US history is tainted by the most shameful form of enslavement of man by man – Negro slavery, that existed until 1863. Most people of America, negros and white, heroically fought for the abolition of slavery and for equal rights for black-skinned people. A place of honor in their ranks belongs to Frederick Douglass, who has been a recognized leader of the Negro people of the United States for decades.
Frederick Douglass is one of the most famous and influential African American leaders of the 19th century. He was an abolitionist, a revolutionary democrat, one of the main figures of African-American liberation movement. His real name is Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He chose his name from a character in Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake (“9 Interesting Facts About Frederick Douglass”, 2013). With outstanding oratorical skills and the ability to express his thoughts in writing, Douglas launched an extensive anti-slavery campaign. He became a living response to the arguments of slaveholders who claimed that slaves do not have enough intelligence to become independent American citizens. Many residents of the northern states of the USA could not even believe that such a great orator as Frederick could be a slave.
Douglas grew up as a slave, but he was very lucky that one woman taught him to read and write even though it was prohibited to teach slaves. When he moved to Baltimore to work for his brother, the owner, he was lucky again: brother’s wife taught him further, particularly acquainted with the Bible. Douglas became a Christian at the age of 13 years. Later became a preacher and fighter for the abolition of slavery. Political activity of Douglas was subordinated to the idea of uniting all the anti-slavery forces, creating a mass abolitionist party. Douglas was involved in the organization of the National Freedom Party, the party’s activity of free soilers, Negro Congresses motion, the “Underground Railroad.” A brilliant writer and orator, in 1845 he published an autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. The book became famous, but freedom of the author was subjected to danger – according to the law, he had to go back to his host, to the South. Douglas chose to go to Europe, he lectured in the UK and Ireland during 1845-1847 years (“Frederick Douglass Biography”, n.d.).
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In the beginning of the Civil War, Douglass put forward the slogan of immediate emancipation of the slaves, took part in the formation of Negro regiments, was an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln (“9 Interesting Facts About Frederick Douglass”, 2013). In the post-war reconstruction period, he fought for the provision of full civil rights to slaves, advocated the democratization of the political life of the United States, for granting voting rights to women. He played a leading role in the organization of the Negro National League of struggle for equality (“Frederick Douglass Biography”, n.d.). Frederick Douglas has developed a program of political and civil rights for the black population of the country, especially the right to elect and be elected along with white Americans, and consistently fought for its implementation after the abolition of slavery. Until the end of his life he utters speech and lectures in various states America, published his texts, articles and open letters in various newspapers.
Frederick Douglass was a truly remarkable man of his era. Born a slave, he was doomed to experience the hardships of life and the suffering of many, but he found the strength and courage to fight for their rights and for improving the lives of others, infringed rights. Douglas antislavery activities coincided with the period in United States history, when the issue was at the peak of urgency, when the President understood the need for the abolition of slavery in the country. Douglas’ greatest merit lies in the fact that he led the revolutionary wing of the abolitionist movement, actively fought for inclusion in its ranks of the working masses. He was a strong supporter of active joint actions of white and black opponents of slavery. Douglas was a staunch supporter of peace and friendship among all peoples.
9 Interesting Facts About Frederick Douglass. (2013). National Republican Congressional Committee. Retrieved 27 August 2016, from https://www.nrcc.org/2013/06/19/8-interesting-facts-about-frederick-douglass/
Frederick Douglass Biography. Biography.com Editors. Retrieved 27 August 2016, from http://www.biography.com/people/frederick-douglass-9278324#freedom-and-abolitionism