In the first issue of The North Star , Douglass explained his reasons for establishing an African American-owned newspaper.
He emphasized that he did not want to seem ungrateful to people such as William Lloyd Garrison , a white abolitionist who published the antislavery paper The Liberator. However, he claimed that it is common sense that those who suffer injustice are those who must demand redress and, thus, African American authors, editors, and orators must have their own paper with which to share their voices.
The first of its four pages focused on current events having to do with abolitionist issues. Pages two and three included editorials, letters from readers, articles, poetry, and book reviews, while the fourth page was devoted to advertisements.
In the paper, Douglass wrote with great feeling about what he saw as the huge gap between what Americans claimed to be their Christian beliefs and the prejudice and discrimination he witnessed.
Douglass was also a staunch supporter of education for African Americans and equal rights for all, including women. He earned extra money lecturing and even mortgaged his home in to keep the newspaper going. By , financial difficulties caused him to merge The North Star with the Liberty Party Paper , a newspaper published by the abolitionist Gerrit Smith. In Douglass broke his friendship with Garrison, who had originally convinced him to join the abolitionist movement.
Douglass strongly believed in a political resolution, while Garrison, though a pacifist, came to believe that violence might be necessary if emancipation were not achieved quickly. Although the tour had been planned for some months, it likely saved him from arrest in association with the assault on the federal armoury at Harpers Ferry , Virginia, led by radical abolitionist John Brown in October When Brown was arrested, letters from Douglass were found among his possessions.
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In this letter Douglass writes: I prefer to deliver my lecture on Santo Domingo in Norton. It will meet the requirements contained in your letter as well as anything I shall be able to say. It is now more than thirty years since I lectured in Norton and I can probably repeat myself without being called to account by my juvenile audience.
Hoping that you will secure a larger attendance than you seem to hope- I am respectfully yours Frederick Douglass-". It would give me a real pleasure to do so if I could leave my post here but I cannot. Respectfully yours Fredk Douglass". Sherman, I would gladly make the loan to your brother-in-law but I have not got the amount, or near the amount required. I am just now closely invested.
A few hundred dollars are all that I keep on deposit-I am glad you felt free to apply to me. It would be a service to me to invest outside the District. In a letter written to a friend soon after reaching New York, I said: Once Douglass had arrived, he sent for Murray to follow him north to New York.
She brought with her the necessary basics for them to set up a home. They were married on September 15, , by a black Presbyterian minister, just eleven days after Douglass's arrival in New York.
The couple settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts , in , later moving to Lynn, Massachusetts in Nathan Johnson had been reading the poem The Lady of the Lake , and suggested "Douglass",  two of the principal characters in Walter Scott 's poem have the surname "Douglas".
Douglass thought of joining a white Methodist Church but from the beginning he was disappointed when he saw it was segregated. He held various positions, including steward, Sunday School superintendent, and sexton.
Years later, a black congregation formed there and by it became the region's largest church. Douglass also joined several organizations in New Bedford, and regularly attended abolitionist meetings. Inspired by Garrison, Douglass later said, "no face and form ever impressed me with such sentiments [of the hatred of slavery] as did those of William Lloyd Garrison.
At another meeting, Douglass was unexpectedly invited to speak. After telling his story, Douglass was encouraged to become an anti-slavery lecturer. Then 23 years old, Douglass conquered his nervousness and gave an eloquent speech about his rough life as a slave. While living in Lynn, Massachusetts , Douglass engaged in early protest against the segregation in transportation. Buffum were thrown off an Eastern Railroad train because Douglass refused to sit in the segregated railroad coach.
During this tour, slavery supporters frequently accosted Douglass. At a lecture in Pendleton, Indiana , an angry mob chased and beat Douglass before a local Quaker family, the Hardys, rescued him. His hand was broken in the attack; it healed improperly and bothered him for the rest of his life. Douglass's best-known work is his first autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave , written during his time in Lynn, Massachusetts  and published in At the time, some skeptics questioned whether a black man could have produced such an eloquent piece of literature.
The book received generally positive reviews and became an immediate bestseller. Within three years, it had been reprinted nine times, with 11, copies circulating in the United States. It was also translated into French and Dutch and published in Europe. Douglass published three versions of his autobiography during his lifetime and revised the third of these , each time expanding on the previous one.
The Narrative was his biggest seller, and probably allowed him to raise the funds to gain his legal freedom the following year, as discussed below. Douglass' friends and mentors feared that the publicity would draw the attention of his ex-owner, Hugh Auld, who might try to get his "property" back.
They encouraged Douglass to tour Ireland, as many former slaves had done. Douglass set sail on the Cambria for Liverpool on August 16, He traveled in Ireland as the Irish Potato Famine was beginning. Eleven days and a half gone and I have crossed three thousand miles of the perilous deep.
Instead of a democratic government, I am under a monarchical government. Instead of the bright, blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft, grey fog of the Emerald Isle [Ireland]. I breathe, and lo! I gaze around in vain for one who will question my equal humanity, claim me as his slave, or offer me an insult.
