Frederick Douglass (1817-1895)
Journalist, Activist, Ambassador
When Frederick A. Douglass was born in 1817 on a Maryland plantation, his given name was Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. Frederick Douglass constantly fought against his slave condition and was constantly in trouble with the overseer. When he escaped on September 3, 1838, and he settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts, he changed his name to Frederick Douglass. In 1845, against the advice of his friends, Douglass decided to write an account of his life, fully aware of the possibility that this would mark him as the Bailey runaway slave. The autobiography was called The Narrative Of The Life and Times Of Frederick Douglass. Besides writing his autobiography, in 1845 Douglass founded and edited the North Star newspaper. When the Civil War broke out, Frederick Douglass urged President Lincoln to free and arm the slaves. He was also a great spokesman for universal suffrage, women’s rights, and world peace. In 1848 Douglass participated in the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. In 1872 he ran for vice president on the Equal Rights Party ticket. In 1889 he was appointed minister to Haiti. He died on February 20, 1895.