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In the 1800s an uneducated runaway slave became a leader of the abolitionist movement, eloquent author, dynamic speaker, advisor to presidents, womens rights advocate and renowned intellectual. The unlikely life of Frederick Douglass is a remarkable American story. He advocated…
Though he lived to see the official end of slavery, the struggle for equality continued and still does to this day inspired by his and many others bravery and sacrifice.
The illegitimate son of a white plantation owner father and slave mother, the early years of Frederick Douglass, originally Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, life was unstable. He was given to his grandmother to raise at the age of 10 following his mothers untimely death in about 1828. Soon after, Douglass was afforded the opportunity to live in the masters home, presumably because the owner acknowledged that he was his biological son. When his plantation owner, Captain Anthony, died Douglass could no longer live in a white mans house so he was sent to live with Anthonys sister Lucretia Auld who then gave him to her Baltimore brother-in-law Hugh Auld. Barely a teenager, Douglass found himself in another new setting but this time surrounded by nothing but strangers. He turned this uneasy situation into a positive outcome by learning how to read and write from area children of white families though he had to keep it a secret from his Master Auld who forbade him from receiving an education. Auld knew that if slaves learned to read they would become inspired by anti-slave literature which was the case for Douglass who attributed the Columbian Orator for inspiring his views on human rights. (Lewis, 2014).
During his teen years Douglass was sold, transferred or hired-out to several other slave owners. While working for William Freedland, Douglass secretly taught class on the plantation which was faithfully attended by as many as 40 other slaves, a practice tolerated by Freedland but not by locals who, armed with various weapons, violently raided the make-shift classroom and ensured the clandestine practice ended. While working for Edward Covey, a slave owner with a brutal reputation, the young ...
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