9 Frederick Douglass Facts For Kids
Slavery is a part of history that is painful to remember, but there were many heroes along the way that bravely fought for the rights of all no matter race or color. Frederick Douglass was a prominent figure in the Abolitionist Movement, which was the fight to end slavery. He was born a slave and has a inspiring story that tells of the struggles he faced during his lifetime due to the color of his skin. Frederick Douglass is regarded as one of the most influential people in the fight to end slavery.
Here is a closer look at his background and a few little known facts surrounding his life:
What Were His Contributions to the Fight to End Slavery?
1. He was born a slave, but did not just accept this situation. Frederick Douglass escaped at the age of 20 and dedicated his life to being an activist against slavery. Over time he wrote 3 autobiographies that are considered by many historians to be important works of slavery narrative. They offer a unique perspective and are considered to be classic works of literature.
2. He attacked Jim Crow laws and lynching during the late 1890s and also edited a black newspaper that showcased abolitionist thoughts. He also traveled speaking and writing encouraging others to join the fight against slavery. Douglass always spoke with words designed to elicit emotion and action in those that agreed with him that slavery and racism were inherently wrong. He was a voice that many in the black community respected and one of the abolitionist movements leaders.
Most Prominent Black Leader of the 19th Century
3. He was a writer and orator that quickly became the most important black American leader during this time period in history. He was born the son of a slave woman, and most likely his father was her slave master. His immortalized works include “My Bondage and Freedom,” and the “Life and Time of Frederick Douglass.” His written works are seen by many to paint a clear picture on what slavery really was and how those living as slaves were treated. The insight that he offered made his writings historical work that had no precedent at the time that they were published.
Welcomed the Civil War
4. In 1861, Douglass was a firm supporter of the Civil War and saw it as a crusade against slavery. It was during wartime that Frederick Douglass worked to continue the charge of the war and even help recruit black troops for the cause. He even stood as an advisor for President Abraham Lincoln at critical times during the Civil War. He thought that the Union win could bring about huge change in the rebirth of America, but some of his visions were dashed when these rights were not given right away. However, he still continued his fight and was vocal on his opinion that all races and sexes should be equal. He was invested in not only racial issues, but also political issues and women’s rights.
How Was He Remembered?
5. Frederick Douglass was remembered as a brave and brilliant man that was a symbol of change and humanism in a time period where this was not the overriding belief. He was a voice for social justice and always spoke of the importance that he felt he had due to being a black American born during this time period. Frederick Douglass felt that it was his mission in life to inform others through his writings and speeches that oppression of any form was not right. Douglass died in 1895 after his long fight trying to preserve rights for all races and to end slavery.
Born Frederick Augustus Washington
6. When he was born in1818 he was given the name Frederick Augustus Washington. He actually changed his name based on a character from the book The Lady of the Lake. This led to him being known primarily as Frederick Douglass.
Supporter of the Women’s Rights Movement
7. Frederick Douglass was not just motivated to end slavery, but also to fight for social justice for all. he was even present at the famed Seneca Falls conference in 1848 that was important in the fight for women’s rights.
8. Not only did he write literature on the time that he spent as a slave, but Frederick Douglass also founded his own abolitionist newspaper known as the North Star. In this paper he wrote freely on his views against slavery and all forms of racism.
Vice President Nomination
9. In 1872 Frederick Douglass was nominated for Vice president of the United States. He was nominated as a member of the equal rights party. Due to his skin color and history as a slave, this was a profound nomination and spoke to the importance that he played in society.