Background on Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born enslave in Maryland and became a great abolitionist, social reformer, orator, writer and more. Douglass had a passionate belief in the power of dialogue and discourse. Unlike his fellow abolitionists, Douglass had a unique willingness to enter into conversation with slaveholders to better understand how to unite both enslaved and free men. The image and capacity of Douglass's personal success since escaping slavery stood as a testament to slaveholders that their slaves were extraordinary and resilient individuals who had the intellectual capacity to function as a free, independent American citizen. Douglass would write three autobiographies in his lifetime after escaping slavery, describing what his life was like while enslaved. His first book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, came out in 1854 and was an instant success and catalyst for promoting abolition. His second book, My Bondage My Freedom, would come out the following year in 1855. Post Civil War, Douglass would publish one last book titled, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. It would be first published in 1881 and then would be revised in 1892. The last book specifically depicts living through the events of and after the Civil War. He would start his own newspaper titled The North Star, and write countless articles and columns in the name of abolition. He would continually travel across the states preaching about liberation from bondage and freedom. Frederick Douglass would pass away in his home before a lecture at a church in February of 1895.