Essay The Courage Of Frederick Douglass

1520 Words Mar 4th, 2015 7 Pages
Words, both written and spoken, were of the utmost importance to Frederick Douglass. It became evident to him that words held power when the wife of one of his owners ordered her to halt her instruction because it “would forever unfit him to be a slave.” Douglass, having been more concerned with his worth as a human being than a piece of property, decided that literacy was a worthwhile pursuit. This decision was definitely a game-changer. Douglass became known for fighting his battles with the English language and his incredible oratorical skill. He is now remembered as one of the most important black American leaders of the nineteenth century.
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery as “Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey” in Talbot Country, Maryland. “Having seen no authentic record containing it,” Douglass never knew his actual birthdate, but he would eventually decide to celebrate it on February 14th. He knew little of his parents. The only knowledge Douglass held of his father came from whispers that he was also his master. Douglass’ mother, Harriet Bailey, was an infrequent presence in his life, and she would die when he was somewhere around the age of ten. He lived with his maternal grandmother before being moved to the Wye House plantation. When his overseer Aaron Anthony died, he was given to Thomas Auld’s wife, who sent him off to Baltimore to serve Thomas’s brother Hugh Auld. It was there that Sophie, Hugh Auld’s wife, began teaching Douglass the alphabet…

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