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Frederick Douglas - Essay Example

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Frederick Douglas

At the age of only a few weeks, Douglass separated from his mother and was ultimately raised by his grandparents. However, at the age of six years, Douglass’ grandmother unexpectedly took him to his master’s plantation to reside. At eight years of age, Douglass was sent to live with Hugh and Sophia Auld who were his master’s relatives. While living with the Auld family, Sophia Auld began to teach Douglass how to read and write, which was contrary to state laws (Houston, 1986). Douglass escaped slavery when he attained 20 years, married and moved to Massachusetts where he adopted the name “Douglass” and started to talk on behalf of abolitionism. Ultimately, Douglass embarked on a three-year speaking tour through northern cities creating public support for the abolitionist cause by informing and educating audiences regarding the detriments of slavery. Douglass’ primary communication style was a rhetorical speech style. In the year 1845, Douglass wrote his initial autobiography and named it Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. The book was quite moving and addressed the virtue of the abolitionist movement by relaying Douglass’ struggle to seek freedom. Notably, Douglass identified his slave owner by name, and his book ultimately became a bestseller. However, since the book revealed Douglass’ identity, he was compelled to exile in England so as to avoid seizure by slave traders (Huggins & Handlin, 1997). In 1846, Douglass’ British slavery abolitionist friends bought his freedom. Consequently, Douglass returned to the US in 1847 and moved to Rochester, New York where he launched his abolitionist newspaper referred to as The North Star. Douglass’ children assisted his publish the four-page newspaper. Douglass’ involvement with the Underground Railroad intensified in the mid 1850s following the increased strength of the abolitionist movement. Douglass often housed conductors such as Harriet Tubman at his home while the conductors were en route to Canada. The infamous Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857 in which the court ruled that the US Constitution did not recognize the fundamental rights of black people infuriated Douglass and intensified the national debate regarding slavery. When the Civil War started in the year 1861, Douglass perceived it as a moral crusade to create a true democracy by freeing slaves. Throughout the course of the war, Douglass traveled across the country requesting President Lincoln to put an end to slavery and enroll black troops into the war effort. Douglas played a pivotal role in the recruitment of black soldiers into the Union Army after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Since then, Douglas became Lincoln’s advisor throughout the Civil War. Douglass advocated for constitutional revisions, which would outlaw slavery and allow blacks a legally provided place in the American society. The 13th Constitutional Amendment illegalized slavery while the 14th Constitutional Amendment provided citizenship rights to all persons born in the US, and the 15th Amendment permitted voting to males aged over 21 years. After the conclusion of the Civil War, Douglass held numerous government posts, for instance, in 1877, President Rutherford Hayes appointed Douglass a Federal Marshal for Washington DC. In 1889, Douglass became Haiti’s Minister and in the 1890s; he went back to lecture circuit so as to denounce lynching ...Show more

Summary

Frederick Douglas Name: Institution: Frederick Douglas Born in the year 1818, Fredrick Douglass, was one of the most renowned African American leaders of the 19th century. Douglass was a dedicated and passionate editor, presidential advisor and bestselling author who crusaded immensely for human rights…
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Frederick Douglas essay example
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