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African-American History
Frederick Douglass

Who was Frederick Douglass?


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April 18, 2018 2:10AM

Frederick Douglass was a famous abolitionist. He was previously a slave, but escaped and was later bought from his former master. He lectured and wrote a book on his personal accounts of slavery. He aided the Union in the US Civil War by recruiting colored men to serve as soldiers


Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey Douglass (circa 1818-1895) was an abolitionist for the North and fought to free slaves, born in Talbot county, Maryland in February 1818. Frederick was born into slavery, and suffered as a result of his efforts to improve himself and help other slaves. He escaped slavery in 1838 and in 1841 began speaking out against it. He also visited Ireland and England and met with abolitionists there. He met President Abraham Lincoln during the US Civil War, which ultimately freed the slaves of the South in 1865. In later life, he championed women's rights. He lived to be about 77 years old, and aided many movements against slavery and injustice. American history marks him as a man who took pride in his county and tried to help all who were disadvantaged.

In 1838, he had changed his name to avoid recapture, adopting the last name of a benefactor, Nathan Johnson, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. According to Frederick's own narratives, it was Johnson who suggested he take the surname Douglass.