Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Bailey. Frederick lived with his grandmother on a Maryland plantation until, he was eight years old, then his owner sent him to Baltimore to live as a house servant. While at this new home the master's wife taught Frederick to read.
When Frederick was older his wife, Anna helped him escape to New Bedford, Massachuetts. To help avoid capture he changed his name to Frederick Douglass. He was also able to get a job on a ship.
Becoming an Abolitionist
In 1841, he spoke to others during an anti-slavery group meeting. Frederick did such a good job that he was hired to speak to other groups about his life as a slave. He was so honest and heartfelt that people felt his story captured the life of a slave. From then on, Douglass became a leader in the Abolitionist cause.
While at one of his an anti-slavery meeting he met Susan B. Anthony. Susan B. Anthony was also against slavery and worked with Frederick Douglass to try to end slavery.
Becoming a Writer and Speaker
To tell people what it was really like to be a slave Douglass decided to write his autobiography. In1882 he published TheLife and Times of Frederick Douglass.
To avoid being captured by his owner, Douglass left on a two-year speaking tour of Great Britain and Ireland. While away Douglass continued to speak out against slavery.
Life as an Abolitionist
When he returned to the United States Douglass purchased his freedom and also to started his own antislavery newspaper, the North Star.
During the Civil War Frederick Douglass wrote several letters to President Abraham Lincoln. He also met with President Lincoln. In his letters and during their meetings he asked President Lincoln to make slavery illegal and also suggested that former slaves be armed and help fight with the North.
Life After the Civil War
Throughout Reconstruction, he fought for full civil rights for freedmen of African Americans. He also supported the women's rights movement. After Reconstruction, Douglass served as assistant secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, and in the District of Columbia he was marshal and recorder of deeds; finally, he was appointed U.S. advisior to Haiti.
Frederick Douglass died on February 20, 1895 in Washington, D.C.