I employ a cab—I am seated beside white people—I reach the hotel—I enter the same door—I am shown into the same parlour—I dine at the same table—and no one is offended I find myself regarded and treated at every turn with the kindness and deference paid to white people. When I go to church, I am met by no upturned nose and scornful lip to tell me, ' We don't allow niggers in here! He also met and befriended the Irish nationalist Daniel O'Connell  who was to be a great inspiration.
Douglass spent two years in Ireland and Great Britain, where he gave many lectures in churches and chapels.
His draw was such that some facilities were "crowded to suffocation". Douglass remarked that in England he was treated not "as a color, but as a man. In , Douglass met with Thomas Clarkson , one of the last living British abolitionists , who had persuaded Parliament to abolish slavery in Great Britain's colonies. In the 21st century, historical plaques were installed on buildings in Cork and Waterford , Ireland, and London to celebrate Douglass's visit: It commemorates his speech there on October 9, After returning to the U.
This and Douglass's later abolitionist newspapers were mainly funded by English supporters, who gave Douglass five hundred pounds to use as he chose. Douglass also came to consider Garrison too radical. Earlier Douglass had agreed with Garrison's position that the Constitution was pro-slavery, because of its compromises related to apportionment of Congressional seats, based on partial counting of slave populations with state totals; and protection of the international slave trade through Garrison had burned copies of the Constitution to express his opinion.
Douglass's change of opinion about the Constitution and his splitting from Garrison around became one of the abolitionist movement's most notable divisions. Douglass angered Garrison by saying that the Constitution could and should be used as an instrument in the fight against slavery. In September , Douglass published an open letter addressed to his former master, Thomas Auld, berating him for his conduct, and enquiring after members of his family still held by Auld.
He suggested that the world would be a better place if women were involved in the political sphere. In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world.
After Douglass's powerful words, the attendees passed the resolution. Also in the wake of the Seneca Falls Convention, Douglass used an editorial spot in his paper, the North Star, to press the case for women's rights in this public venue.
The article was two-fold: On the first count, Douglass acknowledged the "decorum" of the participants in the face of disagreement. The latter half discussed the primary document that emerged from the conference, a Declaration of Sentiments, and his own discussion of the "infant" feminist cause.
Strikingly, he expressed the belief that "[a] discussion of the rights of animals would be regarded with far more complacency His opinion as the prominent editor of the paper likely carried weight, and he stated the position of the North Star explicitly: Later, after the Civil War when the 15th Amendment to give freedmen and free blacks the right to vote was being debated, Douglass split with the Stanton-led faction of the women's rights movement.
Douglass supported the amendment, which would grant suffrage to black men. Stanton opposed the 15th Amendment because it limited expansion of suffrage to black men; she predicted its passage would delay for decades the cause for women's right to vote.
Stanton argued that American women and black men should band together to fight for universal suffrage , and opposed any bill that split the issues. Stanton wanted to attach women's suffrage to that of black men so that her cause would be carried to success.
Douglass thought such a strategy was too risky, that there was barely enough support for black men's suffrage. He feared that linking the cause of women's suffrage to that of black men would result in failure for both. Douglass argued that white women, already empowered by their social connections to fathers, husbands, and brothers, at least vicariously had the vote. African-American women, he believed, would have the same degree of empowerment as white women once African-American men had the vote.
Wagoner , and George Boyer Vashon. Like many abolitionists, Douglass believed that education would be crucial for African Americans to improve their lives. This led Douglass to become an early advocate for school desegregation. In the s, Douglass observed that New York's facilities and instruction for African-American children were vastly inferior to those for whites.
Douglass called for court action to open all schools to all children. He said that full inclusion within the educational system was a more pressing need for African Americans than political issues such as suffrage.
However, Douglass disapproved of Brown's plan to start an armed slave rebellion in the South. Douglass believed that attacking federal property would enrage the American public. After the raid, Douglass fled for a time to Canada, fearing guilt by association as well as arrest as a co-conspirator.
Years later, Douglass shared a stage in Harpers Ferry with Andrew Hunter , the prosecutor who secured Brown's conviction and execution. Douglass sailed back from England the following month, traveling through Canada to avoid detection. Douglass considered photography very important in ending slavery and racism, and believed that the camera would not lie, even in the hands of a racist white, as photographs were an excellent counter to the many racist caricatures, particularly in blackface minstrelsy.
He was the most photographed American of the 19th Century, self-consciously using photography to advance his political views. He tended to look directly into the camera to confront the viewer, with a stern look. As a child, Douglass was exposed to a number of religious sermons, and in his youth, he sometimes heard Sophia Auld reading the Bible. In time, he became interested in literacy; he began reading and copying bible verses, and he eventually converted to Christianity.
I was not more than thirteen years old, when in my loneliness and destitution I longed for some one to whom I could go, as to a father and protector.
The preaching of a white Methodist minister, named Hanson, was the means of causing me to feel that in God I had such a friend. He thought that all men, great and small, bond and free, were sinners in the sight of God: I cannot say that I had a very distinct notion of what was required of me, but one thing I did know well: I was wretched and had no means of making myself otherwise. I consulted a good old colored man named Charles Lawson, and in tones of holy affection he told me to pray, and to "cast all my care upon God.
