Frederick Douglass was an internationally known abolitionist, writer, and orator. Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland in 1838 and settled in Massachusetts. He was drawn to the anti-slavery movement after reading William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator. Douglass attended anti-slavery meetings where he related his experiences in slavery. He subsequently wrote a narrative of his life that became a best seller. Despite his status as a fugitive slave, Douglass lectured widely to promote the abolitionist cause and founded his own newspaper. He later broke with peaceful abolitionists and came to believe that force was required to end slavery. During the Civil War, Douglass urged President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, fought for black soldiers’ rights, and after the war continued to advocate the rights of free blacks and voting rights for women.

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