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Frederick Douglass: The Life Of An Abolitionist

981 words - 4 pages

Frederick Douglass is perhaps the most well-known abolitionist from American history. He is responsible for creating a lot of support for the abolitionist movement in the years before the Civil War. He, along with many others, was able to gain support for and attention to the abolitionist movement. People like him are the reason that slavery ended in the United States.
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born in February of 1818 in Maryland to a slave woman and a white man. 1 He was separated from his mother as an infant and the only thing that he knew for sure about his father was that he was white, although he thought it was a possibility that his father could have been his master. 2 He stayed with his aunt and grandparents when he was a young child until being sent to a ship carpenter in Baltimore for the next eight years of this life. 3 It was in Baltimore that Frederick learned to read and it was also there that he first heard about abolitionists. 4 After those seven years, he was sent back to the country where he worked for a slave owner and was constantly beaten and starved. 5 This horrible treatment led Frederick to want to escape, which he was finally able to do in 1838 when he fled to New York City where he married and changed his name to Frederick Douglass. 6 Soon after, he settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts. 7
Douglass then began doing all he could to get involved in the abolitionist movement. He joined various organizations, continued to educate himself, attended Abolitionist meetings, and subscribed to and wrote in to The Liberator, an Abolitionist newspaper. 8 All of this involvement led many to take notice of Douglass. He began a friendship with William Lloyd Garrison, the editor of The Liberator, and Garrison was able to serve as a mentor to Douglass. 9
Douglass drew praise for his talents as a captivating speaker and writer. He was able to use his past as a slave for inspiration and knowledge and published his own anti-slavery newspaper called The North Star. 10 Throughout his life, Douglass was also able to write three autobiographies, his most famous being Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written By Himself. 11 All of this success proved Frederick Douglass as a good example of what a freed slave could become. It also caused his critics to question if he was actually born a slave as he too exceptional of a speaker and writer to have been a slave, something Douglass continuously denied. 12
The abolitionist movement was an important time in American history. Abolitionists were people that opposed slavery which was an enormous problem in the South. African-Americans worked with white abolitionists to gain support and funds for the cause. Former slaves, white men, black women and all different types...

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