Cover image for Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave
Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895.
Publication Information:
Chicago, IL : Lushena Books, Inc., 2000.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 124 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published: Boston : Anti-Slavery Office, 1845.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library E449 .D749 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Classics
East Delavan Branch Library E449 .D749 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reading List

On Order



This Eloquent and dramatic autobiography of the early life of an American slave was first published in 1845, when its author was twenty eight years old & had just achieved his freedom. Although it was not uncommon during the era of American slavery for articulate Blacks who escaped to have their experiences published, Narraive Of The Life & Times Of Frederick Douglass is unique among these slave narratives because of Douglass's eloquent power of expression.

Author Notes

Born a slave in Maryland in about 1817, Frederick Douglass never became accommodated to being held in bondage. He secretly learned to read, although slaves were prohibited from doing so. He fought back against a cruel slave-breaker and finally escaped to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1838 at about the age of 21. Despite the danger of being sent back to his owner if discovered, Douglass became an agent and eloquent orator for the Massachusetts Antislavery Society. He lectured extensively in both England and the United States. As an ex-slave, his words had tremendous impact on his listeners.

In 1845 Douglass wrote his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, which increased his fame. Concerned that he might be sent back to slavery, he went to Europe. He spent two years in England and Ireland speaking to antislavery groups.

Douglass returned to the United States a free man and settled in Rochester, New York, where he founded a weekly newspaper, The North Star, in 1847. In the newspaper he wrote articles supporting the antislavery cause and the cause of human rights. He once wrote, "The lesson which [the American people] must learn, or neglect to do so at their own peril, is that Equal Manhood means Equal Rights, and further, that the American people must stand for each and all for each without respect to color or race."

During the Civil War, Douglass worked for the Underground Railroad, the secret route of escape for slaves. He also helped recruit African-Americans soldiers for the Union army. After the war, he continued to write and to speak out against injustice. In addition to advocating education for freed slaves, he served in several government posts, including United States representative to Haiti.

In 1855, a longer version of his autobiography appeared, and in 1895, the year of Douglass's death, a completed version was published. A best-seller in its own time, it has since become available in numerous editions and languages.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Houston A. Baker, Jr.
Introductionp. 7
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 25
A Note on the Textp. 29
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slavep. 31

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