The Life and Work of Frederick Douglass




The Life and Work of Frederick Douglass


Frederick Douglass\'s writings reflected many American views that were
influenced by national division. Douglass was a very successful abolitionist
who changed America\'s views of slavery through his writings and actions.
Frederick Douglass had many achievements throughout his life. Douglass was born
a slave in 1817, in Maryland. He educated himself and became determined to
escape the atrocities of slavery. Douglass attempted to escape slavery once,
but failed. He later made a successful escape in 1838. His fleeing brought him
to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Douglass\'s abolitionist career began at an
antislavery convention at Nantucket, Massachusetts. Here, he showed himself to
be a great speaker. Douglass became involved with many important abolitionist
causes, both through his literary works, and also through activities such as the
Underground Railroad, and also his role in organizing a regiment of former
slaves to fight in the Civil War for the Union army. Due to the Fugitive Slave
Laws, Douglass became in danger of being captured and returned to slavery. He
left America, and stayed in the British Isles. There he lectured on slavery,
and gained the respect of many people, who raised money to purchase his freedom.
In 1847, Douglass relocated to Rochester, New York, and became the person in
charge of the Underground Railroad. Here he also began the abolitionist
newspaper North Star, which he edited until 1860.

In this time period, Douglass became friends with another well known
American abolitionist, John Brown. Brown was involved with the Underground
Railroad, and later wanted Douglass to join him on terroristic attacks on a
United States government arsenal at Harper\'s Ferry. Douglass declined to
participate in such activities. He fled, once again, to Europe, fearing that
his association with John Brown might threaten him. He returned after several
months, and aided in Abraham Lincoln\'s campaign for president. Frederick
Douglass had many other achievements, mainly political, before dying in 1895, in
Washington, D. C.

Frederick Douglass\'s life as a slave had the greatest impact on his
writings. Through slavery, Douglass was able to develop the necessary emotion
and experiences for him to become a successful abolitionist writer. Douglass
grew up as a slave, experiencing all of the hardships that are included, such as
whippings, inadequate meals, and other harsh treatment. His thirst for freedom,
and his burning hatred of slavery caused him to write Narrative Of The Life Of
Frederick Douglass, and other similar biographies. In Narrative Of The Life Of
Frederick Douglass, Douglass wrote the complete story of his miserable life as a
slave and his strife to obtain freedom. The main motivational force behind his
character (himself) was to make it through another day so that someday he might
see freedom. The well written books that he produced were all based on his life
as was Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass. These books all start with
Douglass coping with slavery. Frederick Douglass also had a reason to write
these works. As a die-hard abolitionist, Douglass wanted to show the world how
bad slavery really was. He did this very well, because he made many people
understand the unknown, and made abolitionists out of many people. This man had
a cause, as well as a story to tell. Douglass, as a former slave, single-
handedly redefined American Civil War literature, simply by redefining how
antislavery writings were viewed. There were other narratives written by former
slaves, but none could live up to the educated, realistic accounts of slavery by
Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass is well known for many of his literary achievements.
He is best known, now, as a writer. As a writer, Frederick Douglass shined. As
a speaker, Frederick Douglass was the best. There was no abolitionist, black or
white, that was more respected for his speaking skills.

So impressive were Frederick Douglass\'s oratorical and intellectual
abilities that opponents refused to believe that he had been a slave
and alleged that he was an impostor foistered on the public by the
abolitionists. In reply, Douglass wrote Narrative Of The Life Of
Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845) , which he revised in
later years; in final form, it appeared in 1882 under the title
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Quarles, Benjamin, Microsoft
Encarta).

One must not overlook Frederick Douglass\'s oratory skills when looking
at his literary career; however, it is Douglass\'s form which left the largest
impact on Civil War time period literature. Douglass\'s most significant
autobiographical works include: Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An
American Slave; My Bondage And My Freedom; and Life And Times Of Frederick
Douglass. These