19th century American abolitionist, known for his autobiography as a slave
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  • Frederick Douglass

    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.

    Reference

    Douglass, Frederick (1818-1895), by Timothy Sandefur, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist, a reformer, a statesman, and the author of the American classic Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. ... When he found a copy of the Columbia Orator, a schoolbook incorporating several antislavery passages as reading and writing exercises, Douglass devoured the idea of abolitionism. ... In September 1838, he finally managed to sneak out of Maryland disguised as a Navy seaman with forged papers obtained through the Underground Railroad. He moved to Rochester, New York, which with some interruptions was his home for the rest of his life."

    Born

    Feb 1818, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, in Talbot County, Maryland

    Died

    20 Feb 1895, in Washington, D.C.

    Articles

    Frederick Douglass - Hero of the Day, by Brett Hoffstadt, Saulius Muliolis, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    The Trouble With Thomas Jefferson: The eloquent Founder's original sin, by Damon Root, Reason, Jan 2009
    Review of the book The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, by Annette Gordon-Reed
    "... consider two very different figures whose lives intersected with slavery in the 19th century: the abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun. An escaped slave and self-taught author and orator, Douglass understood better than most just how potent the Declaration's promise of inalienable rights could be. 'Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body?' Douglass would demand of his mostly white audiences. 'There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.'"
    Related Topic: Thomas Jefferson

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