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Friday, February 14, 2014

Frederick Douglas Day

In my first year of college I learned a lot. There were many great teachers and one of my favorites was my history teacher. He seemed to bring it all to life. One assignment that he gave us was to read the autobiography of Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Very interesting story of a man who lived life as a slave, a freeman and an American social reformer. Through his writings Douglas could share his story and impressed many. Douglass escaped slavery and became leader of the abolitionist movement. Many were amazed at his oratory and writing skills and he stood as a living reminder to those who believed that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in February of 1818. Since records were not kept well in those times his exact birthdate is an unknown. Douglass chose to celebrate his birthday on Valentines day. At the tender age of 20 Douglass fled from slavery and travelled to Massachusetts. Douglass would record his life as a slave in a book that he would later write. Douglass would be chased by slave catchers until a British friend would purchase his freedom. Douglass would become a newspaper man and founded The North Star.

Douglas wrote several books including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which became influential in its support for abolition. He wrote two more autobiographies, with his last, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, published in 1881 and covering events through and after the Civil War. After the Civil War, Douglass remained active in the United States' struggle to reach its potential as a "land of the free". Douglass actively supported women's suffrage. Without his approval he became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate of Victoria Woodhull on the impracticable and small Equal Rights Party ticket. Douglass held multiple public offices.

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