We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.
- Frederick Douglass
One of the most eminent and distinguished contributors to American History is known for combatting imperious slave owners. This inspiring yet riveting personality is Fredrick Douglass who is an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.
Slavery in America
It is considered that the beginning of slavery was from 1619. Remorseless treatment was given to the slaves. Those slaves were sent to North America, Europe, and Brazil.
There were thousands of Western Africans who were molested, kidnapped, and put on a ship for months in which they were starved to death. This inhumanity against people of color was continued for centuries.
Laws were designed deliberately to make colored people slaves and seize their rights to live as a free citizen of America. Article 2 and Section 4 mandated the return of escaped slaves back to their slave owners.
Slavery was permitted in the U.S South where there were 11 Confederate States of America that protected the practice of slavery and were inclined towards seceding from the Union.
This exploitation of labor boosted the sales of cotton and tobacco commodities which were mainly grown in the Southern region of America.
Life of Fredrick Douglass
This great activist and inspiration to many was born in Maryland, USA. Atrocious activities were practiced by the slave owners such as separating the slave mothers from their newborn children to diminish their affection. As Fredrick was separated from his mother at a very early age, Harriet Bailey, he lived with his maternal grandmother, Betty Bailey. At 6, he started working at Wye House plantation.
He was taught reading by Sophia Auld, wife of Thomas Auld. Slaves were not permitted to pursue education and many remained illiterate. Frederick started educating other slaves on how to read the alphabet.
Rumors were spread about Fredrick teaching other slaves, something that was strictly prohibited. Thomas Auld transferred Douglass to Edward Covey, who was known for his brutal treatment of slaves. He even had a farm specifically for the beating of slaves.
Douglass was whipped every day, his only solace was the glimmer of hope to escape the maniacal behavior against people of color.
His attempt to escape this treacherous treatment was finally successful. He took a train to New York which was a free state where slavery was abolished.
On August 11, 1841, he gave a speech at Nantucket Atheneum in which he shared his experience of him being a slave. His effective oratorical speeches made him a full-time lecturer at the Massachusetts Antislavery Society.
His First Speech
His place in American History and the role in the antislavery of America have always stood high. His intellect, persona, and articulate speeches fought against the toxic mind of others which favored slavery.
He gave his first speech in front of white abolitionists on the 23rd annual Massachusetts Antislavery event. This day was known as one of the most significant days in history because it made Fredrick Douglass known in America.
Every month, he traveled to numerous places to convey the harshest treatment of slaves in the southern states.
He later wrote, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, An American Slave. The book, written in 1845, continued his legacy and spread the message of what it was like being a slave.
"All that the American people needed, I thought, was light. Could they know slavery as I knew it, they would hasten to the work of its extinction."
Written by Chirag Agarwal