Frederick Douglass

The Portable Frederick Douglass
  • The Portable Frederick Douglass

  • A newly edited collection of the seminal writings and speeches of a legendary writer, orator, and civil rights leader.

    The life of Frederick Douglass is nothing less than the history of America in the 19th century from slavery to reconstruction. His influence was felt in the political sphere, major social movements, literary culture, and even international affairs. His resounding words tell not only his own remarkable story, but also that of a burgeoning nation forced to reckon with its tremulous moral ground. This compact volume offers a full course on a necessary historical figure, giving voice once again to a man whose guiding words are needed now as urgently as ever.

    The Portable Frederick Douglass includes the full range of Douglass's writings, from autobiographical writings that span from his life as a slave child to his memories of slavery as an elder statesman in the late 1870s; his protest fiction (one of the first works of African American fiction); his brilliant oratory, constituting the greatest speeches of the Civil War era, which launched his political career; and his journalistic essays that range from cultural and political critique toart, literature, law, history, philosophy, and reform.

Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to a slave woman and an unknown white man in either 1817 or 1818. He was enslaved in Baltimore and Maryland for twenty years, first as a servant and then as a farm hand. He escaped in 1838, married, and settled in Massachusetts where he began work as an anti-slavery crusader. Following a fantastically eloquent speech at an anti-slavery convention he was hired by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society to lecture about his life as a slave. He was such a brilliantly gifted public speaker that many doubted he had ever been a slave, and this stereotype – that a slave couldn’t be intelligent or articulate – was something he fought ardently against. He wrote his autobiography partly to address this – it became an instant bestseller on publication. After the outbreak of the civil war he successfully persuaded President Lincoln to allow black soldiers to enlist. He was, at various times, Federal Marshall of the District of Columbia, President of the Freedman’s Bank, United States Minister to Haiti, and charge d’affaires for the Dominican Republic. He died in 1895 shortly after delivering a speech at a women’s rights rally.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising