|Born|| February, 1818 |
|Died|| February 20, 1895 |
|Spouse|| Anna Murray-Douglass|
Helen Pitts Douglass
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), born as Frederick Baily, 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. 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, which he started to read around age 12. William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of the abolitionist Liberator Newspaper, hired him.
Upon his return to New York, he founded the "North Star" newspaper.
Frederick Douglass on religion
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.
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."
- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,p. 49, "Every opportunity I got, I used to read this book."
- Douglass, Frederick (1882); The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: From 1817–1882. 3rd edition by John Lobb. Christian Age Office. p. 63.