Introduction - Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass has been referred to as the father of the civil rights movement; a title he well deserves. This famous man in black history escaped from slavery to
become a leader in the fight to abolish slavery and for racial equality in the United States. An eloquent writer and speaker he was extremely passionate and devoted to
the fight for freedom. He advised several U.S. Presidents beginning with Abraham Lincoln who said Douglass was "the most meritorious (deserving of praise) man of the
Click here for a great selection of Amazon.com books about Frederick Douglass.
On this page you will find a list of interesting facts about this famous Africa-American man including how he became famous and what causes he fought for. Whether you are kid writing a report for Black History Month or an adult interested in learning more about this famous African-American man we hope you find the below information useful.
Frederick Douglass Pre-Civil War Facts
- Frederick Douglass's mother was a slave and his father was an unknown white man.
- He was born with the name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey; which he changed to Frederick Douglass, for safety reasons, after escaping slavery.
- The exact day and year of his birth are unknown; he chose February 14th as the day to celebrate his birthday.
- Early in his life he realized that the ability to read was the key to gaining freedom. He is quoted as saying "Once you learn to read, you will forever be free". He taught himself how to read and write and then, as a teacher in Sabbath Schools in Maryland, taught other slaves to read and write.
- At the age of twenty he escaped from slavery and headed north to settle in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
- Douglass not only is famous for fighting for civil rights for black people but also actively supported the women's rights movement. He wrote "Right is of no Sex - truth is of no Color." In 1848 he participated in the first women's rights convention in the United States which was held in Seneca Falls, New York.
- He married Anna Murray in 1838 and they had five children together. They were married up until her death in 1882. He remarried in 1884 to a women named Helen Pitts.
- His first autobiography titled "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" is considered his best book. Published in 1845 it became a bestseller and showed many doubters that a black person could author amazing literary works.
- From 1847 through 1851 he published a weekly newspaper called the North Star which focused on the abolitionist movement.
- One of Frederick Douglass's most famous quotes is "The white man's happiness cannot be purchased by the black man's misery".
Frederick Douglass Civil War and After Facts
- During the Civil War he recruited black men for the Union Army; including the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers whose bravery was made famous in the movie "Glory". His two sons Charles and Lewis served in the 54th Massachusetts.
- Frederick Douglass fought for equal treatment of black Union soldiers including equal pay and equal honors.
- After the American Civil War Douglass served in several official positions including US Marshal of the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds, United States minister to Haiti, and secretary of the commission of Santo Domingo.
- Douglass died on February 20th of 1895 from a heart attack or stroke. He is buried in Rochester, New York at Mount Hope Cemetery.
- Today there is still an incredible amount of interest in this famous man; in fact David Blight a respected author and a professor of American history at Yale University gave a great lecture in October of 2014 called "My Pen, My Voice, My Vote" The Life and Work of Frederick Douglass".