Frederick showed himself to better read and write. When

Frederick Augustus
Washington Bailey was born into slavery sometime around 1818, in Talbot County,
Maryland and died February 20, 1895. The exact year and date of his birth is unknown,
but he chose to celebrate it on February 14. Although slaves were banned from
learning how to read and write, a slaveholder’s wife taught Frederick the
alphabet and how to read. He continued his learning from other white children
and reading the newspaper. Through reading, Frederick’s opposition to slavery
took place. Frederick became one of the most famous African American
abolitionist, reformer, write, and orator.

As
a youngster, Frederick scarcely knew his mom and never knew his dad. His mom
was a slave when Frederick was conceived so he turned into a slave as well.
When he was first conceived his name was Frederick Bailey. His mom died when he
was 10 years of age. Frederick moved to the Wye House ranch around this time. A
couple of years after the fact he was sent to live with the Auld family in
Baltimore. At roughly 12 years of age, Frederick started to figure out how to
read. Mr. Auld’s wife taught him the alphabet. In those days it was unlawful to
educate a slave. Mr. Auld discovered and requested and demanded his wife quit
helping him.

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However,
Frederick was an intelligent, driven, and determined young man and had a want
for information so he kept on discovering approaches to figure out how to read.
After some time, he secretly showed himself to better read and write. When
Douglass had figured out how to read, he read daily papers and different
articles about slavery. He started to shape his own suppositions on human
rights and how individuals ought to be dealt with. He additionally instructed and
taught different slaves how to read, however this eventually got him into
trouble. He was moved to another ranch where he should have been
“tamed” and was beaten by the slave owner to break his soul and
spirit. Nevertheless, this alone strengthened Douglass’ want to pick up his
opportunity and get his freedom.

In
1838, Douglass arranged his escape. He camouflaged himself as a sailor and
carried papers that indicated he was a free black sailor. He at that point
boarded a ferry and a ship heading to the north. After extended periods of time
of travel, Douglass touched base in New York a liberated black man. He then met
and married a lady named Murray, and took the last name Douglass. Douglass and
Murray settled down in New Bedford, Massachusetts. They were married for a long
time before she died. They had five kids together.

While
in Massachusetts, Douglass met with individuals who were against slavery too.
These individuals were called abolitionists since they wanted to
“abolish” slavery. He started to peruse an abolitionist daily paper
called The Liberator. In 1841, he met the publisher and author of The
Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison. He hired Douglass to work with him as a
speaker that traveled and spoke with him. While traveling, Douglass recounted
the story of his life and hardships to the daily papers.

This
point in Frederick Douglass’s life sparked a new beginning to his career. Even
though he became famous, this also put him in risk of being captured by his previous
slave owners. Although his story brought some to tears, many believed they were
lies. Frederick started to talk at gatherings about his encounters as a slave.
He was a magnificent speaker and moved individuals with his story. Because of
his eloquent speaking abilities, it was hard for people to believe he grew up
on a plantation. Frederick Douglass did not care what people had to say about
him. Douglass turned into an abolitionist writer and speaker. At 23 years of
age, Douglass turned into a speaker and joined a few developments including the
American Anti-Slavery Society. His public appearances and speeches paved a way
for his first autobiography Narrative of
the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.