I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern was to have everybody converted. My desire to learn increased, and especially, did I want a thorough acquaintance with the contents of the Bible.
Douglass was mentored by Rev. Charles Lawson, and, early in his activism, he often included biblical allusions and religious metaphors in his speeches. Although a believer, he strongly criticized religious hypocrisy  and accused slaveholders of wickedness , lack of morality, and failure to follow the Golden Rule. In this sense, Douglass distinguished between the "Christianity of Christ" and the "Christianity of America" and considered religious slaveholders and clergymen who defended slavery as the most brutal, sinful, and cynical of all who represented "wolves in sheep's clothing".
Notably, in a famous oration given in the Corinthian Hall of Rochester, he sharply criticized the attitude of religious people who kept silent about slavery, and held that religious ministers committed a blasphemy when they taught it as sanctioned by religion.
He considered that a law passed to support slavery was "one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty" and said that pro-slavery clergymen within the American Church "stripped the love of God of its beauty, and leave the throne of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form", and "an abomination in the sight of God". He further asserted, "in speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land.
There are exceptions, and I thank God that there are. Noble men may be found, scattered all over these Northern States May of Syracuse, and my esteemed friend [Robert R. He maintained that "upon these men lies the duty to inspire our ranks with high religious faith and zeal, and to cheer us on in the great mission of the slave's redemption from his chains".
In addition, he called religious people to embrace abolitionism, stating, "let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday school, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds.
During his visits to the United Kingdom, between and , Douglass asked British Christians never to support American Churches that permitted slavery,  and he expressed his happiness to know that a group of ministers in Belfast had refused to admit slaveholders as members of the Church. On his return to the United States, Douglass founded the North Star , a weekly publication with the motto "Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.
Your wickedness and cruelty committed in this respect on your fellow creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my back or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul, a war upon the immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the bar of our common Father and Creator.
Sometimes considered a precursor of a non-denominational liberation theology ,   Douglass was a deeply spiritual man, as his home continues to show. In addition to several Bibles and books about various religions in the library, images of angels and Jesus are displayed, as well as interior and exterior photographs of Washington's Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. By the time of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country, known for his orations on the condition of the black race and on other issues such as women's rights.
His eloquence gathered crowds at every location. His reception by leaders in England and Ireland added to his stature. Douglass and the abolitionists argued that because the aim of the Civil War was to end slavery, African Americans should be allowed to engage in the fight for their freedom. Douglass publicized this view in his newspapers and several speeches. In August , Douglass published an account of the First Battle of Bull Run that noted that there were some blacks already in the Confederate ranks.
President Lincoln 's Emancipation Proclamation , which took effect on January 1, , declared the freedom of all slaves in Confederate-held territory. Douglass described the spirit of those awaiting the proclamation: Presidential Election of , Douglass supported John C. Douglass was disappointed that President Lincoln did not publicly endorse suffrage for black freedmen.
Douglass believed that since African-American men were fighting for the Union in the American Civil War, they deserved the right to vote. With the North no longer obliged to return slaves to their owners in the South, Douglass fought for equality for his people. He made plans with Lincoln to move liberated slaves out of the South. During the war, Douglass also helped the Union cause by serving as a recruiter for the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.
His eldest son, Charles Douglass, joined the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, but was ill for much of his service. The post-war ratification of the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. The 14th Amendment provided for citizenship and equal protection under the law.
The 15th Amendment protected all citizens from being discriminated against in voting because of race. In that speech, Douglass spoke frankly about Lincoln, noting what he perceived as both positive and negative attributes of the late President. Calling Lincoln "the white man's president", Douglass criticized Lincoln's tardiness in joining the cause of emancipation, noting that Lincoln initially opposed the expansion of slavery but did not support its elimination.
But Douglass also asked, "Can any colored man, or any white man friendly to the freedom of all men, ever forget the night which followed the first day of January , when the world was to see if Abraham Lincoln would prove to be as good as his word? Lincoln shared the prejudices of his white fellow-countrymen against the Negro, it is hardly necessary to say that in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery The crowd, roused by his speech, gave Douglass a standing ovation.
Lincoln's widow Mary Lincoln supposedly gave Lincoln's favorite walking-stick to Douglass in appreciation.
The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher.
The Frederick Douglass Papers has created this website to assist the general reader to learn more about Douglass and his accomplishments, and the scholar to have faster access to the thousands of documents that illustrate his career.
About the Frederick Douglass Papers Edition John W. Blassingame, Founding Editor The Frederick Douglass Papers Edition originated in at Yale University, as a result of consultations among the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and John W. Blassingame, Professor of History at Yale. Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The online collection, containing approximately 7, items (38, images), spans the years .
Frederick Douglass’ Paper Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February – February 20, ) was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. The Frederick Douglass Papers: Series Three: Correspondence, Volume 1: [Frederick Douglass, John R. Kaufman-McKivigan] on wayfeycb.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This volume of The Frederick Douglass Papers represents the first of a four-volume series of the selected correspondence of the great American abolitionist and reformer.