Frederick Douglass

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Cameron AndradeAndrade 1

English 101

8 Febuary 2012

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born a slave to his mother Harriet Bailey and father,

unknown, a white man presumed to be his master in 1818, near the town of Easton in Baltimore. He

would later become known as Frederick Douglass.

Little is known about his true age, although in 1835, he heard his master tell someone he was

seventeen that is where he figured his birth date to be in 1818. As kid, he taught himself how to read

and write, which you were not allowed to do as a slave. He learned this knowledge from reading

newspapers and books that he found around his masters residence. At the age of eight, he was sent to

work as a ship caulker in the shipyards of Baltimore, Maryland. Surprisingly, his boss's wife helped

him perfect his reading and writing skills. This is also where he learned about abolition. Soon he was

sent back to the plantation, where he started a school to help other slaves to read and write.

He became well known amongst his fellow slaves through his teachings.

In 1838, adorned in a sailor's uniform and in possession of a freed slave travel document he

fled Baltimore. He arrived in New York City and soon after he migrated to New Bedford,

Massachusetts with a mission to abolish slavery. This is where Douglass's work became most legendary. 1

"On Monday, the third day of September, 1838, in accordance with my resolution, I bade farewell to

the city of Baltimore, and to that slavery which had been my abhorrence from childhood."2

When Douglass arrived in New Bedford, he worked as a laborer for three years. He also

changed his last name to Douglass at this time to throw slave hunters off his trail. In 1841, he was

asked to speak about his days as a slave at an Anti-Slavery convention in Nantucket. His speech was so

in depth and moving that he was launched into a new career as an agent in the Massachusetts Anti-

Andrade 2