Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, 1845

The Orator

Born into slavery in 1817, Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom in 1838 and became a leading figure of the abolitionist movement. Recalling his desire for freedom, Douglass wrote: “It was slavery, not its mere incidents, that I hated.” His autobiography, published by William Lloyd Garrison’s Anti-Slavery Society, was a best-seller, and his oratorical gifts made him a popular speaker on the national lecture circuit.