Frederick Douglass



Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass - photo obtained from, The Frederick Douglas Museum & Cultural Center webpage

Personal Vita

March, 2000

Compiled by Shirley A. Rowser


Frederick Douglass

[Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey; Frederick Douglass]

[source: Compiled and edited by Shirley A. Rowser, March 1, 2000; data obtained from various sources -- see the "references/bibliography" section

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Some information may be found at the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data, Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895.

Bio/Historical Notes

Born a slave on Holmes Hill Farm, Talbot County, Maryland, and son of Harriet Bailey and a white man that he knew little about except his name, Master Aaron Anthony. He escaped from slavery and married Anna Murray, a free slave, in 1838. They were married for 44 years until Anna's death August 4, 1882. After Anna's death, he married his former secretary and a white woman, Helen Pitts, of Rochester, NY. Children (with Anna): Rosetta Douglass, Annie Douglass Sprague, Lewis Henry Douglass, Frederick Douglass, Jr., and Charles Remond Douglass. Was an agent for the Bristol Anti-Slavery Society lecturing against slavery. William Garrison, publisher of The Liberator, was his mentor. Supported the Women's Rights Convention held July, 1848, and cast the lone male vote in favor of it. Chosen vice-presidential candidate at the Liberal Party convention. Served as recruiter for the 54Th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. Appointed Assistant Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry in the possible annexation of Santo Domingo. Nominated for vice-president by Equal Rights Party. Named president of Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. Appointed US Marshall of the District of Columbia. Appointed Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. Appointed Charge d'Affaires for Santo Domingo and Minister Resident, and Consul General to Haiti by President Harrison. He died, at Cedar Hill, Anacostia section of Washington, DC. His body is buried in Rochester in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Birth Date

1818 (Exact date unknown)

Death Date

February 20, 1895

Source of Death Date

Meltzer, M. (1995). Frederick Douglass - In his own words. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company.


Was taught beginning reading by his master's wife Sophia Auld. However, was basically self-taught through reading various literatures, particularly The Columbian Orator that he purchased for $.50. It was a collection of speeches and handbook on oratory. This is how he learned to put his thoughts into words.

Work History

1836-1838 Baltimore shipyards as a Caulker

1841-1895 Lecturer on the Anti-slavery movement, Abolitionist

1847-1860 Publisher of a weekly newspaper, North Star, later to be named Fredrick Douglass's Paper

1870 Owner and editor of The New National Era, weekly newspaper, in Washington, DC

1874 President of Freedman's Savings and Trust Company

1877 US Marshall of the District of Columbia

1881-1891 Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia

Associated Subjects

Lecturer on Anti-slavery

Black Men Rights

Voting Rights

Women's Rights

Associated People

Abby Kelley Foster

William Lloyd Garrison

President Abraham Lincoln

Wendell Phillips

Gerrit Smith

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Charles Sumner

Harriet Tubman

Mark Twain (Sam Clements)

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Associated Organizations

American Anti-Slavery Society

Equal Rights Party

Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment

Associated Events

The Civil War

Emancipation Convention

Free Soil Party Convention

Liberal Party Convention

Women's Rights Convention

The World Temperance Convention

Associated Places

Cedar Hill, Anacostia section of Washington, DC

Douglass Archives of American Public Address (Northwestern University)

Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center (Rochester, NY)


Douglass, F. (1845).The narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass: An American slave. Boston: The Anti-Slavery Office, No.25, Cornhill.

Douglass, F. (1855). My bondage and my freedom. [on-line]. Available:

Douglass, F. (1881). Life and times of Frederick Douglass: His early life as a slave, his escape from bondage, and his complete history to the present time. [on-line]. Available:


Melzer, M. (1995). Frederick Douglass: In his own words. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company.

Stanton, E. C. , & Dubois, E. C. (1995). Eighty years and more reminiscenses:1815-1897. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Deeley, S. (1996). A Frederick Douglass chronology. [on-line]. Available:

Thomas, S. (1997). Frederick Douglass "Abolitionist/Editor". [on-line]. Available:

References to

The Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center, Rochester, NY. See their webpage:

The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, DC. See their webpage:



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