Frederick Douglass was born into slavery around the year 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. He is one of the most famous intellectuals of his time! He advocated for women’s rights and is the author of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Although his exact birth date is unknown, we do know that later in his life, he decided to celebrate his birthday on February 14th.
Reading and writing were banned among slaves although slaveholder Hugh Auld’s wife Sophia taught Douglass the alphabet when he was around 12-years-old. When Sophia’s husband found out what she was doing, he forbid her from any more lessons.
Douglass, however, continued to learn from white children and others in the neighborhood. Douglass read newspapers and in the later years credited the Columbian Orator for truly clarifying and defining his views on human rights. In his lifetime, Douglass taught other slaves on the plantation of William Freeland’s to read the New Testament at a weekly church service. Over 40 slaves would attend these lessons. After becoming free, Douglass published his first autobiography in 1845 and traveled overseals to speak to large crowds on the evils of slavery.
Douglass is most known today for producing abolitionist newspapers such as The North Star, Frederick Douglass Weekly, Frederick Douglass’ Paper, Douglass’ Monthly, and New National Era.
Frederick Douglass passed away on February 20th, 1895 of a massive heart attack. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.
Information obtained from Biography