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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
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Frederick Douglass was born in slavery as Fred-
erick Augustus Washington Bailey near Easton in
Talbot County, Maryland. He was not sure of the
exact year of his birth, but he knew that it was 1817
or 1818. As a young boy he was sent to Baltimore,
to be a house servant, where he learned to read and
write, with the assistance of his master's wife. In
1838 he escaped from slavery and went to New York
City, where he married Anna Murray, a free colored
woman whom he had met in Baltimore. Soon there-
after he changed his name to Frederick Douglass.
In 1841 he addressed a convention of the Massa-
chusetts Anti-Slavery Society in Nantucket and so
greatly impressed the group that they immediately
employed him as an agent. He was such an impres-
sive orator that numerous persons doubted if he had
ever been a slave, so he wrote NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE
OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS. During the Civil War he as-
sisted in the recruiting of colored men for the 54th
and 55th Massachusetts Regiments and consistently
argued for the emancipation of slaves. After the war
he was active in securing and protecting the rights
of the freemen. In his later years, at different times,
he was secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission,
marshall and recorder of deeds of the District of
Columbia, and United States Minister to Haiti. His
other autobiographical works are MY BONDAGE AND
DOUGLASS, published in 1855 and 1881 respectively.
He died in 1895.
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