 escaped from slavery.

Mr. Douglass delivered his first abolitionist speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society’s annual convention in 1841.

In 1845, he published his autobiography, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” and within three years it had been reprinted nine times and there were 11,000 copies in circulation.

From 1845 to 1847, Frederick Douglass lectured throughout the United Kingdom to enthusiastic crowds. During that time he became officially free when his freedom was purchased by British supporters.

After returning to the United States, he began producing the North Star and other newspapers.

In 1848, Frederick Douglass attended the First women’s rights convention and declared that he could not accept the right to vote himself as a Black man if women could not also claim that right.

During the Civil War, Frederick Douglass helped the Union Army as a recruiter for the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and after the war served as president of the Freedman’s Savings Bank, marshal of the District of Columbia, minister-resident and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti, and charge d’affaires for the Dominican Republic.

In 1877, Mr. Douglass bought Cedar Hill in Washington, D. C. which was designated the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site February 12, 1988.

Frederick Douglass began his transition February 20, 1895.

In 1965, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp in his honor and numerous streets, schools, and other buildings are named in his honor. The many biographies of Frederick Douglass include “Slave and Citizen: The Life of Frederick Douglass” (1980) and “Frederick Douglass, Autobiography” (1994).

Frederick Douglass’ name is enshrined in the Ring of Genealogy at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan.


National Park Service

The Wright Museum Blog

(Accessed on 02/14/2015)

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