By
1845, the Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass, An American Slave had gone through nine editions in
England alone. The book was very successful, and it was also translated into
three languages. This autobiography by Frederick Douglass sparked a flame in
many promoting the abolishment of slavery. Although the Narrative received many positive reviews, there were just as many
that opposed it. It was hard to believe that in just seven years of his escape,
he was able to write such a powerful account of his time in bondage and how he
overcame adversity and hardships. Douglass put in two years in Europe
addressing the horrors of slavery. He turned out to be extremely famous in
Great Britain, where his speeches and gatherings were “standing room
only.” The general population of Great Britain, inspired by Douglass’
speeches, raised money on his behalf to pay his former slave owner Hugh Auld,
for his official freedom. Auld was paid 700 pounds by the supportive
individuals of Great Britain and Douglass was authoritatively a freed man in
America. In 1848, he also reinforced the woman’s activist movement and
participated and took part in the Seneca Falls Convention. Upon
his landing back to America, Douglass published The North Star and four other
abolitionist daily papers under the maxim “Right is of no Sex — Truth is of no
Color — God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren (Nussbaum).” He
likewise pushed for equal education for black children. As his reputation and popularity
developed, Douglass turned into a counsel to Abraham Lincoln and Andrew
Johnson. “Douglass led a growing movement that caused a split in the
Abolitionist movement; Douglass and others believed the US Constitution was an
anti-slavery document, while William Lloyd Garrison believed it was a
pro-slavery document (Nussbaum).” “In addition, Garrison believed that The
North Star was competing for readers with his own newspaper, the National
Anti-Slavery Standard (Nussbaum).” “Frederick Douglass and
William Lloyd Garrison held very different political theologies, even while
they seemed to work productively together from 1841 to 1847 (Morris).”By
the time of the start of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the nation’s most
prominent black men. The North Star eventually merged with other newspapers and
was called the Frederick Douglass Paper. Douglass had hope that the primary
cause of the Civil War was to liberate the slaves. “During the Civil War, he
initially criticized the administration for not directly moving against slavery
and accepting black troops, but he was also an active supporter of the Union
cause, an advisor to Lincoln, and when the time came, a recruiter of black
troops (Finkelman).”  “After the Civil
War, he became a Republican activist, held numerous appointed offices, and was
a constant advocate of black rights (Finkelman).” “In 1872, he became the first
black ever chosen as a presidential elector and was given the honor of
personally delivering New York’s electoral votes to Congress (Finkelman).”Douglass
proceeded in the battle for the privileges and rights of the liberated slaves.
After the death of President Lincoln, Douglass gave an unscripted and
unrehearsed speech at his commemoration. While Douglass’ speech said Lincoln’s
insufficiencies in the fight against bondage, he gave Lincoln much credit for
the opportunity of the slaves “Can any colored man, or any white man friendly
to the freedom of all men, ever forget the night which followed the first day
of January 1863, when the world was to see if Abraham Lincoln would prove to be
as good as his word? (Douglass).” A rousing standing ovation followed the
speech. It is said that his wife, Mary Lincoln, was so moved by his speech that
she gave Douglass Lincoln’s favorite walking stick.In
1855, he published his second autobiography was called My Bondage and My Freedom. This book explored in greater detail his
transition from bondage to freedom. This second autobiography is an extension
of his first autobiography. My Bondage
and My Freedom explores his story of a traveling lecturer. His last autobiography
was named Life and Times of Frederick
Douglass. This one gave detail about his life as a slave, his escape, and
his connections to the anti-slavery movement, as well as many other significant
milestones in his life.  His
three autobiographies are viewed as critical works of the slave story custom
and in addition works of art of American history. “The Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass An American Slave Written by Himself (1845); My Bondage and
My Freedom (1855); and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881; 1892), have
provided literary critics and historians with a vast literature that explores
slavery, African-American community, nineteenth century society, and the
abolitionist movement (Jabour & Luckett).”There
are several powerful themes that Frederick Douglass explored in his writings.
The voice that Douglass gives his writing is one of power. He demands to be
heard and made that clear throughout his lectures and speeches. He wrote three
influential autobiographies that hit home for many people. His motivation to
write about the difficulties he endured as a slave was to both inform people of
the evil, graphic nature of slavery, and to give those African Americans that
never had a voice, one that can be heard. Slavery
is a big theme for Frederick Douglass. Everything he said about slavery was
true and he wanted people to understand the cruelty of it. He painted a picture
for many readers to help them understand what he and his family went through.
He devoted his time and attention to writing and lecturing about the important
of abolishing slavery. He showed how slaveholders tried to keep slaves ignorant
and illiterate by refusing the learning or reading and writing. Frederick
Douglass believed if everyone is equal, everyone should know how to read and
write. During this time people believed slavery was a way of life. They
believed blacks were animals and were not capable of being a part of society. Douglass explores the difference between the fact that
