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Frederick Douglass

Date of Birth:



United States


Abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass was born in slavery sometime in 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born about 1818 in slavery in Talbot County, Maryland. As has always been the case with slaves, the year and date of Douglass's birth is unknown, though later in life he chose to celebrate it on February 14. Defending the siege of teaching slaves to read and write, Baltimore's Hugh Auld wife Sophia taught Douglass letters when he was 12 years old. When Auld forbade his wife to pursue further studies, Douglass continued to learn from the children of whites and others in the area. She became one of the most famous intellectuals of her time, advising presidents and educating thousands on a variety of causes, including women's rights and Irish domination. Among Douglass's writings are a few autobiographies that best describe his experience in slavery and his life after the Civil War, including the work best known as The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Douglass died on February 20, 1895, of a heart attack or acute stroke shortly after returning from a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

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