Born On This Day ~ February 14 ~ Frederick Douglass


Born: Celebrated February 14 (exact date and year are unknown)(Talbot County, Maryland
Died: February 20, 1895 (Washington, D.C.)

Famous For/Known For:
19th century greatest influential black leader

A Little About Frederick Douglass:
Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to a slave woman in Maryland. His birth date and year are unknown, but Douglass celebrated his birthday on February 14.

Around the age of 12, although there was a ban on doing so, Douglass was taught the alphabet by the wife of his owner, Hugh Auld. When Auld demanded
his wife to stop, Douglass continued his desire to learn from white children and others who were willing to teach him.

Douglass’s ability to read allowed him to obtain a great deal of knowledge through newspapers, political writings and literature. While working on the plantation of William Freeland he taught other slaves how to read and together they would read the New Testament. Although Freeland did not disapprove, other slave owners in the vicinity put an end to the gatherings.

Douglass was sent to work for Edward Covey, a man who was known for beating unruly slaves in order to destroy their will. A physical altercation between Covey and Douglass ended with Covey losing. After that Covey never beat Douglass again.

In 1838 Douglass escaped slavery with the help of Anna Murry, a free black woman. The two eventually married and adopted the last name of Douglass.

Douglass became an anti-slave lecturer, telling his stories at abolitionist meetings. His first speech was given at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society’s Convention and he was not exactly welcomed.  His lecture tour in 1943 left him beaten by an angry mob.

In 1845 Douglass wrote his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. The book became a best seller in the United States and translated into many European languages. He went on to write two more books, My Bondage and My Freedom in 1855 and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in 1881. These three books became American classics.

In 1872 Douglass was the first African American nominated for Vice-President of the United States running with Victoria Woodhull.

Over the years Douglass was appointed to many political positions such as president of the Freedman’s Savings Bank, Ambassador for the Dominican Republic and minister resident and counsel general to the Republic of Haiti.

Frederick Douglass died of either a heart attack or a stroke at the age of 77.

Books About/Written By Frederick Douglass:

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