slaves are actual human beings and the slave owners treat them like worthless
property. Douglass writes on how slaves are frequently sold to owners,
regardless of where their mother, father, or siblings are. Slave owners value slaves just to the degree of how much work
would they be able to produce; they treated slaves like creatures for reasons
unknown.
Slaveholders forced slaves to do work by beating or whipping them. “Groups of
slaves, under the command of an overseer, were forced; typically, with whips,
clubs, and threats; to perform a single repetitive task from the break of dawn
until night (Puchner).” Slaves felt as if whites had some type of authority and
they had to obey or the punishment would be severe, sometimes even death. His
autobiographies explain the silent power whites had over their slaves and
didn’t even realize. Frederick
Douglass also wrote about freedom. He had a desire to pursue it and be a part
of it. By learning how to read, he realized slavery is not right and it should
be stopped. Douglass escaped himself and gained his own freedom. He did not
escape without thinking it through. That’s where his knowledge came into play.
Upon gaining this freedom, it would not have been possible without education
and knowledge. It is from Mrs. Auld that he learns that knowledge is the way to
freedom. Knowledge
was very important to Douglass. He saw Mr. Auld’s reaction to his wife teaching
him how to read. At a young age, he was able to see how whites keep a hold and
invisible leash around blacks. By taking away their freedom and ability to
learn how to read and write, they feel whites have the power. Basically, the
establishment of slavery depended on the ability to keep slaves as uneducated
and unenlightened as possible. By engaging in knowledge, Douglass was able to
escape and become a free man before he was legally free. Douglass showed his
life as a long process of self-transformation; from a slave that is basically
treated like an animal, to a free human with a name and a voice. Douglass
improved his own self-education. He also improved the education of other
slaves. Slaveholders did not think slaves should be allowed to have an
education. They believed if slaves had an education, they could read and join
the abolishment movements. Again, Frederick Douglass believed all people were
created equally, and this included the ability to get an education. That’s why
when he learned to read and write, he did what he could to teach others, which
consequently got him in trouble. To him, one of the worst things about slavery
is the prevention of education to African Americans. The information Douglass
gained through self-education broadened his understanding of the establishment
of slavery and how-to slaveholders tried to keep them ignorant. His own
self-education strengthened his desire to free himself.  Frederick
not only wanted to be free, he wanted his truth to be heard. He hoped showing
the truth will eventually bring justice and the abolishment of slavery. He knew
people never believed slaves or former slaves, so he made sure to make it known
that these were the truth. It was very rare that people argued in favor of
slavery or a former slave. Douglass also speaks on the inability to speak
truthfully as a slave. Slaves were often punished for speaking aloud or speaking
honest about how they felt in situations. Douglass’s freedom not only allowed
him to escape horrible treatment, but it also gave him an opportunity to speak
truthfully and honestly. Douglass
knew the struggles he faced fighting for his freedom. He believed, “If there is
no struggle, there is no progress; those who profess to favor freedom, and yet
depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they
want rain without thunder and lighting, they want the ocean without the awful
roar of its many waters, this struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a
physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle; power
concedes nothing without a demand; it never did, and it never will (Douglass).”Douglass did an inspiring job clearly displaying these
themes in his autobiographies.  The themes of
his stories not only touch people, but show that there were such things as
educated and self-determined slaves. His stories show the truth about how the
establishment of slavery was during this time. Douglass used his voice for the
slaves that couldn’t. He wrote for the slaves that could not write and read for
the ones that could not read. “He protested the discriminatory practices of
segregated employment, education, worship, and public transportation
(Douglass).” He motivated and taught many other slaves during his time. The
themes in his writing match hand in hand to kind of man Frederick Douglass was.
 Although Douglass was
a slave, his mind was not enslaved. He believed all people were created
equally, and were not subjected to being treated like animals. “By
a principle essential to Christianity, a PERSON is eternally differenced from a
THING; so that the idea of a HUMAN BEING, necessarily excludes the idea of PROPERTY
IN THAT BEING. —Coleridge (Douglass).” He believed
the only way man can be slaved is by remaining ignorant and uneducated. At a
young age, Douglass realized the key to his freedom was knowing how to read. He
became a great writer and speaker and moved people with his words.

Born
into slavery, Frederick Douglass could have easily remained illiterate and died
that way. He had extreme perseverance and self-discipline. After a long and
difficult life, Frederick Douglass is now known as one of the most powerful
leaders of the anti-slavery movement. He wrote his autobiographies to show the
horrid life slaves had to endure. He was self-educated, driven, and died a free
man. He fought for the abolishment of slavery till the day he died. The themes
in his writings were not meant just to tell his story; they were what he lived
by. He believes in truth, self-education, he believed it was important to have
knowledge and speak up about slavery. Because of him, many people became
anti-slavery as well. To this day, he has influenced and inspired many people
to want to have an education.