12 Facts About Frederick Douglas
2 months ago
His abandonment by his family and escape from slavery make this list.
One of the reasons Black History Month is celebrated during February is because Frederick Douglass—the former slave-turned-abolitionist—was born in that month. Douglass overcame incredible odds to learn how to read, to escape from slavery and to fight for human rights. Learn more about the key events in his life with the list below.
Born a slave in February 1818 in Easton, Md., Douglass grew up largely without his immediate family members. He saw his mother only a handful of times as a child and his grandmother abandoned him when he was roughly 6 years old.
Douglass was biracial. His mother was a slave and his father was a white man unknown to him.
Sophia Auld, for whom Douglass served as a houseboy, taught him the alphabet. When her husband suspended the instruction because it was illegal for slaves to read, Douglass swayed boys in his Baltimore neighborhood to teach him by giving them food.
In his mid-teens Douglass was sent to toil on a farm managed by a brutal white man named Edward Covey who barely fed him and whipped him regularly. When he was about 18, Douglass tried to run away but was found out.
While working at a Baltimore shipyard two years later, Douglass successfully executed his escape from slavery by pretending to be a sailor. He arrived in New York City after fleeing Baltimore by steamboat and train.
In 1838, Douglass married Anna Murray. They lived in Massachusetts.
After achieving freedom, Douglass became active in the abolition movement, lecturing for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.
In 1845, Douglass published “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written By Himself.”
In 1848, he began to publish his own weekly newspaper “The North Star.”
Douglass not only championed the abolition movement but women’s rights as well. In 1848, he appeared at the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls.
Douglass served as an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln and recruited blacks to enlist in the Union Army.
Douglass died Feb. 20. 1895, in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.
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