Frederick Douglass, A National Leader In The Abolitionist Movement

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Frederick Douglass, a former slave from Maryland until his escape, was a national leader in the Abolitionist movement, as well as a social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. Being a strong believer in equal rights, Douglass also advocated for the rights of women, Native Americans, and immigrants. He was also a very talented author who wrote three autobiographies as well as fiction and incisive anti-slavery writings. Douglass was even nominated (without his permission) as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull, the first female candidate for the United States presidency, for the Equal Rights Party in the United States presidential election of 1872.
Douglass was born into slavery with the name Frederick Augustus
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As a preacher, Douglass joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, an independent black denomination first established in New York City. After becoming a licensed preacher in 1839, he held various positions, including steward, Sunday School superintendent, and sexton. Douglass also regularly attended abolitionist meetings and joined several organizations in New Bedford. Douglass was heavily influenced by The Liberator, a weekly journal written by William Lloyd Garrison and he even heard him speak at a Bristol Anti-Slavery Society meeting in 1841. In 1843, at the age of 23, Douglass was encouraged to become an anti-slavery lecturer in the American Anti-Slavery Society after unexpectedly telling his life story.
Douglass published his first autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, in 1845. At the time, many people were skeptical whether a black man could have written such an astonishing piece of literature. The book went on to become a best-seller and received many positives reviews. Within three years, Douglass’ book had been reprinted nine times, had 11,000 copies circulating in the U.S, was published in Europe, and was even translated into French and
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He was famous for his rhetoric on the conditions of the African American race and on other issues such as women’s rights, and had even earned reputation from leaders in England and Ireland.
During the Civil War, Douglass as well as other abolitionists argued that African Americans should be allowed to fight in the war, since the aim of the war was to end slavery. Douglass has publicized these views in several speeches and newspapers. Douglass also has had conferences with President Abraham Lincoln as well as President Andrew Johnson to talk about issues such as the treatment of black soldiers and black suffrage.
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared the freedom of all slaves in Confederate-held territory, while slaves in Union-held territory were freed with the adoption of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865. Douglass described those who awaited the proclamation: "We were waiting and listening as for a bolt from the sky ... we were watching ... by the dim light of the stars for the dawn of a new day ... we were longing for the answer to the agonizing prayers of

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