Fredrick Douglass was born on February 1818. He lived with his grandmother, Betty Bailey. His mother died when Fredrick was 10 years old. When Fredrick was 12 years old he had gotten separated from his grandmother.
He was taken to the Wye House plantation where Aaron Anthony worked as his over seer. After Anthony died Fredrick was given to Lucretia Auld, the wife of Thomas Auld.Lucretia Auld sent Fredrick to Thomas’ brother Hugh Auld in Baltimore. When Fredrick was 12 years old Sophia (Hugh Auld’s wife) started to teach Fredrick the alphabet even though it was against the rule to teach a black slave how to read and write. It also said in an article that when people asked Fredrick Douglas to describe Sophia he said that she was a kind hearted person who treats humans the way that all people want to be treated.
Sophia does not discriminate humans that have a different skin tone. When Hugh Auld found that his waif was teaching Fredrick to read, he strongly disapproved this activity that was going (teaching Fredrick how to read and write) and also said that if the slaves found out how to read and write they can use those skills to free themselves from their masters and that it would be easier for them to escape. When Sophia stopped teaching Fredrick, he would go up to the white children and ask for help on big words that he never learned.After Douglass learned how to read, he hired out William Freeland. William started to teach other slaves at the plantation to read the New Testament sign at a weekly Sunday school.
The urge to read and write started to spread among the African American slaves that work at the plantation and about 40 slaves would attend classes to learn how to read and write. In 1833 Fredrick Douglass, the plantation owner sold him to Edward Covey. Edward was a poor farmer who was very harsh to slaves. Edward had a reputation called “Slave Breaker.” He would whip Fredrick on a daily basis. The sixteen-year-old Douglass was nearly broken psychologically.
Soon later Fredrick could not stand his master beating him, so he fought back.After losing physical confrontation Edward never tried to beat Fredrick again. When Fredrick first tried to escape from his master it did not turn out to be the way he did not make it, they captured him. Once again in 1836 he tried to escape again from his owner Covey, but once again he failed. On September 3, 1838, Douglass successfully escaped.
He boarded on to a train to get to a city in Mary land.From there he boarded a ferry which went across a river and took Fredrick to Delaware. Then he got onto a steamboat which took him to Quaker City (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), then safely got to New York. Many resources say that this trip to freedom took less than 24 hours. After the second time Fredrick failed to escape, Fredrick fell in love and got married to a woman named Anna Murray.
Anna was a free black woman and when Fredrick found that out he was more determined to be a free slave. Fredrick and Anna had 5 children altogether. Their names were– Charles Remond Douglass-Rosetta Douglass-Lewis Henry Douglass-Frederick Douglass Jr.-Annie Douglass (Annie Douglass died at the at the age 10) Fredrick Douglass and Anna Murray settled in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Fredrick and Fredrick live together for 44 years.
In 1843, Douglass participated in the American Anti-Slavery Society’s Hundred Conventions project, a six-month tour of meeting halls throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States. During this tour, he was frequently accosted, and at a lecture in Pendleton, Indiana, was chased and beaten by an angry mob before being rescued by a local Quaker family. His hand was broken in the attack; it healed improperly and bothered him for the rest of his life. In 1848 Fredrick was the only African American to go to the first women’s rights conventions. During this convention Fredrick gave a suggested that the world would be better if women was included in the political sphere. Douglass’ powerful words rang true with enough attendees that the resolution passed.
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. Douglass’ support for the 15th Amendment, which failed to give women the vote, led to a temporary estrangement between him and the women’s rights movement. In 1877 Anna Murray died, and then in 1884 Fredrick remarried a white woman named Helen Pits. The couple faced a storm of mad people with their marriage, since Pitts was both white and nearly 20 years younger than Douglass.
Her family stopped speaking to her. But a feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton congratulated the new couple for not caring that their skin color was different from each other’s. On February 20, 1895, Douglass attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. During that meeting, he was brought to the platform and given a standing ovation by the audience.
Shortly after he returned home, Frederick Douglass died of a massive (very big) heart attack or stroke in Washington, D.C. His funeral was held at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church where thousands passed by his coffin paying tribute. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.