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SLAVE JOURNALS: FREDERICK DOUGLASS
Transcript of SLAVE JOURNALS: FREDERICK DOUGLASS
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"As long as slavery is around, I will not smile."
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He wrote books and had some books published about him, called auto-biographies and biographies.
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on February 1818 in Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Since he was born a slave, no one alive knows his real birthday.
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SLAVE JOURNALS: FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM
Early Life and Anti Slavery Movement
"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
"It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Freedom and Abolitionism
Frederick Douglass passed away on February 20, 1895 in Washington D.C of a massive heart attack. It was a tragic day for his family and loved ones.
Frederick Douglass made three attempts to escape from slavery. After the third attempt, he boarded a train with a sailor disguise, carrying identification papers to show he was a free black seaman. He made it to the house of a white abolitionist in New York, who went by the name of David Ruggles. Due to his popularity after his autobiography was published, Douglass was sent on a speaking tour of Ireland by his anti-slavery friends to prevent his recapture. While Douglass was in Ireland and Britain, his British supporters collected enough money to buy his freedom from his owner, officially making Douglass a free man.
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Frederick Douglass, a former slave and eminent human rights leader in the abolition movement, was the first black citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank.
After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling orator and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave.
His mother died when Douglass was about ten. Meanwhile, at age seven, he was separated from his grandmother and moved to the Wye House plantation, where Aaron Anthony worked as overseer.When Douglass was about twelve years old, Hugh Auld's wife Sophia started teaching him the alphabet, although Maryland law prohibited teaching slaves to read. Douglass described her as a kind and tender-hearted woman, who treated the boy the way one human being ought to treat another. When Hugh Auld discovered her activity, he strongly disapproved, saying that if a slave learned to read, he would become dissatisfied with his condition and desire freedom. Douglass later referred to this as the "first decidedly antislavery lecture" he had ever heard.
Douglass continued, secretly, to teach himself how to read and write. He later often said, "knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom." As Douglass began to read newspapers, political materials, and books of every description, he was exposed to a new realm of thought that led him to question and condemn the institution of slavery. In later years, Douglass credited The Columbian Orator, which he discovered at about age twelve, with clarifying and defining his views on freedom and human rights.
When Douglass was hired out to William Freeland, he taught other slaves on the plantation to read the New Testament at a weekly Sunday school. As word spread, the interest among slaves in learning to read was so great that in any week, more than 40 slaves would attend lessons. For about six months, their study went relatively unnoticed. While Freeland remained complacent about their activities, other plantation owners became incensed about their slaves being educated. One Sunday they burst in on the gathering, armed with clubs and stones, to disperse the congregation permanently.
Thomas Auld then sent Douglass to work for Edward Covey, a poor farmer who had a reputation as a "slave-breaker." He whipped Douglass regularly and nearly broke him psychologically. The sixteen-year-old Douglass finally rebelled against the beatings and fought back. After Douglass won a physical confrontation, Covey never tried to beat him again.