Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey; c. February 1818 - 20 February 1895) was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.
Review of the book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed
The introductory paragraph uses material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.