Remembering Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born in 1818 during the month of February. Since he was born into slavery, there weren’t accurate records of the excact day of his birth. He chose to celebrate his birthday on February 14th remembering that his mother called him her “little Valentine.” In later years while reminiscing about his mother, he wrote:

“…My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant. … It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age. … I do not recollect of ever seeing my mother by the light of day. She was with me in the night. She would lie down with me, and get me to sleep, but long before I waked she was gone.”

After escaping from slavery, he became a famous speaker, writer and a national leader of the abolotionionist movement. In later years, he remembered his first taste of freedom when arriving in New York City:

“I have often been asked, how I felt when first I found myself on free soil. And my readers may share the same curiosity. There is scarcely anything in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. If life is more than breath, and the “quick round of blood,” I lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life. It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe.”

During his lifetime, he wrote three autobiographies. In his first published book in 1845, he described his life as a slave in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. In 1855, My Bondage and My Freedom was published. His autobiography, LIfe and Times of Frederick Douglass was published in 1881 and revised in 1892.

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