About The Author: Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey as a slave in Talbot Country, Maryland. After escaping from slavery, Douglass became an abolitionist leader, and gained an eminent reputation for his compelling oratory skills and incisive antislavery writing. Social reformer, orator, writer and statesman, Douglass served as a living, breathing paragon of hope for those who remained enslaved and were disparaged by slaveholders who insisted that African Americans did not possess the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.
Douglass wrote a number of autobiographies, detailing his harrowing experiences as a slave using such fluid, mellifluous prose that he gained the respect of even the slaveholders. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, My Bondage and My Freedom and Times of Frederick Douglass, published in 1881, inspired growing support for the abolishing of slavery. In addition to his emboldened antislavery efforts, Douglass was also a supporter of women’s suffrage, and unknowingly became the first African American to be nominated for vice president of the United States as the running mate of Victoria Woodhull.
Douglass went on to hold multiple public offices. In 1895, Douglass attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C., during which he was summoned to the platform where he received a standing ovation. Shortly after his return home, Douglass died of heart failure. His funeral was held at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church and he was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. Douglass’s reverberating impact was evident in the thousands who marched by his coffin to pay their respects.
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