Frederick Douglass

February is Black History Month and I thought how fitting it would be to highlight the life of Frederick Douglass. Mr. Douglass was born into slavery in February 1818. He escaped slavery to become a prominent author, abolitionist and statesman. If you are ever in Washington, DC please stop by the home of Mr. Douglass – what a remarkable life he led!


2 thoughts on “Frederick Douglass

  1. Pam Sowerwine

    I really like the idea of this site, but would prefer that all quotes made into memes be verified for authenticity before being spread.
    Here’s what Mr. Douglass really said.
    “It turns out Frederick Douglass frequently uses the word “broken” — it appears 35 times in My Bondage and My Freedom alone. One line in particular, about the violence done to him as an enslaved child, was reminiscent of the famous quote:
    Once thoroughly broken down, who is he that can repair the damage?

    Here is the entire passage in which that quote — a verifiably real quote — appears. It’s lengthy, but it’s worth understanding the quote in context:

    The mistress of the house was a model of affection and tenderness. Her fervent piety and watchful uprightness made it impossible to see her without thinking and feeling—”that woman is a Christian.” There was no sorrow nor suffering for which she had not a tear, and there was no innocent joy for which she did not a smile. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these excellent qualities, and her home of its early happiness. Conscience cannot stand much violence. Once thoroughly broken down, who is he that can repair the damage? It may be broken toward the slave, on Sunday, and toward the master on Monday. It cannot endure such shocks. It must stand entire, or it does not stand at all. If my condition waxed bad, that of the family waxed not better. The first step, in the wrong direction, was the violence done to nature and to conscience, in arresting the benevolence that would have enlightened my young mind. In ceasing to instruct me, she must begin to justify herself to herself; and, once consenting to take sides in such a debate, she was riveted to her position. One needs very little knowledge of moral philosophy, to see where my mistress now landed. She finally became even more violent in her opposition to my learning to read, than was her husband himself. She was not satisfied with simply doing as well as her husband had commanded her, but seemed resolved to better his instruction. Nothing appeared to make my poor mistress—after her turning toward the downward path—more angry, than seeing me, seated in some nook or corner, quietly reading a book or a newspaper. I have had her rush at me, with the utmost fury, and snatch from my hand such newspaper or book, with something of the wrath and consternation which a traitor might be supposed to feel on being discovered in a plot by some dangerous spy.

    Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom, paragraph 120 | Project Gutenberg

    This book was published in 1855, the same year mentioned by the blogger.
    This information was from this site.


    1. The Historical Homemaker Post author

      Thank you, Pam! I really enjoyed reading the full write up of the quote. what an incredible man he was!



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