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Frederick Douglass

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rederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born sometime in February 1818. His exact dated birth is not known but we celebrate it on the 14 of February. Just like most black people, he was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland. His mother, Harriet Bailey was also a slave. Although no one knows who his biological father was, it is thought that it is probably his mother’s slave owner. Slaveowners often had affairs with their slaves. Sadly young Frederick did not know much of his mother because she wasn’t in good health and wasn’t around much. She passed away when he was only ten years old. He was raised up by his grandmother until he was ten years old when he was seven.

Sometime around when he had his seventh birthday he was sent to another white slave owners plantation to work. His name was Hugh Auld and his plantation was in Baltimore. There, Hugh's wife, Sophia Auld treated young Frederick like a human. He said that he has memories of her teaching him how to read and write. However, when Sophia's husband found out that she was teaching young Frederick how to read and write he didn’t take it lightly. He forbid her to teach him. Like many slave owners, he feared that if slaves became educated they would have an even greater desire for freedom. This made it hard for Frederick to be taught but she still taught him in secret but less frequently. This was a crucial step in Frederick's life. Without being sent to Baltimore and being taught how to read and write he would probably not of had the influential life he had. He once said, "Going to live at Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity." When Douglass was fifteen he was sent to another slave owners planation. His new slave owner was a notorious slave driver, Edward Covey a farmer who regularly whipped Douglass and his other slaves. Kelly Clarkson once saod, "what doesn’t kill you make you stronger" is one way to tell how the regualry beatings and emotional scars affected Frederick. This made him want to be a free man more than ever. He began formulating a plan to escape the south and become a free man. Unfortunately his plans were discovered and he was sent to prison where it was almost impossible to escape. Luckily for him, in jail he met a free black woman named Anna Murray-Douglass and they fell in love. She used all her savings to help him escape. In September 1838, Douglass, dressed in a sailor’s uniform, escaped via train and steamboat to Philadelphia and then on to New York. In the "Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. p. 170" he said, “I lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life. It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after reaching New York, I said: ‘I felt as one might feel upon escape from a den of hungry lions.’ Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be depicted; but gladness and joy, like the rainbow, defy the skill of pen or pencil.”

Almost immediately after arriving in new York, he married Anna. She had helped him escape from slavery. They were married for almost 50 years, until she died in 1882. He stayed, temporarily, in the home of New York abolitionist David Ruggles. Douglass knew what it felt like to be a slave and despised it. He wanted to do everything in his power to help free the other slaves because he thought that all men are equal. As a result of this he joined an anti-slavery group. There he was greatly influenced by William Lloyd Garrison. Frederick Douglass was eventually asked to tell his story at abolitionist meetings, and he became a regular anti-slavery lecturer. Crowds were not always hospitable to Douglass. While presenting a speech in the Midwest, Douglass was chased and beaten by an angry mob. Luckily he a local family gave him hospitably and sheltered him. Instead of him doing speeches he started to write auto-biography's. These books gained a lot of supporters and he went to being chased by haters to having British supporters gather funds to purchase his legal freedom.

Frederick was an Abolitionist. He was a person who favors the abolition of a practice or institution, especially slavery. Frederick wasn’t like Malcom, he didn’t use force he is more easily compared to Sojourner Truth. She was also born as a slave. Just like Frederick, she escaped around 1828, just before New York’s emancipation law. She her life to preaching, at which time she took the name Sojourner Truth. She took the name because she said: "The Lord gave me [the name] Sojourner because I was to travel up and down the land showing the people their sins and being a sign to them.  Afterwards I told the Lord I wanted another name ‘cause everybody else had two names; and the Lord

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