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The Life of Frederick Douglas - Book Report/Review Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Life of Frederick Douglass Fredrick Douglass was a famous African American leader born in 1818. He was not only a bestselling author who championed the rights of all humans, but was also an advisor to the president, as well as a passionate editor…
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The Life of Frederick Douglas
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"The Life of Frederick Douglas"

Download file to see previous pages At six years, his grandmother without warning took him to reside at his master’s plantation and at the age of eight years, Douglass’ master sent him to live the master’s relatives, Hugh and Sophia Auld (Douglass 49). While residing at the Auld’s home, Sophia started teaching Douglass basic reading and writing, which contravened state laws. When he reached 20 years, Douglass escaped slavery, married and relocated to Massachusetts. It was while in Massachusetts that he took on the name Douglass and began advocating for abolitionism. He became a staunch abolitionist and a voice for social justice, particularly with regard to women’s suffrage. Douglass was quite a rhetorical speaker who undertook a three-year speaking tour around most northern cities where he informed and educated his audience on the evils inherent in slavery. The tour essentially aimed at soliciting public support for abolitionist agendas. Douglass compiled his first autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave in 1845 addressing the significance of the abolitionist movement. In his autobiography, Douglass recounted his struggle for freedom. He was, however; forced into exile in England to deter capture by slave traders since the book revealed his identity. Douglass’ British abolitionist comrades bought his freedom in 1846 making Douglass a free man. He consequently went back to the US and put down roots in New York where he established The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper (Douglass 68). Douglass’ children played a part in the publication of the four-page newspaper. Following the fortification of the abolitionist movement in mid 1850s, Douglass intensified his participation in the Underground Railroad. He routinely offered shelter to conductors such as Harriet Tubman while en route to Canada. The national debate on slavery intensified after the infamous 1857 Dred Scott Supreme Court ruling that affirmed that the US Constitution did not acknowledge black people’s fundamental rights. This ruling deeply angered Douglass who later considered the Civil War of 1861 as a moral campaign to establish a true democracy in the US by freeing slaves. Throughout the war, Douglass journeyed through the nation asking President Lincoln to end slavery and sign up black troops in the US army. Douglass’ role in the recruitment of black soldiers into the Union Army cannot be downplayed. This enrollment was, however, made possible by President Lincoln signed the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation into law. From this time, Douglass became the president’s advisor all through the Civil War period. Douglass championed constitutional amendments to disallow slavery and permit blacks access to a legally protected place in the society of the US (Douglass 81). Consequently, the 13th constitutional amendment outlawed slavery and the ensuing 14th amendment offered citizenship rights to everyone born in the US. Later, the 15th constitutional amendment allowed African American males over 21 years to vote. After the Civil War had come to a stop, Douglass held various government positions such as Federal Marshal for Washington under President Rutherford Hayes in 1877. Douglass also held the position of Haiti’s Minister in 1889. In the 1890s, Douglass returned to the lecture circuit to condemn lynching instances taking place across the country. He also criticized Jim Crow laws that curtailed the fundamental rights of black ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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