Introduction to f. douglas' text

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave, Written by Himself (1845)

This document is an extract from Frederick Douglas’ autobiography written in 1845 and published the sameyear by the American Anti-Slavery Society. As it was written by Douglas himself, the book is written in the first person. Douglas’ autobiography is the most famous of the more than one hundred Americanslave narrative written prior to the Civil War (1861-1865). It describes Douglas’ life from early childhood until his escape from slavery in 1838.
Recognized as the most influencial leader andspokesman for black people, Douglas was born arround 1817 in Maryland as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. Son of a black slave, Harriet Bailey, and an unindentified white man, he was a mixed bloodslave. In 1826, at the age of nine or ten, he was sent to Baltimore to work as a servant for Mr and Mrs Auld. There he learnt to read and write thanks to Mrs Auld until her husband insisted that shestop. In 1838, thanks to the money he saved, he escaped to New York City where he married Anna Murray, a free black woman from Baltimore. In the 1840s, Douglas is hired as a lecturer for theMassachussetts American Anti-Slavery Society with William Lloyd Garrison and wrote the Narrative. In 1947, after having been jailed in England for two years, he returned to America where he bought his freedom fromhis master. One year after, he founded his own weekly paper, an abolitionist paper called The North Star. During the Civil War, he advised the President Abraham Lincoln on the use of black soldiersin the war effort. After emancipation, he became involved in diplomatic work as he continued to fight for Black civil rights, women’s rights and was even briefly an ambassador to the Republic of Haiti.Douglas died in Washington D.C. In 1895.
Douglas’Narrative is a testimony of paramount importance in the black slaves struggle for liberation. The author’s tone is straightforward and engaged....
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