Some even doubted whether a slave was capable of writing so well. It launched him as a national figure. In , he followed up with a second book, My Bondage and My Freedom.
This was still a dangerous time to be a freed slave. After naming his former slave owner in his autobiography, he feared recapture. Douglass, supported by friends, decided to go on a two-year lecture tour of Ireland and Britain. He arrived in Ireland in and was amazed at the lack of racial prejudice — which he had become so accustomed to in America. His lecture tour was a great success, with Douglass speaking to packed audiences at churches and meeting halls across the two countries.
He developed friendships with many people sympathetic to the cause of abolishing slavery. Supporters raised sufficient funds to be able to buy his freedom from his slave owner. He met with Thomas Clarkson, a prominent abolitionist. Douglass was encouraged to stay in England to be safe from the threat of being put back into slavery. But, he felt a need to return to the US and work for the emancipation of the three million slaves still captive in the US.
Douglass used it to fund newspapers, publishing his message. One newspaper, Douglass published was North Star — its motto was:. Douglass was the only African American to attend. Although grateful to Garrison for his support and friendship, Douglass split with Garrison over his views on the constitution. Garrison saw the US constitution as a justification for slavery and publicly burnt it — angering even liberal supporters. Douglass took another, more pragmatic, view that the US constitution could be used to support the inherent equality of men and be used to help end slavery.
Douglass felt that the lofty ideals of the opening declaration should be incorporated into the abolitionist movement. Frederick Douglass once met with the radical abolitionist John Brown, but disproved of his plan for an armed rebellion, fearing it would inflame public opinion. During the Civil War, Douglass actively supported the Union war effort — hoping that the war would see the end of slavery. He campaigned for African Americans to be allowed to engage in the fight for freedom, and Douglass later served as a recruiter for African Americans into the Union army.
In , just after the civil war, the 14th and 15th Amendment to the US constitution was passed providing in law, equal citizenships and equal rights for all men, regardless of colour. Douglass was not a universal admirer of Abraham Lincoln. Though he later understood why Lincoln needed to keep the fracturing Union together. However, he also appreciated that fundamentally Lincoln opposed slavery and enabled its abolition through the Emancipation Proclamation, and the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments.
Lincoln was not only a great President, but a great man — too great to be small in anything. In his company I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color. Hope for the Nation. After the civil war, he was appointed to various government positions and continued his work as public speaker and writer.
He supported the Presidential campaign of Ulysses S. Grant; in particular, he was grateful to Grant for sending federal troops into the south to disrupt the activities of the Klu Klux Klan, and the passage of the second and third Enforcement Acts. Post Civil War, was still a difficult time for non-white Americans, with white supremacists making black voter registration in the South very difficult.
Although constitutionally there was equality after the war; in practice overt racism continued to be a serious problem in the US, especially the south. Douglass saw his work to combat the endemic racism of society. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins.
It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people. The ongoing discrimination against African Americans caused a new movement of young blacks to move to new cities, hoping to set up their own enclaves and communities. This position was sometimes unpopular with many younger African Americans and, in later years, he was booed by fellow African Americans who wanted a more radical approach. In , his first wife Anna died, leaving a great sense of personal bereavement.
But, he re-married two years later to a white feminist — Helen Pitts, 20 years his younger. Inter-racial marriages were very rare and the couple was several criticised for their decision. Towards the end of his life, he visited Europe again. He also appeared on a ticket as Vice-President for the Equal Rights Party in though he was not told he was to be nominated. On February 20, , Douglass died of a heart attack or stroke in Washington D. Thousands attended his funeral a the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal church.
Frederick Douglass is remembered for his courageous opposition to slavery and his deeply held conviction in the equality of all people. He played a crucial role in changing public opinion about slavery and racial inequality. He was one of the first prominent African American leaders and was an inspiration to many. Last updated 4 March Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass at Amazon.
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The Writings of Frederick Douglass The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave “No book except perhaps Uncle Tom’s Cabin had as powerful an impact on the abolitionist movement as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
Taylor (I Was Born a Slave: An Anthology of Classic Slave Narratives), an editor at Lawrence Hill, serves readers and libraries well by adapting and abridging Foner's acclaimed The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, Vols. (International Publishers, )/5(59).
Selected Writings of Douglass and Others. These selected writings are provided here specifically to support the teaching materials provided elsewhere and to meet the needs of a University of Rochester course, "Lincoln, Douglass and Black Freedom.". From: The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, (Five volumes) by Philip S. Foner International Publishers (Included on this web site by kind permission of the publishers).
The Education of Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Chapter VII. Frederick Douglass. Boston: Published at the Anti-Slavery Office, No. 25 Cornhill. The Right to Criticize American Institutions. Frederick Douglass. The Frederick Douglass Collaborative within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) invites you to submit abstracts/papers/proposals for the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Conference scheduled on April , at West Chester University.