Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass

United States Minister Resident to Haiti
In office
November 14, 1889 – July 30, 1891
Preceded by John E. W. Thompson
Succeeded by John S. Durham

Born c. February 1817
Cordova, Maryland
Died February 20, 1895 (aged c. 78)
Washington D.C.
Political party Republican

Frederick Douglass (c. February 1817 - February 20, 1895) was a Preacher, an Abolitionist, outspoken Republican, ardent defender of Constitutional Liberty, and friend of President Abraham Lincoln.

A monument to Douglass in Rochester, New York was torn down by Progressive Democrats during the 2020 Marxist uprising.[1]


Douglass was born as Frederick Baily and was raised as a slave. He escaped to Massachusetts at age 20 and changed his name to Frederick Douglass in order to conceal himself from slave catchers. Like most abolitionists in his day, he was a member of the Republican Party.

He developed marvelous debating and oratory skills to expose the injustices of slavery by reading the book The Columbian Orator,[2] which he started to read around age 12. William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of the abolitionist Liberator Newspaper, hired him.

Douglass published a best-selling autobiography, but then felt he had to flee to England to avoid being caught by slave catchers. Reformer Daniel O'Connell formed a friendship with him there.

Upon his return to New York, he founded the "North Star" newspaper.

Frederick Douglass on religion

Douglass was a committed Christian and an active preacher at the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.[3]

See also: Black Americans, history and religion

I was not more than thirteen years old, when in my loneliness and destitution I longed for some one to whom I could go, as to a father and protector. The preaching of a white Methodist minister, named Hanson, was the means of causing me to feel that in God I had such a friend. He thought that all men, great and small, bond and free, were sinners in the sight of God: that they were by nature rebels against His government; and that they must repent of their sins, and be reconciled to God through Christ. I cannot say that I had a very distinct notion of what was required of me, but one thing I did know well: I was wretched and had no means of making myself otherwise.
I consulted a good old colored man named Charles Lawson, and in tones of holy affection he told me to pray, and to "cast all my care upon God." This I sought to do; and though for weeks I was a poor, broken-hearted mourner, traveling through doubts and fears, I finally found my burden lightened, and my heart relieved. I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern was to have everybody converted. My desire to learn increased, and especially, did I want a thorough acquaintance with the contents of the Bible.[4]

His motto was "Right is of no sex - Truth is of no color - God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren."

Douglass also wrote, "I loved all mankind, slaveholder not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light ... I gathered scattered pages of the Bible from the filthy street gutters, and washed and dried them, that ... I might get a word or two of wisdom from them."


  • "To guard, protect, and maintain his liberty the freedman should have the ballot; that the liberties of the American people were dependent upon the ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box; that without these no class of people could live and flourish in this country" [5]
    • Sometimes quoted as: "A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box."

See also


  2. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,p. 49, "Every opportunity I got, I used to read this book."
  3. Frederick Douglass, Preacher
  4. Douglass, Frederick (1882); The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: From 1817–1882. 3rd edition by John Lobb. Christian Age Office. p. 63.
  5. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, 1882, p. 333

External links