Frederick Douglass was aslave turned abolitionist. His writings and speeches were used to expose thehypocrisy of slavery and how it was wrong. He wrote using his own personalaccounts to speak to people. His autobiographies and his speech “The Hypocrisyof American Slavery” were some of the post powerful and inspiring works surroundingthe fight to end slavery.FrederickDouglass was born with full name Frederick Augustus Washington Bayle in February1818.
He was born in Talbot County, Maryland. His parents were slaves so he wasautomatically born into slavery, but raised by his grandmother, instead of hisparents, until the age of six. At six, he was sent to work for the Auld familyand while there began to learn to read and write. Some of the family supported hislearning while others strictly prohibited it. Douglass would secretly continueto self-learn. As a young boy, he learned of and started to yearn for freedomand human rights.
This was strengthened when he went through brutal mental andphysical abuse, inflicted by a “slave breaker”, as he was taught to work in afield. This experience was life-changing for him because of the level of painit inflicted on him. He started to think about escaping slavery for good.Hebegan to save money for his escape from slavery when he worked in theshipbuilding industry. He failed escape once but was able to escape by dressingas a sailor and with the aid of Underground Railroad supporters.
He settled inBedford, Massachusetts in 1838, at the age of twenty with his newlywed wifeAnna Murray-Douglass. Douglassspoke in churches and other small venues to spread thoughts of abolition. Hispractice of oratory arts allowed him to be discovered by William Coffin, whointroduced him to his mentor William Lloyd Garrison, beginning his abolitionistcareer. He held a job as an agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society,furthering his abolitionist pursuits. Around the same time, he wrote his firstof three autobiographies that described his life as a slave. These biographieswould hold great importance in the future of the movement.
Douglass’increasingly independent views led to him disputing with Garrison over thedissolution of the Union, he believed it should remain and Garrison believedotherwise. His importance grew, giving him enough influence to consult withPresident Lincoln, during the Civil War, on slavery and how it was a politicalissue. He became a recruiter of black soldiers for the Union Army, and laterfought for the rights of not only blacks but also those of women. He saw hishard work pay off when African Americans were given citizenship in 1868 andwere given the right to vote in 1870.Douglasswas at a meeting for National Council of Women on February 20, 1895 and uponreturning home had a heart attack while preparing for a speech at a localchurch. He wrote using his own personal accounts to speak to people. Hisautobiographies and his speech “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery” were some ofthe post powerful and inspiring works surrounding the fight to end slavery.
Douglassis remembered as a great advocate for slave and women’s rights and for hisincredible speeches and writings.